Ever since I was small child, I’ve always been interested in ghosts and the paranormal, and I’ve studied the topics for several years. I believe that is why I was so interested in the following story; which was told to me by and old acquaintance. According to her, years ago there was a woman named Serilda Jane Wetzel. She lived in Morgan, a small community just outside of Mannington. The residence of the community accuse of her being a witch, and because of the fear of the unknown and willful ignorance that seemed to run ramped at that time, they supposedly boiled the poor woman alive.
Following her death she, she was buried in Highland cemetery. The cemetery is located deep in the woods near an old church. Unlike the other graves, the town’s people placed her grave facing toward sunset instead of sunrise. They also carved a stairway, supposedly, leading down to hell into its marble surface. This was their way of condemning the woman for her supposed actions not only in life but also in death. The area is now said to be haunted by her restless spirit. If you go to this particular cemetery late at night, you are supposed to be able to see glowing lights near the grave, as well as, hearing strange noises coming from the gravesite and the surrounding woods.
After hearing this story, I was both shocked and intrigued. It was then, at that moment, that I decided I was going to make the trip out to Highland cemetery. My husband agreed to make the trip with me.
In the light of day, the cemetery and grave looked like nothing out of the ordinary. The tombstone was weathered from years of exposure to the elements. The cemetery too was beginning to show signs of age. The nearby church was old and rickety. The siding was missing in a few places and it looked as if it had not bore witness to many church services. There were few pews in the church, ten at the most. Old chairs surrounded the alter and the place smelled of mold and dust. The atmosphere was hot and muggy. The paintings on the walls looked as if they had been there for several years.
The church had an eerie feeling about it. When we walked inside it felt as though we were being watched. We looked around a little more and finally decided to leave. We decided we would come back later that night to see if we could find anything of a paranormal nature. We then returned home to get flashlights and my digital camera. If there actually was spirit of something or someone haunting the cemetery we wanted to try to catch it on film.
That night we returned to the cemetery as planned. The night was cold and with it came a chill and a fear of the unknown. The moon had an orange haze about it, which added to the eeriness of the experience. It reminded me of a scene from a horror movie. You know one of those movies where zombies start popping up out of the ground.
We slowly made our way back to the grave. As we drew nearer to the grave a rumbling sound could be heard. It sounded like a car engine, but there were no cars in sight other than our own, and it was sitting quietly several yards away. We were also too far away from any road for it to be the sound of a passing motorist.
When we finally reached the grave small green lights could be seen glowing in the nearby woods. At first we assumed it was an animal, but our presence didn’t frighten it away if it was, and it made no noise. There wasn’t even the slightest rustling of leaves. We then thought that perhaps it was a small group of fireflies but it was not the right time of year for such insects, as it was late October. We snapped a few pictures of the lights and then moved on.
We took pictures of some of the next set of graves. In the pictures there were small transparent orbs or spheres. We took a few more pictures of these same graves but the spheres were gone. Perhaps they were simply smudges on the lens, but then why would they be present in one picture and not the next?
We spent a few more moments in the cemetery and then made our way back to the church. As we neared the church, we again felt as if we were being watched my unseen eyes. The feeling made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. The eerie sensation we felt earlier was present yet again. We took a few pictures of the inside of the church and then decided to leave.
I’m unsure if the cemetery is actually haunted, as I don’t believe we found enough evidence to either prove or disprove it. However, I believe that something may be occurring there, as we were not the only ones to have such an experience. After our visit to the cemetery I did some research and found that there are several websites that contain similar accounts from individuals that have visited this cemetery.
If you do a Google search on this story you will see what I am talking about. Below is only one of the many sites that have discussed this story.
Sent in by AJ, Copyright 2011 TrueGhostTales.com