Remember the Stephen King novel (or movie Pet Sematary)?
Remember how there was the regular cemetery, and there was the one that was behind that one, further out in the back of the beyond?
Remember how you had to know it was there to find it, pretty much?
That’s kind of how Shiloh Cemetery is.
Updated 9/26/2019 – There’s a place called Page Jackson Cemetery in Sanford, Florida.
It’s your regular, run-of-the-mill cemetery, if storage places for the bodies of the people we used to know can be referred to as such, but it sports something unusual for a cemetery: a dirt road leading away from it and to a much, much older cemetery.
This is Shiloh Cemetery, and it’s there that the magic happens.
The magic, by the way, is terrifying.
Each year, people who visit the eroded grave sites report sightings of strange and often terrifying paranormal phenomena.
According to many of those who have been through the ordeal, odd noises and strange lights will sometimes go off, especially toward and in the middle of the night.
Some of them also talk about the restless spirit of a woman, who is sometimes seen to be moving about the grounds.
Those who have encountered her say that she looks like a skeleton covered in beautiful hair and flowing robes, and that the flesh of her face is sometimes visible, sometimes not.
I meet with Cameron C. at a local coffee place in Sanford; he has no objection to me turning on my digital recorder.
Cameron is a ghost hunter and, interestingly enough, a former psychic – he claims he stepped down from this profession in 2011 after he lost “the sight” during an automobile accident.
“Now I can still see spirits sometimes, like I can when I go out to Shiloh Cemetery,” he says, “but it’s no longer reliable, and I can’t get glimpses of the future anymore.”
Indeed, one wonders from his limp whether he ever could.
The truth about what happened to her face…
“I’ve seen the lady out there a number of times,” he says.
“It’s really just a matter of being patient; if you go out there often enough and wait long enough, you’ll see her.
“And the stories about her face are true, by the way – it’s a skull.
“People will tell you that nobody knows why.
“All that means is they don’t know why. But I do; she told me about it once.”
“Yeah, she’s usually not that bad, unless she’s feeling sorry for herself.
“I sat out on a grave one night and bugged the crap out of her until she told me the story.
Wanna know what ate her face?”
I’m dying to know.
“Fish,” he says. “She was murdered by a serial killer, about twenty years ago or so.
“He dumped her body, and by the time they recovered it, fish had eaten most of her face off.”
He smiles a little.
“Like I said, most of the time she’s in pretty good spirits and wouldn’t hurt anyone.
“Sometimes I think she’s going to snap, and someone’s going to die.”