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Enter at your own risk; Messenger seeks ghosts at cemeteries

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, October 31, 2018
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Scary Entrance

SCARY ENTRANCE – Creepy shadows create a spooky effect at Briar Branch Cemetery during the Messenger’s second tour of the county to chase down ghost stories and legends. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Standing at the back of Ball Knob Cemetery, an eerie feeling hovers in the mist on a moonless, pitch black night as our small group huddles around a pile of rocks.

Suddenly the quiet and muted conversations are broken as Jennifer DeMoss starts giving orders to a strange new presence she feels among us.

“I do not give you consent to touch me. You are not allowed in my body space or anyone else’s,” DeMoss demands. “I invoke the name of Jesus over you. I command in the name of Jesus, step away from me!”

DeMoss then orders the presence she feels to move toward the EMF meter laying among the rocks on the damp ground.

“There’s a small gray device on the ground. Walk over to it,” DeMoss says. “Stand closer to it. Make it go yellow. I see you are trying.”

DeMoss begins a line of questioning and asks again for this presence to move toward the EMF meter, then suddenly, drawing an audible gasp from us, the EMF meter glows a bright orange.

For a second straight year, members of the Messenger team and contributing photographer Boyd City Administrator Greg Arrington joined Texoma Paranormal Investigations’ Suzette Munson and her daughter, Jennifer DeMoss, on a journey across Wise County to chase down ghosts and follow up on legends.

The two have looked into everything from haunted homes to the ghosts of Fort Richardson over much of the last decade. More often than not, the duo debunks ghost activity, finding another explanation for strange occurrences.

After visiting the Wise County Courthouse and Mount House in last year’s initial ghost hunt, we took the tour outside this Halloween to visit local cemeteries with unusual stories or events tied to them. And nothing works up a better scare than visiting a cemetery on a cool, damp October night.

Seeking the Paranormal

SEEKING THE PARANORMAL – Texoma Paranormal investigators Suzette Munson and Jennifer DeMoss look at a broken tombstone at Green Elm Cemetery. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

GREEN ELM CEMETERY

As rain poured down, we headed to our first stop – Green Elm Cemetery near the Wise-Jack county line. According to legend and the story told by Bob Hopkins on TexasEscapes.com, one warm October day in 1948, four cattlemen were on their way to Chico after a trip to West Texas when they stopped for a break on the Green Elm Bridge near the cemetery. The men heard a blood-curdling scream that they thought was coming from 100 feet up river. The men claimed they saw a Mexican woman in a white dress floating 18 to 20 feet above the water.

PEACEFUL ENTRANCE – Adorned with a cross, the gate at Green Elm Cemetery stands out in the darkness. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

We needed a tour guide to get us to the cemetery, so Larry Talley led us to the unique gate with a cross on top. As amateur ghost hunters, we needed to borrow flashlights from Munson before entering the cemetery shortly after sunset.

We meandered past several broken headstones, which makes it appear the graves’ inhabitants have escaped.

Looking at the EMF meter, which measures electromagnetic fields on a sliding scale of lights, Munson announces “there’s nothing going on out here.”

“They said the specter came down the river and it was a hot, sunny day. If you think about it, if it was a real specter, it wouldn’t come out in the heat of the day,” Munson said casting doubt on the legend.

We wander around the cemetery and stumble upon a scorpion creeping across a headstone.

Inside a chain link fenced area in the cemetery are the graves of J.E. Moser and family, along with four infants from the Long family – all which died at birth or shortly after. One of the graves from 1909 has fresh flowers on it.

Exiting the chain link area, we meet back up with DeMoss who appears to be having a conversation with someone outside our group just outside the fenced area.

“Are you the one that screams?” DeMoss asked.

DeMoss, who calls herself a “psychic empath,” meaning she can strongly sense the emotions of others, starts asking more questions while starting the recorder on her iPhone: “What is your name? Why are you here? Who brought you here? Where are your children? Why are you sad? Did they take your children?”

She starts describing the feeling of sadness, “it felt like someone took my children.”

Then she said the feeling was gone. We explain to DeMoss about the graves of infants just on the other side of the fence from her, and she is visibly shaken for a moment.

“Every once in a while, she gives me the chills,” Munson said.

Looking for Clues

LOOKING FOR CLUES – Messenger Assistant Publisher Kristen Tribe and Editor Richard Greene look at tombstones at Briar Branch Cemetery during their recent ghost hunt. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

BRIAR BRANCH CEMETERY

The rain has subsided as we make a journey east through Alvord to Briar Branch Cemetery off Old Decatur Road. The cemetery is located on private property, but we had permission to visit.

The cemetery is the location of the graves of Mrs. Huff and her daughters Palestine and Molly, who were killed in an Indian raid in 1874, according to a historical marker. Neighbors buried the scalped members of the Huff family in a wagon bed. They were later reburied.

Rods from a wagon can still be seen poking from the ground.

We drive through creepy overgrowth on the road leading to the cemetery. As we exit our vehicles, Munson announces, “the adventure begins.”

Munson recounts the story of the Huff family and the raid as we walk up to the remnants of the wagon. As we look into the wagon and shine a flashlight inside, a skeleton greets us forcing most in the group to catch their breath. Munson and DeMoss laugh as they had planted the plastic figure earlier as a practical joke.

Feeling nothing but the quiet tranquility of a night in this peaceful cemetery, we wander about looking at graves from the 19th century. Then breaking the silence and causing everyone to stop in their tracks an owl can be heard screeching in the distance.

“You see how easy it is to build something in your imagination,” Munson said.

BALL KNOB CEMETERY

A few miles away on County Road 2475, we reach the largest cemetery of our tour, Ball Knob Cemetery.

As we traipsed through the cemetery to the back corner, Munson starts recounting the story that brought us here. She tells of how an Indian, Red Feather, led a raid from Oklahoma into Wise County and killed Oliver and Swell Bailey.

A posse tracked down Red Feather and brought the boys’ bodies back to be buried in the cemetery. Red Feather was killed and buried on neighboring property.

The rural cemetery was vandalized in 2016 with two men knocking over several tombstones. They were arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

Walking past several graves, we reach the back portion of the cemetery where Munson leads the search for a pile of rocks that marks the graves of the Bailey brothers. After a few minutes, we find what we believed was the right spot.

Shortly after, DeMoss encounters a strange presence that raises alert with our group.

DeMoss starts scolding the presence: “Who are you? What is your name? I know you are not a child. Tell me why I am feeling angry. Why are you angry? Who brought you here? You have to leave now!”

She gets no answer, but we see the EMF reader light up after she tells it to go near it.

“He’s here. He just doesn’t want to answer,” DeMoss said.

Soon the EMF reader goes back to green, but as DeMoss explained what she felt, she said the presence is still among us.

“He is still here – hanging out,” DeMoss said.

“That was not human. That was something that someone brought here likely doing things they shouldn’t be doing. When I called out in the name of Jesus, I got a response. It was trying to envelop me, like trying to force its way inside. There was a heaviness. A tingle from head to toe.”

Munson responds, “You never know what you are going to encounter. You just want to leave it behind.”

We soon head back to our vehicles to wrap up the night and what we’ve encountered.

“I do feel she had a couple of experiences,” Munson said.

In the days following, Munson and DeMoss review their recordings and say they picked up nothing out of the ordinary at any of the three cemeteries during our spooky tour. While no ghosts or demons were captured on film or seen directly, we’ll leave it up to you to determine what is truly lurking out there this Halloween.

“You have to be here to get the experience,” Munson said. “You can’t make it happen.”

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