Cemetery workers say Halloween not only time for eerie happenings

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some local cemetery workers say Halloween is not the only timeof year for hauntings, as evidenced by their own experiences withthe supernatural.

Even if it’s not supernatural, said Cemetery Supervisor HosmarCameron, there are odd things that sometimes can’t quite beexplained away. For instance, he said, on overcast days at RoseHill Cemetery, voices can be heard talking in a group, but theydon’t stay for company.

“I’ve been sitting in the cemetery and the east corner will becloudy, and you can hear them talking,” he said. “But then you canget up and walk over there and you won’t hear a word. But they hadjust been talking as clearly as I am to you.”

Cameron said that when he goes back to his work, the voicesresume.

“It hasn’t only happened one time, but several times,” hesaid.

And cemetery workers report slamming doors on hot days with nowind, and creepy feelings that they’re not alone, among otherthings. In spite of 15 years working in the cemetery, Cameron saidhe and his workers still have a healthy respect for ghosts, whom hesays have definite hangouts.

“I wouldn’t want to come through there at night,” he said. “Idon’t worry about Easthaven, but Rose Hill? I have seen some weirdstuff going on over there. I went through a lot over there.”

Other cemetery workers agree, citing strange apparitions even onnormal days.

“The only strange things that I possibly might know, and I’vebeen with cemetery for almost two years, but sometimes things justpop up on the grounds … I don’t know the names of them,” saidOren Witherspoon. “Like you’re just riding on the mower, and you’llsee something that would pop up.”

Sometimes those things that pop up are fog, sometimes they’repeople in the cemetery for whatever reason, and sometimes they’relocal dogs. But sometimes nobody’s exactly sure what they are,cemetery workers said.

And ghost lore throughout history is laden with stories ofghostly animals, whether they be the spirits of humans who havepassed on or simply unexplainable ghoulish beasts. Cemetery workersknow of a strange being that brings to mind legends of the Mothman,a creature that terrorized a Missouri town and subsequently had amovie based on its haunting.

“I just know this man who used to work here, and he was standingoutside one day and saw what looked like a man standing up,” saidCameron. “He said he kept looking, and finally he walked overthere, and whatever it was got low – it got down just like a dogand took off. It was standing, but whatever it was took off justlike a dog, but before that, it stood up just like a human.”

Cameron also tells a story of a strange dog he saw in CarverHeights Cemetery just after his brother had been buried there.

“I don’t know about the friendly part, but I believe they knowwho I am sometimes,” he said. “Just after I lost my brother, thisfuzzy-looking black dog I’d never seen was there just staring atme. We were mowing that morning, and I noticed him about 7:30a.m.”

Cameron said the dog stayed just out of reach, but kept him inhis gaze until finally later that morning Cameron ran him off. Hesaid he never saw the animal again.

“He’s just watching me, and I’m thinking, ‘What kind of dog isthis?'” said Cameron. “I finally ran him off around 10 a.m., then Ihad this feeling like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, thatmight have been my brother.’ Because they say sometimes you comeback as different things.”

Whether the strange dog was just a family pet who had lost hisway, or actually a messenger from the beyond, Cameron and the worldmay never know. But one thing Cameron is sure of.

“Ghosts? Yeah, I believe in them. They’ve got to be real. I’veseen too many weird things,” he said.