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(HSSC) As I Remember It

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posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 06:03 PM
Locally, there is the legend of a haunted grave. Years ago, the townspeople in this Northeast Ohio community are said to have killed a witch. Her body was buried on the family farm, in a private cemetery. The cemetery was encircled by a rock wall about three feet high. The little graveyard is now overgrown and forested, tucked away in a remote area of a State Park. The Witch is occasionally seen in a black robe floating at a distance through the woods.

I don't remember the exact year, but it was in the mid 1970's. October was warmer than usual. The full moon was so bright that it seemed almost dusk even though it had gotten dark hours earlier. Close to the moon, only the brightest stars were visible. Further away from it, the multitude from the Milky Way shone like precious glowing gems on a black jewelers cloth, paving the night sky. Rarely have I seen so many.

There were four of us, two couples. We had all seen the grave in the daylight, but for Halloween, we decided to be there at midnight. The Park officially closes at 11:00 P.M., so we got there early and hid our car off the road. We walked nearly half a mile along a wide, well used trail through a field to a spot near the grave. At this point we turned onto a faint path which entered the woods, passing the cemetery on it's way to the nearby lake. We wore thin jackets and never even turned on our flashlights with the new batteries until the tree branches overhead began to block the light.

Huge grapevines hung down from the trees like a canopy of Spanish Moss. Our feet crunched the fallen leaves. The naked tree branches waved brazenly as the gentle breeze whispered across the landscape. The lack of leaves on the trees allowed the moonlight to filter down to us. The night was a mosaic, light here, shadow there, always moving, dancing with the slight air current.

When we reached the cemetery wall, we all sat on it, and turned the flashlights off. I set my camera beside me on that stone fence. We had to wait nearly an hour, so we passed the time telling spooky stories, and talking. Occasionally, we would peer past the few trees between the lake and us. The dark water looked as smooth as glass, reflecting the magnificence of the glowing heavenly bodies with virtually no distortion.

My wife briefly switched on her light to read the inscription on the Witches Gravestone. It was the largest marker there.
"As I Once Was
So You are Now.
As I Am Now
Soon You will Be.
Prepare For death
And Follow Me."

I started pushing the light button on my digital wristwatch, which then cast a eerie dim blue-green glow. "Look" I'd say, "A small cyclops has joined our party!" Then we would all laugh. We kept checking the time. Nothing unusual was happening.

At 11:55 PM, the breeze changed into a tempest, pelting us with small sticks, leaves and occasional acorns. Clouds from nowhere covered the stars and began to shield the moon from our eyes. We turned on the lights again but they only stayed on a few seconds before they quit working. Branches crashed to the ground and a nearby tree was noisily uprooted flinging sticks, dirt and small stones on us. The sound of crashing timber seemed to surround us as the tree fell through others, breaking limbs as it fell.

A dog began to howl, but we were too deep in the woods for a house pet, so we assumed it must be a coyote. There are rumored to be a few in the area, although I have never seen one.

I pushed the button on my watch to see the time but nothing happened. The moon was covered now. The night was blacker than black, darker than anything I have ever experienced. It was like being in an unlit cave. Sound ceased to exist. The cold was on us instantly, like walking into a freezer. Heavy winter coats would have felt better than those jackets.

My heart was pounding like a jackhammer tearing up concrete. The air quit moving and pressed in on me, like a band tightening on my chest. I began to take short breaths. The goose bumps appearing on my arms were aptly named, as they felt to be the size of goslings.

The clouds parted slightly. Red moonlight cast a spotlight on the large gravestone, the only light to be seen. Red, almost as if you held your fingers together and held a lit flashlight behind them, sort of a blood red light. Something seemed to flicker in that light. We all saw it and screamed.

The silent forest erupted with a cacophony of sound. Chirping, chattering, screeching, growling and howling, it sounded like every animal in the forest suddenly came alive at full volume. My cheek was being touched by something and my hand swatted at it. It was a twig from a bush. Unfortunately, I slapped hard and suffered the only injury, to my cheek.

Without a word, but with many screams and much noise, we started running. We quickly were stopped by the fallen tree blocking the path. We were forced to feel our way around it in the absence of any light. We kept stumbling in the dark over sticks and rocks. Low branches from standing trees assaulted us as we tried to hastily make our exit, crouching all the while.

As soon as we exited the woods, the full moon was so bright that it seemed almost dusk. Close to the moon, only the brightest stars were visible. Further away from it, the multitude from the Milky Way shone like precious glowing gems on a black jewelers cloth, paving the night sky. What happened to the clouds? It was warm. I was perspiring now. We ran through the field to our hidden car.

We got in the car and sat there, shaking, gasping for breath. Slightly recovered, we went home.

The next day, I returned, but not alone, to retrieve my camera. The film had been exposed. I had the film developed. I had twenty four pictures of green, no shapes, just a weird bright green. We replaced the new batteries in the flashlights with other new ones, but they never worked again. My digital watch? I took it to a jeweler's shop for a battery or repair. It could not be fixed. Something inside had been fused, or so I was told. The only other watch there had been a wind-up. It still worked perfectly.

[edit on 18-10-2005 by rawiea]

posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 10:54 PM
Hi rawiea,

This story was cool to me because it read like one of those campfire stories someone tells when the night is still and quiet. I am not even sure if this is a true account that you are now sharing with all of us.
The only thing I thought was strange was how the people in the story were able successfully to make their way to the road in the dark. From the descriptions I had the impression that they were deep in the woods. Great story rawiea. Good luck to you in the contest.

posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 08:00 AM
The story IS based on reality.
We did walk almost a half a mile from the car. Most of that however, was on a road the state closed by blockading both ends..
We actually entered the woods for the last 100 yards or so. To get back to the car we did a whole lot of stumbling and falling in the woods.
The Army Corps of Engineers built a Dam in the 1960's and Ohio made the reservoir a State Park. I had ridden a school bus past this area many times, before the homes were destroyed and the road was closed. Vandals have damaged the rock wall and the gravestones are gone now. Vandalism again. The state does not perform any maintenance to the cemetery that I can see. I still go by there IN THE DAYLIGHT. There are Hickory Nuts, Black Walnuts and good fishing all within sight of the grave. Hunters seem to like the area, also.
I have never been there after dark since the night I wrote about, nor will I do it again.
This grave is on the Internet.
Ohio Exploration Society has a website for haunted areas.
Use the SEARCH and type in PORTAGE.
In the list that shows up, click on Portage County Hauntings.
On the page that shows up scan down to RAVENNA.
Look for West Branch State Park.
Oh heck, I'll save you the trouble. You can read it below.

West Branch State Park - The woods at this state park are said to be haunted by a woman who was killed by townspeople outside of Ravenna. Accused of being a witch, she was put to death by being pressed (placing a piece of wood on top of the victim and adding stones on top of the wood until the victim is dead). Her grave was marked by a mound of stones. Over the years, the stones marking her grave have been scattered, but a layer still remains that cannot be disturbed. The woman herself roams the woods of the park. There are reports of seeing her wearing a black flowing gown and scarf.

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 06:50 PM
I know I wrote this a few years ago, but I recently got a GPS. I went out there and got the GPS location.
N 41"07.765 W 081"07.589"
edit on 21-1-2013 by rawiea because: I mis-typed the numbers.

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