My 19-year old daughter reminded me last night that I have seriously neglected this blog site, and I must say I have to agree with her. It’s that time of year again, when nighttime begins to get longer, and the darkness is filled with an unearthly appeal. My household calls it “booger hunting.” My 19-year old has always said, “We see dead people…LOTS of them!” And she is right, just not in the way it sounds.
I am a genealogist, have been for longer than both my children have been alive. In fact, I think a genealogist is born that way. I don’t think it’s acquired, it’s seriously genetic. Not everyone is cut out for hunting family history. It is a gift a select few are born with. My family in particular love old cemeteries. By the time I was 21 years old, I could find my way around several local cemeteries in the dark… without a flashlight.
I could spend hours in some of them, and several places near these cemeteries are notorious as haunted places – New Salem country (both churches), Coral Hill, Capitol Hill, Combs Lane, Saltpetre cave, Green mansion (no longer there), Randolph, Sulphur Lick, Cooktown, Allen Crossroads, Mammoth Cave Church, Joppa, Fredericksburg (no longer in existence), Cole’s Bend, Hacker’s Branch school (in Monroe county, and in a sad state, last I was there).
The places I’ve been are entirely too numerous to mention, and most of them only accessed in memory now. Back in the day, there were places in Glasgow that were scary enough to make the squeamish run away screaming – Pig Branch, Chicken Yard Branch, Baldock Lane, Wade Lane, Smiley Court, Bloody Alley behind Lou Ellis Drugstore, the Beulah Nunn Park where the Maupin Hotel stood in the day before the Christian Church that is now also gone.
My daughters know most of these old haunted sites, though some of the ones in Glasgow have been built on. Last night, my 19-year old asked me what I knew of _____ Bridge. I’ll not say here where the location is, but rest assured, a story is forthcoming. Her next question was what I know of the Legend of Martha Devine.
Well, I laughed. Then I explained. Not Martha Devine, Martha’s Divine Hole. We used to go there as young people were wont to do back in the day, when we were trying not to spend our whole paycheck on gas for the vehicle to “cruise the Drag,” i.e., Happy Valley Road, Wall Street (yes, we used to Occupy Wall Street every weekend), Bud’s/Walmart parking lot, Park Avenue, etc. We frequented Martha’s Divine Hole, to have campfires, where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, sometimes drank alcohol, and tried to outdo each other telling ghost stories while out in the woods after dark, on a scary creek bank, off the beaten path, scaring the absolute crap out of each other when we could. Most of these “ghost” stories were made up about places that the real reason they were “haunted” has long been forgotten. And some of them were just plain malarkey, made up to cover other nefarious goings on, There were stills, and crops of marijuana, and crazy people who would rather shoot and ask questions later!
One old Church is actually a Masonic Temple, still used today. Entering the church has been known to cause dizziness and hallucinations. It did nothing for me but give me a headache. But the cemetery is supposed to be haunted by a very famous ghost. And so the “genuine” paranormal investigators are there on an almost nightly basis. I wouldn’t waste my time, but some people are good at telling the “ghost” stories. That really famous ghost would more likely haunt the site of his death, or his daily real life haunts, before he would the cemetery he’s in. Just sayin’.
There were also Ku Klux Clan here, a group of so-called “satanic” worshippers, and several other groups that preferred that stupid teenagers didn’t stumble on them in the middle of their meetings. Anyone who believes these old “meeting” areas are truly haunted might want to change their profession if they claim as paranormal researchers to have actually had spiritual contact there. And these charlatans know who they are, and they should be ashamed of themselves. They give true paranormal research a bad name.
No slave cut a white girl’s head off and threw her off a bridge. No crazy man took a chainsaw and killed his whole family in their sleep. No family locked their granddaddy up in the attic until he finally hung himself. Nobody tied their son to a chair in the front yard, then poured gasoline on him and set him ablaze! There have been several gruesome murders in Barren county, bu the above listed never existed! Only in the mind of a brilliant storyteller. Sorry…
There were cattle mutilations here in Barren County in the 1960s and ’70s. One known area was the “Slash.” Some of the victimized neighborhoods didn’t want innocent children traipsing around those areas at night, when who knew what was killing cows. Or that whatever or whoever it was wouldn’t decide that nosey children could be disposed of in the same way.
But we still enjoy a good ghost story. The scarier and gorier the better! Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddie Kruger, Jeepers Creepers, House on Haunted Hill…
And locally – the Headless Horseman of Slash, the Headless Man of Coral Hill Road, the Headless Woman of Kino (actually Lick Branch Road), the Headless Woman of East Main Street, the haunted stage at Liberty Street school, the Frank house (now gone), the McFerran house (now gone), the old funeral home (recently torn down).
Many memories, but I still catch myself on a quiet night, returning to some of the old haunts. A few are genuine – I’m not sharing which ones here. But if you are a true ghost hunter, who grew up in this area, you know where they are. And a few of them can sure make you scare yourself, if nothing else!
Happy Haunting! Err – Hunting