In 1978, when I was in college at Abilene Christian University, the
local paper ran a story about a cemetery outside of town near
Fort Phantom Lake called the Round Mound. (I'm not kidding). The
story said that if one were to visit the cemetery at midnight each
night on October 29th, 30th, and 31st (Halloween), they were
guaranteed to see apparitions of some of the people buried there,
on Halloween night.
Not one to turn down the chance to see a ghost,
I went with a couple of
friends to the cemetery when instructed. The first night only a hand
full of others were there to claim a spot in the 150 year-old
graveyard. The cemetery had a wrought iron arch at the entrance. The
headstones described many there as Civil War era veterans who
protected settlers against warring American Indians. The graveyard
was quite creepy.
On the 30th, there were quite a few more cars.
People milled about
reading the headstone's inscriptions by flashlight. An odd kind of
festive feeling hung in the atmosphere of the cemetery.
On the following night, Halloween, we got
there at about 11:30. The
place was packed. Cars were parked in every available space in and
near the graveyard. Literally hundreds of flashlight beams illuminated
the area. Whatever eerie feeling one might have had by being in the
cemetery at midnight just didn't happen. Our enthusiasm for this
endeavor had pretty much evaporated when we saw all the people.
Midnight came and went. The laughter and excited
chatter of all the kids
that had come with their parents began to die down, and many people
began to leave. My friends and I wandered around the graveyard resigned
to the fact that we were wasting our time. Mary, one in our group,
pointed out a truck that was driving around in dense growth of trees
just behind the cemetery. It was a minutes or so before I pointed
out that was no road back there. Nor was there a truck.
We peered into the dark and saw that other
lights were moving
about the trees and hovering on the edge of the graveyard. They were
not casting beams as from headlights or flashlights. Mary approached
one of the lights. She looked at it closely for a few seconds, then
turned and ran back to us.
"Let's go", was all she said. She was, for
lack of a better word,
As we were leaving we noticed that only a
few people were pointing
at the lights. They were the ones who had been there since the first
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