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In Search of Mary’s Ghost

October 17, 2018

Last week, I conveyed to you the story told to me by Wayne McCaskey about the ghost in the iron fence at the old Williamson Cemetery. I also revealed to you that I was going to spend the night waiting for Mary's Ghost in the darkness. This is the story I wrote that night waiting for Mary. My writing pad was illuminated only by a small candle. I figured if the ghosts were coming out, I wanted them to not be blinded by a 100,000 candle power electronic flashlight. I figured if Ichabod Crane could cross the bridge to escape the headless horseman in the dark, I could wait for Mary with just a candle in a mason jar and my writing pad.

I waited for a night when it had rained late into the evening before going to the Williamson cemetery. It was just after 10 p.m. when I ventured into this dark place filled with those who have departed this world. The evening's rain had nearly stopped as I parked my truck and rolled down the windows. I could feel the cool night air and the smell of newly cut grass. Through openings in the leaves of the blackened trees, I could see glimpses of street lights on the Hydro road. The bits of light came and went as the unseen leaves moved gently in the night. I felt no wind, but the movement of the leaves in the darkness told me a breeze must be in the air. By this time of night, the road noises had pretty much passed. The only sounds were those of insects and the dripping droplets of water from the trees that surrounded me.

It was about then when Wayne reminded me of those four people wanting to spend the evening in the cemetery in 1988. Oh boy, what have we gotten ourselves into this time. If ghosts are really here, surely they will come out tonight. Maybe, we could find a talky ghost, one who wanted to tell me their story. People like stories of talking ghosts, as long as they were not a politician. We laughed at that thought.

Article Photos

Photos by Chuck Clegg
This resting spot at Williamson Cemetery comes with its fair share of stories and legends.

By now, you may be wondering why I mentioned Wayne in my story? Well, to be truthful, I felt I needed to take someone along with me for my night adventure in the cemetery. Who better to bring along than my imaginary memory of Wayne. After all, he did inspire my undertaking. I could almost see him there in the shadows wearing his pale blue roll up hat. And with him there, I could at least have someone to talk with. And yes, I did hear him respond to my comments. I suppose none of you reading this have ever talked to someone not there. At one point, I asked what he thought of me sitting in the dark talking with him. After all, I remembered how Wayne described those people who wanted to spend the evening in the cemetery as weirdos in his book. So much for my being normal. It's okay, I'll think of myself as a story teller first, and maybe a little bit odd waiting for Mary's ghost.

In preparing for this story I asked a few people if they believed in ghosts, or things that go bump in the night. I was surprised that many people don't necessarily disbelieve. Some say they have been in uneasy situations and felt the hair stand up on their neck for no reason. Others have suddenly felt a cold chill and believe someone walked over their grave. One person explained it this way: If I believe there is life after this world, why is it unreasonable that I believe we just don't fade away? Maybe those unexplainable things in our lives are somehow affected by a force we don't understand. Perhaps those people who describe themselves to Wayne as Physiclolghisty, were on to something after all.

In the silence I heard the town clock chime. Traffic on the road had died down and the night took on a stillness. The day's rain had brought to life the creatures of the night. Crickets, frogs and katydids hidden by the darkness sang in the night. I wondered if they understood what the others were saying.

I had positioned my truck to observe the fenced area around Mary's grave. As it seemed to even get darker, I began having trouble seeing the fencing and the gate into Mary's plot. I took my candle in the bottom of a Mason jar and ventured closer to check the gate, it was still closed. Wayne would not get out of the truck. From north of us, outside lights silhouetted tombstones when seen from our location. South of us, the tombstones began taking on an eerie glow. Before you start to wonder was their illumination by some unseen force in the cemetery? We figured the gray stones reflected just enough light when silhouetted against the darkness, to give them the appearance of glowing. That's the explanation Wayne and I came up with while sitting there... in the dark... near the midnight hour... in the cemetery!

Near midnight, I blew out the candle, sending my senses into adjustment mode. It took nearly five minutes for my eyes to adjust to the night. About then the night sounds suddenly faded. I don't mean over five or 10 minutes; I mean all at once. I said to Wayne, "What's next?" Suddenly another hard rain began falling, beating on the top of my truck and making it almost impossible to hear Wayne's imaginary voice. The cascading sheets of water running down the windshield, blinding us to everything going on outside the truck. Hard to be ghost hunting when you can't see them. At times, during the hard rain, I didn't think we could have seen Casper if he had come up and sat on my hood. Then as quickly as it came, it stopped.

After the rain ended, we decided to check the area one more time. As we approached the fence we quickly noticed the gate was now standing ajar. It had been completely closed earlier before the last rain. But now it was opened. Wayne reminded me if we leave it that way four days, the ghost of Mary and the witch would escape. I told him I was not going closer, and he could close it himself. He laughed as he told me he was just a figment of my imagination and it was time for him to go. We left the gate sanding ajar in the night. What caused the gate to come open? Most likely it was moved by the driving rain or wind. Or maybe, just maybe hidden by the rain, Mary came out to visit our world once more. I am thankful my old friend Wayne was along for the night's adventure. I have now told you of a night in Williamson Cemetery with the Storyteller of Mary's Ghost. Do you now believe? Or maybe you believe my story to be no more than a tall tale as I have told it to you, Through the Lens.



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