Tag Archive | "cemetery"

Black Hope Curse

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Black Hope Curse

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Cathy

Here is the story behind the Newport edition you have been waiting for. In the year that the movie Poltergeist came out on the big screen there was another similar drama playing out in a town in Texas. In the early 1980 a new housing edition went in called Newport. Sam and Judith Haney purchased a home in the Newport area of Houston. The family decided to have a swimming pool put in the back yard. As they began to get started an elderly black man showed up out of nowhere and told them that they was about to dig up human remains. The reason he gave them this information was that he knew they were buried because he had seen them years before. They decided the old man was crazy and started digging for the pool anyway. As they were digging the two bodies were just where the old man said they were. Scared they began doing research and found a man named Jasper Norton who as a young man had worked as a gravedigger. Norton told the Haney’s that their home and the surrounding houses were built on top of an old cemetery called Black Hope. He also told them that most of the deceased were former slaves.

They found out that last burial had occurred 1939 and that there as many as 60 people were in graves. Norton identified the two people buried in the Haney’s backyard as Betty and Charlie Thomas who former slaves. They had died sometime during the thirties. As they lived in their house the activity became more negative. They heard disembodied voices, an unplugged clock in the began shooting sparks and glowing, sliding glass door open but there was nobody there and the door was locked. The next morning after to door incident Judith couldn’t find her red shoes. When she finally located them they were outside miraculously sitting side by side on top of Betty’s grave. They also realized that the date was Betty’s birthday.

Unable to keep all of the information to themselves they had a neighborhood meeting. They found out neighbors whose houses were built on top of the abandoned cemetery also had all kinds of activity. They reported lights, televisions/water faucets turning on and off, unearthly sounds and apparitions. Sam and Judith decided right then to fight back. They sued the developer for not disclosing that their home was built over a cemetery. They won and were awarded $142,000 by a jury. The judge ruled on legal grounds that the developers were not liable and reversed the decision. He then ordered the Haney’s to pay $50,000 in court costs. Unable to pay and plagued with health problems they were frightened of remaining in their house. They made the decision to file bankruptcy and abandoned their home.

One of the other families lived right across the street with similar problems to the Haney’s. Ben and Jean Williams lived there with their young granddaughter named Carli. They reported activity that the house was cold year round, the feeling of being watched, toilets flushed by themselves as well as the garage door and other household appliances would operate on their own. They even had rectangular sinkholes open up in the yard and for whatever reason they couldn’t be filled in. As soon as she thought she would have the problem solved the sinkholes would reappear within a few days. Another oddity was Jean couldn’t get any new plants to live on the property even though she always had a green thumb. On their property they noticed strange markings on an old oak tree by the sinkholes. It was an arrow pointed downward with two horizontal slash marks beneath it. They attended the meeting and discovered their lovely home was built over the cemetery. As they began to research a long time resident of the area told them he had marked the tree as a way to identify where his two sisters were buried. The activity began to increase and they would hear phantom footsteps in the hall, an apparition hovering over them when they slept and six members of their extended family were diagnosed with different cancers where three of them died within that year.

The Haney’s were not the only family to try legal recourse. They were all told that without definitive proof of a cemetery on their property nothing could be done. Ben and Jean Williams decided to prove their home was built over a cemetery. So Jean began to dig in one of the sinkholes beneath the oak. When she became overwhelmed from exhaustion to her daughter Tina took over. After digging for about a half-hour Tina collapsed and was dead 2 days later. Jean was convinced their desecration of a grave had precipitated their daughter’s death. They decided to leave no matter what it cost them. The loss they already experienced was more than they could bear. They abandoned their house and escaped to Montana. After a period of time passed they later moved back to Texas.

Subsequent owners of their homes say they have noticed no unusual activity. They seem content to live in the houses even with the negative history. Would you buy a home here? If you google the story you will find some people report activity and some say they never experienced anything. The fire department will tell you there are more alarms that go off in the part of the neighborhood that covers the cemetery. Do you think some people are more sensitive than others and this is why the new owners do not have activity? Do you think that the Williams or the Haney’s would make up such activity to give them a reason to loose all the money they had invested in their homes? These are some the same types of questions my group puts to the test every day as we deal with homeowners. Is it real or imagined? Can we find evidence to back up the claims? I spent time in Newport on several occasions. I can tell you that the area has a strange vibe to it for me. The woods have shadows that dart about even when nobody is there. I believe the place to be haunted. I will be uploading photos and other evidence I collected while there in the future.

Go see the Black Hope photo gallery here

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Finding Darby

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Cathy

Have you ever been to a national cemetery? When you drive past the gates and into one you notice how well manicured the lawn and landscaping are. The next thing you notice is all the headstones. This experience can be overwhelming no matter how big or small the cemetery is. It is sad and awe inspiring to know that all these men and women gave their lives for our freedoms today. While on a recent trip to Fort Chaffee we decided to go hunt down the grave of Brigadier General William O Darby to pay our respects. Darby is buried in Fort Smith National Cemetery which is located in Sebastian County in section 9 site 3991. This cemetery began it’s existence sometime after Christmas day 1817 when men began constructing a stockade fort sufficient for one company. In 1841 a newspaper article suggests that there was a “dilapidated burying ground outside of the stockade containing three graves marked by marble slabs.” Once it was small and shoddy however today this beautiful cemetery totals 22.3 acres. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 1999

After a period of time searching the cemetery we finally found what we were looking for.  It had taken longer than I thought It would. We noticed many of the stones were marked unknown. These graves were from the civil war time and represented both sides of the war. When we found Darby’s stone I stood there for a while contemplating what he had done with his life. I am happy that sometimes God gives us people like him for awhile. He was an amazing man and I was happy to be there for the moment. Some people may think of this it is morbid to go into a cemetery to pay respects to someone you do not know personally. I was standing there thanking him for his service, celebrating the memory of his life and there was nothing morbid about this. I only hope that my mark on the world would be good enough to one day have someone I do not know come to pay respect to me because of the way I lived my life.

Why did we come to pay respect? Our team is not just a paranormal focused group but also a group dedicated historians with a healthy respect for life and death. Do you recognize the name Brigadier General William O Darby? Darby was born February 8, 1911 in Fort Smith Arkansas and became a West Point graduate. He was also an officer in the US Army during World War II . Darby led the famous Darby’s Rangers which over time evolved into the US Army Rangers which is an elite commando division of the Army. After handpicking 500 men who underwent preliminary elimination tests, the first Battalion was activated June 19, 1942. Darby died in Italy’s Poe Valley on April 30, 1945 which was also the same day Hitler shot himself. He died when an 88 mm shell burst in the middle of the assembled officers and NCO’s. This event killed Darby as well as a Sergeant and wounded several others. He was only 34 years old at the time of his death. Gen. George Patton once said, “He was the bravest man I knew.” There was a movie made by Warner Brothers in 1958 starring James Garner called “Darby’s Rangers. ”

Just what does it mean to be a Ranger? The First Ranger Battalion was formed as an elite unit modeled after the British Commandos led by Darby. Strictly on a volunteer basis they were trained to surprise attack in the dead of night from the least likely route. Sometimes these attacks would take them 30 miles deep behind enemy lines on foot. Training included cliff climbing, speed marching and amphibious landings. During World War II there were more than 15 million people who served in the armed forces however only 3000 were Rangers! William Darby was the beginning of these men who are known legends and heroes

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Dick Duck Cemetery

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Cathy

We always stop by Buford “Blue” Duck’s grave along with those of his family. I will give you some history of this famous outlaw below. Near Blue’s grave are a series of headstones marked with half breed which is just sad to me. I cannot imagine being around in those days with the cruelty that was shown towards people with mixed heritage. We have investigated this cemetery several times over the years. Every time we have been there we have had something happen. This night was an especially great night. The cemetery was lit up my the setting moon which was almost full. We all watched shadows move and dart about the cemetery between the trees and headstones. I saw what appeared to be a child who disappeared. We heard what sounded like a group of people come into the cemetery and head towards where we were standing however there was nothing else in the cemetery. One of our members watched a child bicycle across an area that would have been impossible to do and disappear. I have captured photographic evidence in the past and was hoping to collect more. Over the years we have captured evps and photos. We have had meter activations, cold spots, audible voices and personal experiences.

One famous person is buried in the cemetery. This is the grave we always stop by when we investigate there. Bluford “Blue” Duck was born sometime early 1800’s and died 1895 In Cherokee Blue Duck’s name was Sha-con-gah. Blue Duck was said to have been a member of a gang who was involved in stage coach holdups and rustling. It was said he had an affair with Myra Maybelle Shirley also known as Belle Starr in the late 1870’s.She married Sam Starr instead of Blue.The new couple formed their own gang and Blue joined them. They were involved in cattle rustling, horse stealing and bootlegging whiskey to the Indians. One day on June 23 1884 Blue Duck and William Christie were both drunk riding in the Flint District of the Cherokee Nation. For whatever reason they decided to ride up on Samuel Wyrick a young farmer who was working in his field. Blue Duck emptied his revolver into the man. He then reloaded shot towards an Indian boy hitting his horse instead. Duck and Christie were both arrested for the killing by Deputy US Marshal Frank Cochran. Duck was sentenced by infamous Judge Parker to be hanged on July 23, 1886. Christie was cleared of the charge and let go. Blue Duck got an appeal due to the help of Belle Starr. His sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was sent to Menard Penitentiary at Chester, Illinois Oct 16, 1866 as Inmate # 2486. He developed consumption also known as tuberculosis and was given one month to live in 1895. President Cleveland pardoned him on March 20th where he returned home to die. On May 7, 1895 he died. You can find his stone in section D not far from what looks like a dog house. Blue Duck posed for what is a widely publicized photograph of himself with Belle Starr. Author and historian Glenn Shirley, in “Belle Starr and Her Times”, stated that Marcum had hoped to call attention to his client by having him photographed with Belle Starr.

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