A Haunted Church – Our True Story
Deep in the woods of the Ocala National Forest stands an unused 19th century white clapboard chapel. An unassuming quaint looking building one would associate with 1800’s clergy, however this unassuming little church sits next to a graveyard. Our team was given information on this location by an area friend and we could not wait to investigate. Stories of being scratched and hearing hoofbeats in the distance only added to our excitement.
Gathering our gear our team, The Ocala Paranormal Team, we headed out during a sunny afternoon to scout out this location, and our long drive did not dissapoint us. Off the main road through the woods on a long dirt trail we headed deeper into the forested area. Being greeted by three very tall wooden crosses the dirt trail opened to a pretty scene, a beautiful little church with its graveyard well taken care of for this area which sat about a mile off the main road.
The door to the church was swinging back and forth almost as if saying “come in” and a slilence that echoed the past, no birds, no butterflies, just a stillness that wrapped it’s arms about you as if it were sort of a cloak of warning. This was right up our alley and the three of us jumped from our SUV to get started on a journey that would soon show us its true self.
Gerry was the first to enter the church with Cilla and I close behind. I placed the video camera on a side shelf by the door. Standing just inside the entrance we surveyed a modest one room worship center with seven pews with a rough hewn cypress cross hanging just above the pulpit. It was clean enough and we were suprised to find bibles still neatly placed in each row. Making our way to the front we noticed a door to the left side of the altar and decided to give it a look, I staying behind to snap a few photos of the main gathering space. Gerry was ahead of Cilla, as she turned to ask me a quick question Gerry said “hey, this door pushed back at me, it did not want me to come in”, and both of us went to check it out with him. The door swings on a spring, there are no broken windows and no breezes entering this area. Gerry said he pushed the door to enter and something was pushing back from the other side not wanting him in. We dismissed it and entered the side room. I immediatly felt uncomfortable as an erie feeling came upon me and I left the area, Cilla however continued with Gerry. The rooms are small, there are two of them and one holds an organ, some books, and modern baby toys, the other is empty, with windows nailed shut. After Gerry and Cilla were done we sat speaking about the room, We sat upon the first pew where Cilla noticed three claw marks on the wood, carved yet not manmade. Enjoying our conversation and relaxing after that creepy feeling, the front door flew open and made a large bang against the outside of the church which had startled us from our discussion, there were no breezes, all was quiet, we got up to see if perhaps the weather was stirring up since this is Florida and storms whip up in moments but that was not the case. I got goose bumps and suggested to check out the small attached graveyard, we said our blessing left the church and entered the chain link area. We always split up and as long as we can see eachother we all do our own thing, the same every time we go out to an outdoor investigation so it is like clockwork for us, me photos, Gerry always starts a recorded Q&A session and Cilla uses her camera as well.
Though most people ask us aren’t you freaked out, scared, this is not how it works in real life, a true investigation can at times be extremely boring and you really do not see or hear anything until you return home and check out the evidence. So alot of times you think nothing is happening when in reality alot is going on and you just do not know it yet. Some teams use a physcic, however we do not and our team feels it may disturb the investigation and so we quickly tune into our own feelings, write it down and ask eachother what we felt during evidence checking and it is amazing how many times we all get the same thing.
As we entered the graveyard we were suprised to see newer resting places and decided to go closer to the back. It always remains true that the further back you go the older the markers. Passing a large oak I notice a marker that simply states BABY, snapped a photo and contiued forth. As we get further back there is a iron railed plot consiting of 5 or so tombstones. Gerry stays in front, Cilla to the side and I to the back and again Gerry expierences another paranormal phenomonon. We go to him and he starts telling us that it felt as if a toddler touched his leg and pinched him, it would have to be a very short person so he is sure it is a touch from a small child. Now remember we just got to this area, so this all happened within a matter of moments, so we start to read the markers and sure enough inside the iron clad plot is a 2 yr old child. I ask Gerry where he was touched and he proceeds to show us a spot on his shin that was red and starting to bruise. We were excited, this was cool, so we decided to leave to see what evidence we got and we were not disappointed! We got alot! Many strange erie shadows on film, a soft womens voice on the EVP saying as clear as day “this church is death, Jesus loves you”, and on the video camera you can not see the door flying open but you do hear in a malevolent voice booming, GET OUT! at the exact same time the door hit the outside of the church. We decided to go again. Only this time at night!
This time we decided on a full out investigation. We planned our stratergy and packed additional gear. Arriving at dusk since there is no light to be found we set up our video camera on the same shelf facing the left side doorway and altar. We set up three mini recorders, one in the back room one on the altar, and one on the pew. We lit a candle and placed it on the altar stated our prayers and as darkness settled we left the chapel and closed the doors firmly. No one was allowed in, we did an EVP session in the graveyard all together for 35 minutes. After an hour passed we went back in the church and gathered our gear. It was so dark you could not see your hand in front of your face and it was starting to freak me out since I knew bears and other wild creatures roam this area searching for food and I did not feel like being their dinner!
We were excited and knew we may have captured some really good stuff and talked all the way home about our feelings and the investigation. It was late when we arrived home but pumped up we decided to look at some of the digital photos we took. We caught strange colors, out of focus pics that happened on all the cameras in the same area, ghost mists, and of course dust and pollen orbs. My feeling on orbs is if they do not generate their own light they are simply particules of nature such as dew,pollen, bugs or the like.
Upon awakening the next morning, my usual rising time is 5am, I decide to make tea and settle down for a long EVP listening session. You must remember that 1 recorder may pic up something that another recorder did not so you must listen to every one, and just because I do not hear anything does not mean Gerry or Cilla will not hear something. I use the MCOMM, it works for me the best and if you do not know about it check out my other story on this amazing piece of equipment.
We do not keep all our EVP’s, we only keep the ones that are perfect and anyone listening to it will hear it as well. We feel if it needs to be fine tuned or seperated or altered in any way it is not a true EVP, it must be able to be heard by everyone not just paranormal investigators. I was not dissapointed to hear the many class A evp’s we captured during this night investigation, however as excited as we were with them the best evidence we captured was with our camera and video camera. All of our evidence is raw evidence as I am not savy with any programs to enhance anything, it keeps it clean and if I should be asked for it I can send it the same way over and over to those wishing to study it. The evidence we got that night will never be forgotten, it has to be the most amazing we have catured yet.
On the recorder there is a light that is in constant motion, the video camera is on a tripod however there is something touching and moving it almost the whole time as if trying to figure it out.We have the corner door opening and closing on its own. However, my favorite is, though the floor down the center aisle is carpeted you can actually hear a little girls mary jane shoes running up this aisle as if it were wood.
I love this church and we go there often. It is remote and out of the way and we use it for training as we each get a different expierences, but one thing we learned remains true.
Haunted is haunted no matter what time of day you visit!