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Monday, September 2, 2013

HAUNTED ALTON IL TICKETS

FOR ALL OF YOU GHOST HUNTING ENTHUSIASTS GO TO TROY TAYLOR'S WEBSITE AND GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THE HAUNTED ALTON TOURS. TICKETS GO ON SALE TONIGHT SEPT 02 2013 AT 11:59 PM THEY SELL OUT FAST!
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

RAMSEY CEMETERY




Ramsey Cemetery is located in Douglas township in
Effingham County. It is about 6.5 miles north west of
the city of Effingham.
It is located among the hills and bluffs on
the west side of the little Wabash river. It sits on top
of a large hill, or maybe Indian mound. Many native
American tribes occupied central Illinois. The latest
being the Kickapoo tribe.
The road that leads up to the
cemetery is next to the Little Wabash and winds through
a hilly area that is said to contain many caves, that
modern man through out history have carved their names
and professions of love onto their walls. To me the
"hills" look like ancient burial mounds but searching
through the history of Effingham county I find no
evidence of this...or much about the Indians of this
area. But to look at the hills, I wonder. After winding
through the hills, at the end of the road high atop a
hill is Ramsey Cemetery. It is a beautiful little
cemetery well kept, overlooking the Little Wabash and
its bottomland.
 It's seclusion makes it a party place
for local teenagers, who, some of course damaged and knocked
over several stones. Why kids find this fun, I have no
idea! How would they like it if their stones, or loved
ones stones were destroyed by kids that can't control
their buzz and egos? Going there to make out is one
thing, but to be little ass wipes and destroy history is
another.
The drive down the road to the cemetery is eerie the
first time you drive it because of the stories of the
cemetery. It is legend that a warlock is buried there,
and a werewolf roams the caves. But once you get to the
cemetery it is wide open and not scary. It is actually a
beautiful cemetery with awesome views of the river and
countryside. It reminds me of the song- Old Rugged
Cross.
When we first got out of the car and walked into the
cemetery the EMF detector went off in an area that had
no stones, in the front west side of the cemetery. We
walked through, taking random pictures. I saw with my
own eyes, not through the camera lens a whitish like
thin cloud or mist walk through these two stones.

It kind of scared me since I was saying "If there is a werewolf
here , show yourself. I called out to Tami that I saw
something weird. When I did that, we heard mules or
donkeys from a nearby farm start hee hawing like they
were laughing. We laughed and continued taking pictures.
I noticed on top of one child's stone there was a penny tail
side up. Hmm I thought that was odd. It was late
afternoon and getting cold so we went back to the car.
Looking at the pictures on the computer, I found nothing
really. Most cemetery pictures have odd looking faces in
the shadows, so I ignore them, but this one kind of looks
like a ghost dog.
 Is this our werewolf? I had to go back
for more pictures, so the following Saturday I revisited
Ramsey Cemetery. I was hoping it would be warm enough to
check out the caves but it was so cold up there.

I got out and took a couple of pictures, then looking through
the lens it looked like it was fogged up but I looked at
it and it wasn't.
The camera was acting like it was out
of battery, it wouldn't hardly take a picture at that
spot only, the first one was clear....I walked a little north and took some more
pictures four to be exact, that are perfectly clear. I then went back and took a picture again where the camera acted weird.
We walked around some but again it
was too cold up there so we left. My biggest mistake was
waiting till after the visits to read about the
cemetery. The only thing I read before the visits was
there are caves, a werewolf, and a warlock grave. Also rumors say there is a black cloaked person with glowing red eyes. After
my visit, I read that a man in 1961 shot himself at the
cemetery inside a small chapel that used to be there. He
blocked the road with his vehicle and committed suicide
because he could not take his wife's infidelity. The
chapel was torn down after that, because of vandalism.
Then I read that if you put a penny heads up on a stone,
and come back later, the penny will be tails up...so the
penny I saw had already been touched by an angel...
hmmm. Now that I know this, guess what I am doing next
visit...yep, pennies! Whether this place is haunted or
not, I believe spirits still roam there. Hopefully all
good...the only time I felt kinda scared was when I saw
the white mist walking through the stones...with my own
eyes...not through a camera lens! Watch for updates when
the weather warms up. I love history so I will be
reading more on the history of the area. I bet it is
beautiful in the spring when the redbud trees are in
bloom!

Monday, January 28, 2013

CAMPGROUND CEMETERY


Campground Cemetery is located just south of Mattoon, Il in Paradise Township, near Paradise, IL. Many decades ago it was also called Sawyer Cemetery. This cemetery can be deceiving! It doesn't "feel" like anything is going on there! ha ha ha....

 It was a cloudy day when we visited this cemetery in mid October. It is a beautifully kept cemetery. Located at the intersection of Lake and Paradise roads. (county rds 400 N and 250 E). It's history goes back to some of the first settlers in this area. The first houses in Paradise were made of mud! Just after the Black-Hawk War, the Methodists started settling in the area.
 They set up camps in the woods behind what is now Campground cemetery, on both sides of the river. They built tall wooden pulpits in the woods and traveling preachers would visit the  pulpits to deliver powerful sermons. Great numbers of people would gather together there, staying in tents, to hear the preaching. These services usually lasted 2-3 hours and since there were no hymnals, the preacher would say the lines of the songs two at a time then the congregation would sing two lines until the hymn was finished. Until 1855 thousands came annually. 


In the course of these meetings, a few people died, so their graves were placed on an adjoining plot to the campground known then as God's Acre, which started the old section of Campground Cemetery.
Many have claimed to see apparitions of people dressed in 1800's clothing gathering near the old section but when they look again, the people are gone. Reports of phantom picnickers and vandals are seen, but when the sheriff checks out the claims, no one is there and no vandalism has occurred. Reports of strange lights and sounds like singing emerge from the woods at the back edge. Check out these two pictures in the old sections of the cemetery. The one above, notice the stones on the right. Look just to the left of the double brown one. There is another tall gray stone. Now look at the picture below..... same spot.....Where did all that come from? Compare it to the close up picture that is the second picture from the top of this story also.
Is it apparitions of people? Or stones not seen in the first picture, or any other pictures of this spot? I don't know about this one! This area seemed to be a hot spot this day. There were a few spots in the cemetery where the air felt heavy, or kinda spooky. This is one of them. Now look at the next picture, same spot. Do you see like a clear black orb or clear black spot, next to the double stone on the left and goes from the ground to the top of the brown part on the stone. Click on the pic it gets bigger.

My imagination is asking....What is that? Could it be a tunnel to another dimension, or back in time? A black hole? LOL If you look real close you can see faces in it....and we didn't think this cemetery was haunted! Actually it looks like several faces in this picture. But then again...maybe I just have a good imagination.
There are a lot of weird and haunted places in and around Coles County. Ragdoll cemetery is very close.  Besides lake Mattoon and Paradise Lake, there is Lake Shelbyville with lots of campgrounds and some of the most awesome Muskie fishing in the state. Just about 12 miles north is Arcola, so stop and see the Chesterville Witches Grave. Rockhome Gardens is close by too. Stay for a weekend and check it all out! They have a big Walmart in Mattoon on RT16 just off of I55 where you can see the Amish shopping. There are several motels if you don't like to camp. There is a Holiday Inn Express in Tuscola and Mattoon. We didn't expect to see anything in the pictures of Campground Cemetery, we were surprised because it felt so peaceful. But then looking at the pictures tells a different story. If  you visit here, bring an EVP detector and digital recorder, maybe you can hear the singing! You be the judge and check it out for yourself! Don't get to close to the woods though......boo!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

RAG DOLL CEMETERY (Bethal)


RAG DOLL CEMETERY


In central Illinois, Coles County, there is a sweet little cemetery called Bethal Cemetery. It's not far off of I55 Charleston/Mattoon exit east. Giant sugar maple trees fire up the landscape in autumn. There is an old section in the cemetery just to the right upon entering through the main gate.
There are several tombstones leaning up against a really big sugar maple. A famous author initials M.K.wrote a little bit on the cemetery stating it was giant oak trees that the tombstones were propped up against, but being a nature person I know my maples and oaks!!
 It really pops my corn to read his short mention of this cemetery with giant oak trees, that supposedly makes this cemetery spookier. Get your trees straight famous dude! It is a peaceful cemetery, during the day, but at night, legends of a rag doll haunt whoever enters. There are several stories about the rag doll, but the most famous is that of a little girl named Sallie Hill who died in the 1800's from a long suffering illness.
She had a little rag doll with red yarn hair that comforted her during this illness, never leaving her sight. After she was buried, the rag doll went missing, some say it sits in the tree near her grave protecting her from the vandals and cultists. People say they have seen the doll hanging in the trees.
Other accounts say the girl was murdered and the rag doll sits in the trees at night looking for her murderer waiting to pounce on them. But this is said to be made up by a fellow trying to scare his girlfriend into his arms! Another account is that the rag doll was buried with the little girl but comes out at night and sits in the trees  looking for her mommy and daddy.
As soon as we got out of my car and walked onto the cemetery ground, my emf detector went off  right here!
 I took a few pictures at that spot then hunted for Sallie's grave. It was found in the south west corner of the old section of the cemetery.
The next picture is the tree behind her tombstone. I asked if she was here and if we could take her photograph...I guess she agreed!
Besides the orb on the tree, notice the blue mist in the lower right corner. There are no other stones close to hers, I wonder where mommy and daddy are? Looking through the pictures taken here, your imagination could go wild with the shadows and lighting in the trees and background. You can actually kinda make out rag dolls  in some of the trees....if you have a good imagination!
The emf detector did not go off again until we were walking back to the car to  leave the cemetery. It went off at almost the same spot as when we came in. Check out the picture above and below, this is where it went off. The mist is kind of walking with us! This is just bit from Sallies stone going towards the road.
 There are supposed to be more graves there behind the old section in the woods. But I really couldn't tell with the overgrown brush.
Does the rag doll still haunt these hallowed grounds? Or did some slick dude start a farce to get a little hugging that continues as legend to this day? People have said that they see a rag doll when they go at night after mid night hanging in the trees. Some have said it has a rope around its neck, some say its missing an eye.  I will have to visit this one again! It is fun going through the pictures, not knowing what to expect! Someone  made a movie shot here on location at Bethal Cemetery. It goes of course with the scariest legend that the doll is seeking revenge. Here is an article I found on the movie.
If you love ghost hunting, check this out-  American Haunting Tours with Troy Taylor.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SETTLERS CEMETERY


Before I write about any more famous haunted cemeteries, I would like to
 write about an abandoned cemetery in north central Illinois. I can't
give the name or the exact location because it is private property. It is back
off of the road quite a bit. I will call it Settler's Cemetery. But it excites me to go there.
My friend Tami found out about the cemetery from a farmer she knows who
farms the property. The cemetery is whats left of the first settlers in
Goodfarm township in Grundy County. They came from New York and Vermont.  Reverend Elnathan Lewis and his family were the second family to move there from New York. He
had 4 daughters and a son and wife living in his household in the 1850 written
census, but tombstones reveal 2 other Lewis females not listed in the 1850 census who died in 1852 and 1853.
 The children living in the household in 1850 were
all two years apart. Arvilla f 19, Alvina f 17, Fanny f 15, Alfred m 13, Lavina f 11, Alvira f 9 .The first time we visited we found about a dozen tombstones. The trees and weeds are all over grown and what looks like atv tracks running
through the middle, over this flat tombstone. I  don't why people abuse cemeteries this way. It is abandoned, there is a deer stand in the middle also besides the tire tracks going through it, how shameful! We took pictures and
explored a bit. When I got home, I Googled the cemetery and the names we
could read. The last burial in the cemetery was 1906, the first was
1848. Seven of the tombstones were removed from the abandoned cemetery
to another cemetery which is still used today. The list of the names of
people buried there and the list of names from the removed stones were
on the genweb (genealogy) page for the cemetery. The first pictures we took
showed nothing but a pitiful looking cemetery with toppled stones and a 4
wheeler trail through it. There was one stone leaning against a tree
belonging to a 14 year old girl named Lottie. Her tombstone was one that
had been removed and placed in another cemetery in another town....how did it get back here? and Why?
Our second visit was awesome, as you can see in these pictures.. We knew a lot of the history of the
settlers so we could talk to them. I explained to the Reverend that we
were Christians and love Jesus and hope to see him one day. I told him I was raised in the Bible Baptist Church.  He was a Reverend of the FREE WILL BAPTIST. I told them it was year 2012, and explained that the camera was a modern photograph taker. I explained the EMF
detector as modern technology and explained its purpose. Then I took some pictures. As I was taking one of the pictures, I called out to Tami, 'did you see that
black shadowy mist just come right up to me?'.  I got cold chills. The hair on my arms was standing up! It felt  the same as when lightening is ready to strike close by.  She said no she wasn't looking. Just then the EMF went off. I told Tami to feel
the detector, it is ice cold. It went off again! She agreed it was
extremely cold. I took a few more pictures before we left. I was excited
about the mist walking right up to me. When I looked at the pictures on the computer, it
revealed that something did walk right up to me. See that blue mist there at
the bottom. It was right in front of me! Several pictures had orbs in
them. Now we felt like the settlers were our friends. I again looked up on the computer as much information as I could find on the settlers, mainly Lewis' and Stevens. We made another trip out there. We focused on the Reverends family, talking to them. I said that I knew that everyone in the township donated supplies and skills to build the first school house and six people gave one dollar each that paid for the rest of the things needed for schooling. I said that I read Elvira Lewis was the first teacher in the new schoolhouse. But I think the names were wrong in this gen web history because Alvira was only 9 years old when the school was built . I am thinking probably Arvilla, who was 19 or Alvina, who was 17. Alvina and Alvira are so much alike in spelling. It was one of the reverends daughters! T
 This time there was a quiet heaviness through the cemetery. The air felt electrically charged as we stood at the graves of the Reverend and his family. There was
one bird flying from tree to tree screeching every time I asked a question. We talked directly to the Reverend asking questions. I asked him to walk close
to the EMF detector if the answer was yes to any of the questions that I ask, but nothing happened. I sang them a church song
called DO LORD....I took Jesus as my savior you take him too...lol! We were
getting ready to leave and I stopped to talk to Lottie, the young lady
whose stone was moved to another cemetery then brought back. I told her
that I knew her stepmother was Fanny Lewis and her dad was Ebee Stevens and biological mother Betsy Stevens. I asked if they were buried there too. Fannies name wasn't on the list of names of
people buried there from the genweb site, but we found stones of others not on the list. Ebee and Betsy were 2 of the stones moved to Mazon ,IL cemetery called Brookside. Only the tombstones were moved, the bodies are still buried here. She was happy again to see us and let us get her picture several times as I talked to her. I  had a hunch on a spot so we walked a little to the south of Lottie and I told Tami I feel really strong like we are being watched. I got this strange shadowy apparition in 4 different pictures. Click on it to make it bigger. It looks like a girl in 1800's clothing!. She is watching us!
Do you know that the old legend about the use of a tombstone states that a large heavy stone was placed over the grave to keep the spirit of the dead inside....so does that mean that they roam free when a tombstone is removed? hmm just wondering! Just then a pick up truck pulled up with a male and female deer hunter
inside. They told us we need to wear orange out here its deer season. I
was standing about 15 feet from the truck but Tami was up to the window
talking to them telling them what we were doing and the guy who farms the land told her
that we could come out here to check this cemetery. The EMF went off
when they said it was deer season. I said "what don't you like those
people?" It went off again. The lady in the truck looked amazed when she
saw the lights blinking and the beeping sound!
This is our most active cemetery. I think we will get good pictures every time we visit. We have
adopted them as our family. We piled branches up across the 4 wheeler
trail and found an old rusted no trespassing sign we stuck in front of
the branch pile to help keep people from driving on top of tombstones. I
just don't know how people can abandon cemeteries! It seems like area
churches or organizations would adopt these old graveyards, since it
contains the first settlers of the area....our history! It really ticks me off that people drive over the tombstones and graves. How would they feel if this happened to their last memorial. These are someones relatives, why don't they care? The family surnames are ANDREWS, CROCKER, DEXLER, EMPIE, GOODSPEED, GOULD, HALL, LEWIS, LOUDEN , SANDER, SAYER, STEVENS, WOOD and two unknown. There may be more because Polly Lewis is buried there and not on the list. Maybe if they are your relatives  you can clean off their grave. And for the deer stand in the cemetery, isn't it illegal to hunt in a cemetery?

We visited the cemetery again on November 29th, Again we had fun with Lottie! The above three pictures are by Lottie's tombstone. The Reverend  and Polly Lewis are her step grandparents.The next three pictures are from the graves on the southeast end.  
The stones are covered with tall grass. For some reason I get orbs in the pictures here too every time that I visit, in the same spot. I take other pictures in other cemeteries with this camera with not that many orbs upon request! I take a lot of nature photos too. I just find it odd that this place has all of theses orbs, every time we go and at various times of the day with different weather conditions. Whatever this may be, we will never know, but it sure is fun visiting this one.


 I added this video of the Oak Ridge Boys singing Elvira because one of the Reverends daughters name is Elvira and we sang the part we knew to her while we were here.....this is for you Tami and Elvira!
update
Part of the mystery has been solved now about Lotties tombstone, the one here at settlers cemetery is her original one, obviously not moved, the one at the other cemetery is a newer stone. Unfortunately, with the wrong birth date on it. Fannie Lewis is buried at the cemetery to where the tombstones were moved. Ebee Stevens his children and first wife's tombstones are there too. The bodies are still out here at the old cemetery.
Also after speaking to local residents we found out that the boy that lived in the house across the road from the cemetery dug it up looking for money and jewelry....What a creep he is!...... and the farmer that let us visit has said that he is still letting his kids drive their atv's through the cemetery. WOW!