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I led five people into Coolidge Cemetary on Halloween night.  They were expecting nothing to happen.  They were wrong!  We entered in good moods.  Laughing and joking.  I pointed out some interesting spots we were going to visit that night and began to lead the investigation.  But things soon took a turn.  One of the trainees, Kelly, was having some very intense feelings to go another direction.  It was a training mission after all, so I let her take the lead and continued to ask her what she sensed and saw and heard.  She believed she saw something and we bagan to follow it.  As we followed the direction she pointed out more of us saw the shadow she was seeing.  When we arrived at the spot where we all had seen the man shaped shadow, there was nothing there.  That was when my digital camera decided that it was going to start acting up on me.  It turned itself off, which would be normal if i hadn't taken any pictures for a while or if the batteries were old and died, but the batteries were brand new, fresh out of the package duracells, and it turned off while I was taking pictures.  I checked the batteries and they were fine.  I decided to just leave it and try turning it on again after a few minutes but before I knew it, the camera turned back on by itself.  When it did this, our youth trainee, Colby, took it and began taking pictures.  It worked fine for him for a while then it turned itself off again.  Then back on and off and on again.  Then he got a feeling that we needed to go to another spot, so I went with him and the others followed.  Colby and I arrived at the spot he felt we needed to be, but the rest never made it off the path.  Kelly tried to step over onto the grass but she couldn't put her foot down.  Some unseen thing was preventing it.  She tried and tried repeatedly but to no avail.  Then we all began hearing sounds from another direction.  Colby and I hollered at the others if they heard something and they were hollering at us the same thing.  Then they hollered at us to get there quick and we began running.  We caught a little of the sound on a digital voice recorder.  We walked toward the sound and compared what we had heard.  Our stories matched up.  It sounded as if something was being dragged across the gravel.  Kelly and James took the digital voice recorder and went in search of the source of the noise.  The rest of us stayed behind and another trainee, Wayne, had his own personal experience.  He noticed that he had dropped his hat when running to find the noise.  He retraced his steps again and again, but could not find his hat.  He got a light so he could see better and looked again.  It was nowhere in between.  He decided to go off alone and try to find it, because he knew that it had to be somewhere in the cemetary.  I shouldn't have let him go off alone, but I could not leave the youth trainees by themselves and didn't feel the need to drag them all over the cemetary again looking for a hat.  He came back right away saying he had found it.  It was in the spot we were standing when Kelly first saw the shadow near the beginning of the investigation.  There are pictures of Wayne with his hat on after leaving that spot and we had not returned there.  We don't know how it got there, but it did.  I guess that's somthing to think about for our next trip.  Right after Wayne found his hat, Kelly and James returned and told us about their personal experience.  They heard noises, which sounded similar to the noise we had heard earlier, and followed them.  But as they got closer they realized the sound wasn't the same as earlier.  When they arrived at the source they found sprinklers running, and discovered that the sounds they were hearing was the water hitting flowers placed by some of the graves in that area.  They had the recorder with them and we later compared the original sound and the sound of the sprinklers.  They were nothing alike.  We related to them what happened with Wayne's hat and decided that was a good time to end the investigation.  But before we did we went back to the origin of the whole night.  The spot of the first sighting and where the hat ended up.  There was a small white cross.  Kelly leaned down to see what was written on the cross and was startled by a spider crawling on it.  Immediately the camera began working again and Colby snapped a couple pictures of the cross so we could read what it said without getting close to the spider.  The cross had no markings on it whatsoever, including no spider, cobwebs, or dirt.  We took that as our queue to leave and exited the Cemetary.  They all want to return and we will.
Alisha Markley



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