Month: March 2019

Yes, Cemeteries Do Close After Dark, Even Without Posting Hours.

Cemetery Hours Are Sunrise to Sunset

For the most part, cemeteries are indeed closed after dark. The most prominent reason why they are is due to costly vandalism. The most common vandals that trespass after dark are those who break headstones as well as causing other damage. The other frequent trespassers are those who enter the cemetery to use drugs and drink alcohol without being caught. Whether a cemetery is big or small, private or public, the sunrise to sunset hours generally apply. Even if there is not a sign stating the visiting hours or a gate that locks, assume it closes after dark and leave before then.

Being Caught by Police Can Leave A Record

The reason why I encourage this habit is for two reasons. The first is that you do not want to have a trespassing violation on your record. It does not look good when applying for jobs, or on college applications. The second reason is that you do not want to happen to bump into a vandal, or someone under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or even worse, both. I have not had the experience of this, nor do I want to. Now, if you wish to have a darker light for taking photographs, there are two options.

How To Take Photographs Later In The Evening

The first option will give you about a half hour to an hour to take pictures after sunset. To do this, plan to show up about two hours before sunset. Tour the cemetery to find your base temperature and EMF readings. Once the sun begins to set, take out your camera, digital voice recorder and other equipment you and your team will be using. Start to gather as much evidence as you can. Once the sun has set below the horizon, start to head towards to exit. While doing so, you will still be able to take pictures and record evidence. If for some reason the police do show up, you can kindly explain that you lost track of time, and are on your way to the exit.

If You Wish to Visit During the Night, There Is a Way

The second option is to contact the owner of the cemetery. If the cemetery is public property, most towns will have a webpage specifically for their cemeteries and who to contact for information. Use that contact information to request a visit after dark. I would not recommend lying about why you are going to be there. You want a good reputation, and lying about your reason for being there will not get far. If you are upfront and gain a better rapport with the owners and caretakers, they may be able to help you gain access to other locations. If the cemetery is owned privately, finding the owner may be more difficult. When you do locate the owner, follow the same procedure as contacting the town.

You Can Still Capture Evidence During the Daytime

If denied the ability to be there after dark, a daytime investigation can be just as rewarding as a nighttime investigation. The only advantage to being in a cemetery after dark is that orbs show up better in photography. However, I have taken many photos of orbs just before the sun sets. As I said previously, I encourage day time visits to cemeteries. Not only will you not be breaking any laws, but you also will not have to worry about vandals or those who are using paraphernalia after dark.

South Street Cemetery Has Its Share of Ghosts

South Street Cemetery, or formerly known as Point of Graves Burial Ground in Portsmouth New Hampshire is one of my favorite locations. It is a nostalgic location, but also as an accessible area to investigate. I first visited South Street in 2008, and it was almost my first time working with Fiona Broome. It was a sunny day at the end of August, and we started along the paved path at the South Street entrance.

Spring Blossoms during May at South Street Cemetery

Ruth Blay’s Tragic History

North of the pond lays the former location of Gallows Hill. In 1768, Ruth Blay was hanged there for hiding her stillborn child underneath the floorboards of the Clough barn on June 10th. Four days later the remains were discovered by five-year-old Betsey Pettingill. If a mother gave birth to a stillborn child without any witnesses, she was required to report it. A group of men would determine if there was foul play. Because she hid the remains, she was charged with concealment. The trial lasted throughout the year until being convicted of a capital crime punishable by hanging. After two reprieves, she was hanged on December 30th and buried in an unmarked grave. When walking near this spot, there is a thick presence in the air. It is neither positive nor negative, but there is an energy in the air none the less.

A Child’s Presence

On my first visit to South Street Cemetery, I repeatedly had an image in my mind of a little boy. He was sitting on one of the branches in a grove of trees on the southern side of the pond. The particular branch he was sitting on was only a few feet above the ground but grew straight out forming a seat. I asked Fiona if she could see anything there, and she nodded. We started to trade details, first Fiona and then myself, adding one feature at a time to see if our descriptions matched.

The tree where the former seat had grown

The matching description was a young boy, about 7 or 8 years old. He wore light tan colored knee-length trousers, suspenders, a dark rolled up long sleeve shirt and a paperboy style hat. His knees and face had dirt marks from playing outside, and the grove of trees may have been a spot he and his friends played. There is a section of the cemetery where children lay at rest, and I think he may be one of the children buried there.

If you visit the cemetery, the branch that forms a seat is no longer there, most likely due to a harsh winter or summer storm. You will know if you are at the correct grove though as it is the only group of trees that form a circle, and there are gravestones in the ground, one with a heart shape.

A Lost Lover

About 500 feet into the cemetery if you enter by Little Harbor Road, Fiona and I sensed a second spirit of a woman about 20 years old. My best guess for an era would place her in the early 1900s based on her hair and dress. Her hair is light blonde with a few waves in it. Her dress is a simple, no layers of fabric, and thin straps on her shoulders. The color is a light purple with floral patterns and cut just above her knees. Even for the 20s, it’s a length on the shorter side.

“Despite her more positive energy, we do sense a darker point in her life.”

She seems free-spirited, and not one to conform to society. Not out of rebellion, but wanting to enjoy life to the fullest. Despite her more positive energy, we do sense a darker point in her life. We feel her husband died while at war, and the depression that followed, both mentally and historically, led her to commit suicide. Fiona and I both felt a tightening sensation around on necks as if a rope were there. The cemetery land was a spot they either enjoyed visiting or had planned to meet there once he returned to war. Now her soul remains there in memory of him.

A Military Connection

At the entrance of Little Harbor road, I had an odd sense when standing there. It happened when standing on the edge of the property, and it was a sense of quick judgment and questions asked. “Are you entering or leaving?” “Who are you, and why are you here?” “What side are you on” kept repeating in my head. I told Fiona what was happening, a feeling of trapped in the middle of a war.

At first, I thought it might have been the man who died that knew the purple dress spirit. The issue was it didn’t feel like one person. It felt like the energy of a group that kept repeating throughout history, unaware and playing on a loop. Later, Fiona discovered that the site had formerly served as a military training ground during the 1700s. That’s when it made sense why I felt what I did. If you visit South Street Cemetery, park in front of the entrance on Little Harbor Road and pause when entering. Listen to the surroundings, and see if you can sense anything from the past.

Be Aware That It Is Patrolled

If you do choose to investigate at South Street Cemetery, be sure to visit between the hours of dusk and dawn. It is a location patrolled well by the police, and would be noticed if you stay too long. There is a lot of ground to cover, so wear comfortable shoes.

If You’re Buying A Haunted Object, It’s Probably a Scam

What Objects are Being Sold?

For years, haunted objects have popped up on auction sites, ranging from ghosts in a bottle, possessed dolls, even Dybbuk boxes. They all have rich stories about how the object came into the owner’s possession, and why they wish to dispose of the item. Some claim to have an evil spirit attached, others a more gentle energy. There a few reasons I don’t advise buying these objects. The first is that if the object genuinely is haunted, you never know what energy you are bringing into your home. The second reason is these objects all have something more unfortunate in common, and that is that most, if not all of them are scams.

For Entertainment Purposes Onl

The four magic words at the end of these auction listings that make these scams perfectly legal are “for entertainment purposes only.” What this means is that buyers assume the item is not intended to be interpreted as true, and a story said to entertain buyers. It would hold as much water as buying a lotto ticket and trying to get a refund for a losing ticket. Because of this disclaimer, buyers are listing in the hopes of making quick money. The buyers receive an everyday item that has no energy attached and money down the drain.

If Buyers Are Listing Items, They Are Making “Un-Boxing” Videos

Another way that people are cashing in on fake haunted objects is not by selling the items to consumers, but instead appearing to buy the item themselves and record the unboxing. They upload the video to social media as a way to build views as well as advertising royalties. These videos all have the same excitement as buying an object without risking money and can be more lucrative for the filmmakers in the long run. In the last few weeks, I have seen a few Dybbuk box openings, and all could easily be debunked with rational explanations.

The Videos Are All Staged

Chances are the filmmakers listed an auction on eBay and bought their item, or had a friend in another state sell it to make it appear more authentic. Either way, the video maker knew what they should place inside the box to make the video seem more authentic. Next, they either ship the box to their address so it has a postal stamp or puts the item in a shipping box and drop it at their front door.

Once the box is inside the “buyer” will unwrap the item, and start to check out what they just purchased. The videos I’ve seen use ghost hunting tools as a trick to make the video seem more authentic, but the evidence is all smoke and mirrors to fool viewers. One video used an EMF meter near the box, and the second the Dybbuk box opened, it stopped beeping, which could easily be replicated by having their leg under the table near the box with an electric device attached to their knee and moving their leg far enough away to stop the beeping when needed. Objects falling, doors slamming, lights flickering, and other strange noises can all be achieved with simple theatre tricks behing the camera. Others used shack hacks, but with video and audio editing tricks, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

Remember This Before You Buy

The next time you see a video online, or see that haunted object on auction and are considering buying it, please keep this article in mind. The item is probably just a regular item, and your money will go down the drain. If the piece indeed is haunted and the owner wishes to dispose of it, they will not want to risk having it in their home any longer than necessary by waiting for it to sell. They will either throw it away, or try and seek help through a paranormal group. Save your money, and don’t get caught up in the story.

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