Back in the 1990s, when I was still fairly young, and living for the next adventure, a group of my friends and I got on a quest to find the scariest place in Barren County. We spent many a free night out in the wilds of rural Barren, hunting that one spot that could elicit tingles down the spine, hair standing up on your arms, and possibly your head as well. I had one friend who insisted that she could not be scared by things that go bump in the night. So, several of us set out on a quest to prove her wrong, on every instance!
My closest cousin at the time was eight months pregnant, and she informed us she was dressing in a tattered football jersey, covering the shirt and her distended belly in blood, and that she was covering her face with a Jason Vorhees hockey mask. In her hands she planned to have a chainsaw, and at the appropriate time, she was going to jump out from behind a tree and fire the chainsaw up, in an attempt to scare our mutual friend. My boyfriend and I were intending to disappear into the woods at that point in time, while everyone was distracted by the “chainsaw massacre,” and we were gonna slip off to the old abandoned house to set up a plan to scare the life out of everyone else on the trip.
Somehow, all of our good intentions got thrown by the wayside, and we all had to change our plans for that Hallowe’en weekend. We never got around to having that scarefest, but about two days before Hallowe’en, my boyfriend and two others that were in on the plan went out to set up some props and got startled by a small wildcat that wandered out of the treeline along the creek. Luckily, it was more scared of us than we were of it! We never got back out there on that Hallowe’en, and we found out that we were probably lucky we didn’t. Some other group of people had been there, and I’m not so sure how our reception would have been had we shown up in the middle of their meeting! Aw well, those were the good old days!
Vanishing reverence and all that, I was back to that place a few years ago with my daughter, her current boyfriend, and one of my best friends. The excitement of the place is gone, along with the old house that stood there. All that’s left is a little family cemetery, all neglected, in the middle of the field. This cemetery contains a hotspot, beside a tree at the edge of the cemetery. It is one of only a handful that I know of in this area.
And the handprints. Here is where we got the handprints. Those by themselves were unnerving enough. The reverence is gone though, other than for the little cemetery, with its long abandoned graves, one a Civil War soldier who died in his 20s; another grave that of his baby sister. A sadness prevails there, but the reverence is gone.
The memories remain in my head and my heart of that one long ago summer we spent on Skaggs and Beaver Creeks, late at night, watching lights float just above the ground, hearing voices that weren’t there, and seeing red glowing eyes in the dark when in fact nothing was there.
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