Around 1820, the Coon Hill Cemetery was established in Santa Rosa, Florida. The cemetery was built for the nearby Santa Rosa community which was made up of a general store, church, blacksmith and post office.
Having originated around the time of the first settlers, Coon Hill is steeped in rich history. Rumor has it that many history and paranormal enthusiasts have visited the cemetery and have walked away convinced that it is haunted.
Who Dares Enter Coon Hill Cemetery?
Disembodied voices, satanic rituals and invisible attacks have all been reported. But Santa Rosa native Gerald had an experience unlike any that he’s read about.
“My friends and I started our own…club,” He started, somewhat sheepishly. “Well, not like a club, but a group about paranormal happenings in our area. We’ve heard from so many people that Coon Hill Cemetery was haunted that we agreed to meet there one night to investigate.
“It was a Saturday night, and I fully admit that we went there when the cemetery gates were closed to the public. We found a way in—but I won’t tell anybody as I don’t want to be a bad influence,” he said with a devilish grin.
“Anyway, we walked through the cemetery holding lit, white candles. Usually when we are examining a haunted location, we split up to the far corners to cover the most ground.
“A couple of the chicks in the group started claiming that they didn’t want to be alone in the cemetery. They said they were starting to feel sick to their stomachs. But the rest of us ignored this—they like to be dramatic sometimes,” he grimaced.
“So we split up, and I was at the southernmost part of the cemetery listening for voices when it began to rain.
“My friend Ben called out to meet in the middle to evaluate the situation.
“The two girls chimed in and said they wanted to go home.
“Michael was inclined to agree, but only because he feared our gear would get damaged.
“We stood there arguing for a few minutes when we all heard thunder overhead.
“Immediately the girls declared they were leaving and marched off,” Gerald said, clearly annoyed.
“The three of us were still debating about what to do when out of nowhere a bolt of lightning came crashing down.
The Strange Cat of Santa Rosa
“It struck an above ground casket not ten feet away from us. Michael and Ben yelped and ran after the girls… But I had been closest to the bolt, and the force and shock of it had knocked me down on the ground.
“When I stood up, I was the only one left in the cemetery. The noise had been so loud, I turned to examine the damage. I gasped, seeing that part of the stone lid of the casket had been blasted away,” he gestured wildly.
“But that was nothing compared to what was inside it…”
What did you see?
“A cat that wasn’t a cat,” he said simply.“It had a black face like a panther, with large eyes that glowed through the darkness. He had a cat’s nose and whiskers but there was something…eerily human about the way he looked at me. I stood transfixed until he growled at me and I ran out of there screaming.
“I avoid that part of Santa Rosa from now on.”