Your visit to a forgotten cemetery turns into a night you’ll never forget. What? They just want to play.
An ex-girlfriend I had in college used to have some crazy ideas sometimes. Her name was Carrie. I got reminded of her after an old friend from back then sent me a picture with the phrase “remember this?”
It was a picture of Carrie and I standing in front of a tombstone with a long list of names etched on it. I don’t remember many things with her anymore, it has been a long time since then. But one of the scariest things I ever witnessed in my life until now, I experienced with her.
I’ll start at the beginning of everything.
Carrie got a text while we were watching an episode of LOST and I saw that she was doing some Google searches on her phone. When the episode was over, she turned to me, pointed at her phone screen, and said “we’re going here!”
It wasn’t too late, maybe 9pm, but the sky was dark from the heavy cloud cover during the day, and it was extremely cold outside. But I’m always down for an adventure, so I followed along with her without even seeing exactly where we were going. It looked like some type of park at first glance.
It looked like we were heading into an industrial area where the street lights are extra orange and the high-tension cables buzz with electricity.
She was busy looking out the window until she shouted “here!”, out of nowhere, of course.
I saw nothing but a cement wall to what looked like an old river bed, tagged to the top with graffiti and nothing else. That’s when it clicked. I had heard about this before.
Someone told me that there was an old cemetery area in an old part of town. I don’t want to name the college in fear of anyone else visiting the place, but I will say that it was in southern California. One of my friends discovered it on the way to climb one of the hills in the city, he said that it was surrounded by only a chain link that you could easily hop over, or just push to the side and pass right under it.
He told me of old tombstones dating back to the 1800s that were there. I’m sure you urban explorers know that old cemeteries are more common than the rest of us think and have probably visited quite a few already. I’m not really into it, but to each their own.
She liked going places to take pictures, even though it turned out to be mostly me taking pictures of her for her blog, but never to a place like this.
Her text notification broke the silence of us just being in the stopped car looking out the window, when I spotted a white car up ahead pulled over on the right side of the street. She said to go park behind the car, that Emily and her boyfriend were already there. I didn’t know they were coming as well, but knowing that gave me a small sense of relief.
I parked the car, got out, and closed the door at exactly the same time as Carrie. I always thought it was cool when two doors of a car slam shut at the same time, but this time the silence in the street that followed was haunting.
I could hear the gravel of the old asphalt crunching under our shoes as we walked toward the sidewalk and to the end of it, where a small dirt trail started. Out of nowhere, I heard it.
The faint laughter of children. Carrie froze and smiled nervously at me. Looking back at the situation now, it wasn’t very smart for me to let myself end up in such a situation in an unknown part of the city.
We walked a little slower this time, my heart beating on the right side of my neck until we both jumped when we heard a familiar, “Hey, Carrie!”
It was Emily’s voice through the trees.
“Here it is!” she said, her voice breaking the silence once again.
I spotted both Emily and Thomas standing around a piece of an old wall, not a clue what it was, but I didn’t pay attention. I was just glad to be with other people there.
We walked around the area a little bit and I gotta admit that it took me a while to recognize that we were already in the cemetery. I had somehow assumed that we were going to do some more walking to get to it. As I got closer to the old piece of wall, I realized it was actually a tombstone, and that the cement blocks on the ground had names inscribed into them.
After about 20 minutes of hanging out in there, talking, Emily told us a little story about the place and casually mentioned that she thought that more people were with us because of the voices that she heard before they spotted us.
Carrie and I looked at each other.
“Ooh,” I remember Thomas saying, making fun of us, “it’s the cemetery…” and I swear that just as he said that, we all heard a soft cry in the air. I had never in my life been in a situation like that. I froze. My legs felt cold and my chest tingly.
Emily broke the silence again with an obvious: “Did you guys hear that?”
Without saying anything else, we all started heading toward the cars slowly and afraid to look behind us. Then the crying in the air came back.
Then laughter. Children laughing and chanting. I could hear them clearly and so could everyone else.
Our fast paced walking turned into running as we got to the cars under the street light, trying to make sense of everything. We stayed there talking for about an hour before we heard the laughter again, only louder this time. It was cold outside anyway so we decided to call it a night and got in the cars and left.
We got back to the parking lot of my dorm and I turned off the car, only to start seeing the windows fog up from the inside as I was waiting for Carrie’s song to finish on the radio.
As I looked at Carrie, I noticed something else.
There they were. Dozens or even hundreds of them on the front and rear windows, on the windshield. Tiny handprints everywhere.