You read that right. Joanne and I visited a Masonic Cemetary. Alone. It was one of the most calming experiences of my life.
We were kind of invited, by the town, and when we arrived, we were definitely welcomed by the residents.
This all started when, in the brochure listing the “town attractions” that we received in St. Helens, were two cemeteries. The addresses as well as short descriptions were listed, as well as a short missive asking us to please be respectful and not make loud noises. It sounded really creepy and really interesting, so both of us jumped at the chance to drive out there right before sunset.
They weren’t what I expected at all… Well, the first one was actually roped off with a “no trespassing” sign hanging from it, so we didn’t go inside. It was right alongside the highway in Oregon, across some old train tracks, visible from the road, and named and marked on a tourist map, yet they didn’t want visitors. I wonder what happened there.
In any case, we headed for the other cemetery.
This one was removed from the main road, and rumored to be a lot larger. It was also known to be haunted, but visitors were welcome as long as they were respectful. Off the map it was, but when we arrived, it was also gated off.
A sad Joanne looks through the gate at the second destination that was cut off from us.
Ah, but unlike the other cemetery, this one didn’t have a “no tresspassing” sign. There was a clear path around the sides of the gate, the ground bare of grass and obviously well-traversed. Apparently a lot of people walked around the gate. Maybe they just didn’t want us to drive. We decided to walk.
There was even a sign.
And a long, winding, steep road through the forest.
It was quite a hike to reach the top of the large hill where the cemetery was supposedly located, but the view was breathtaking. It took us a good ten or fifteen minutes to reach the top, and the road was quite steep. For some reason, to the immediate right of the trail, someone had been excavating land for quite some time, and there was a deep quarry. Why someone would dig a quarry next to a burial ground is beside me. I don’t doubt that the residents were unhappy about it.
I wondered if maybe I would feel some spirits, but I didn’t expect what really happened to me. As soon as I stepped off of the road and onto the grass, a calm unlike anything I’ve ever felt descended upon me. It enveloped me in a warm cocoon, and Joanne and I immediately separated and wandered quietly alone between the gravestones.
I know, 100%, that not only was I welcomed, but that the residents were happy to have me there. I talked a bit with some of the gravestones, but mostly wandered about, amazed at how much serenity I felt.
We must have spent around a half hour wandering quietly alone, together, before we left in order to return to the festivities in town. But I’ll never forget the experience. It was something really, really special. I took some video footage too, but I’m not sure yet whether I want to use it. We’ll see!
Someday, I’ll set up a tripod and get a shot of me walking like this. But for now, have Joanne instead. 🙂