Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Haunt

My friend Amanda and I have been planning a fun Halloween road trip for several weeks now. A couple of months ago a customer stopped in at Ella Mae's Barn and told me some spine tingling stories of living in this remodeled schoolhouse from the 1800's. Her stories were so intriguing that we wanted to go and check it out for ourselves. She told us that she had lived there while her house was being built behind it and it had been vacant for the past 10 years since she'd moved. It was in foreclosure at the time and the door was always open. Not wanting to trespass-but just to peek in the windows, we traveled to see it for ourselves.

She had experienced a lady and a man several times in the house. She told several stories including the lady laying next to her in bed, all the ornaments on the Christmas tree being off the tree, a bread wreath flying across the room and her visitors(family and friends) seeing the ghosts and vowing never to return. After she moved out, a man rented the building only to stay a few days. When we got there yesterday, we discovered it had been bought the month before-I wonder if the new owners know about the ghosts?

Since we didn't get to experience any ghost , I took Amanda by a few abandoned houses-very sad but spooky!

Down this shaded lane lies a little cemetery named St. Omer. In it is a tombstone with a witch's tale. St. Omer Cemetery is home to an unusual family monument that some say looks like a crystal ball on top a pyre. According to local lore, Caroline Barnes, one of four people buried under the massive stone, was put to death for practicing witchcraft. It is said that no pictures can be taken of her monument, and that it glows on moonless nights. The only evidence for the legend seems to be the gravestone’s dramatic design, the way local citizens grow nervous whenever the story is mentioned, and most strikingly, Caroline’s impossible date of death chiseled in the granite: February 31. The monument also faces north and south, while most headstones are oriented east-west. There is no historical or documentary evidence supporting the notion that Caroline Barnes was accused of witchcraft, but never-the-less, the legend has persisted.
Our spotlight this month is a special one – an issue from the old Legends and Lore of Coles County! Download the entire issue for free, with more details about St. Omer Cemetery, the legend of the witch’s grave, and the nearby ghost town:
Legends and Lore of Coles County Issue Vol 1 Issue 3

Buried Feb 31, 1882

Barnes-4 people buried here

The other side

Lastly, I took my friend to some smaller roadside graveyard out in the county near where we live. There's even one in the middle of a cornfield.

We had a very spooky afternoon and evening -Happy Halloween!

I'm joining Spooky Monday's at and Outdoor Wednesday at


  1. It's nice to know you take your friends to only the finest places! :-)
    Looks like a GREAT, fun day -- exploring local spooky haunts. What a good idea for a Halloween-y afternoon.


  3. Rebecca - You did a fabulous job of putting together a Halloween post. Every bit of it was so interest. The pictures of the tombstone that looks like the witch’s crystal ball is sticking in my head....I have never seen anything like it. What a fab post. genie


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