So this little cemetery was established in Jay Florida around 1820. This area, back in the day, was bustling. It was a logging town that had been settled before Florida was a state. There was a post office, a pony express office, a mercantile store, a black smith and a church that fluctuated back and forth between Methodist and Baptist. Many of the settlers were from Irish descent, some had just filtered in from neighboring settlements seeking a better living in this booming little metropolis!
I’ve found great documentation of the folks that are buried there, even today, even thought the cemetery had been vandalized several times. Lots of important folks were buried here, including area founders and Civil War vets.
I like to do research on the ground of a suspected haunted location, just to see what kind of madness went down there in the past. With this little chunk of ground, all I can say is that it’s likely soldiers from the Civil War camped there as well as Native Americans, due to it’s close proximity to water.
There are a lot of other rumors floating around this graveyard. It’s actually been said that 3 separate murders have occurred there. Other than finding 1 that happened in the 1960’s, I was unable to find any other determining information on any of them.
There is also the rumor that Coon Hill is haunted by the spirits of vicious animals. I don’t know about the vicious part, but I do have something to throw in this direction a little further into the blog.
So, not being able to find anything on the history, or the murders was kind of a bummer BUT! The stuff I did find was way more than enough to make up for it!
So I’ll start with the most highly reported incidents. A little over 100 years ago, a concrete wall was poured around the cemetery to prevent fires. See, this little gym is tucked away way back in the woods. Swamp fires, as we call them down here in the south, had burned through the cemetery a couple of times, the problem with that is that many if not most of the headstones weren’t stone, they were wood.
Well, apparently the spirits here approve of the addition and they’re rather proud of it. I’ve seen a lot of reports where folks state that if you try to walk the wall around the cemetery, you won’t even make it half way before “something” pushes you off. From what I’ve noticed in these reports and investigations, that “something” has become much more aggressive in the past couple of decades. At first, you would just be shoved off. More recently, folks are being shoved off with enough force to suffer broken arms, legs and ribs. So, stay the Hell off of the wall!
The next most reported paranormal incident here is the fog. Everyone that has reported an encounter with this mysterious fog, all have the same story. It’s a thin blanket that only rises a couple of inches from the surface of the ground, and when it’s present, it’s reported that you will hear the voice of a child singing. Something in my gut tells me it’s like a nursery rhyme or something along those lines, but that’s just my take.
Ok, so to those animal spirits, I was able to find 2 documented accounts on that, both were interesting. The first account didn’t have a story behind it, but it’s definitely heartwarming. A paranormal investigator snapped a picture of a white dog with dark eyes curled up next to a head stone. It is not the dog in it’s entirety, only it’s face and part of it’s back are visible, and of course, in the next frame, it’s gone. You just gotta know that it was someone’s loyal pet the guarding the grave of its master.
Now, the second account is a little more interesting. These other investigators go out to Coon Hill and immediately report a “pressure” emitting from the cemetery. They said it was almost like a barrier wall, trying to keep them out, so you know they had to go in!
These guys documented the fog, and multiple EVP’s but their brass ring was an encounter with a cat. It was bigger than a domestic pet but smaller than a panther. It was solid black and had the face of a cat but it’s “expressions” mimicked human-like responses. The cat was documented at the foot of a grave, at that same instance, the investigator that photographed the cat became violently ill. This leads in to another common occurrence here at Coon Hill.
There are actually 2 different reports of “becoming ill.” A lot of folks report becoming extremely nauseous, in many of these accounts, these folks later realize that they have a mark on them that wasn’t there before they entered the cemetery. These marks range from scratches to bite marks, and a lot of them have been documented.
The second illness coincides with several separate frequently captured EVP’s that seemed to have recorded the sound of choking. Now this madness has happened a lot but the Two best documented cases were when it happened to two men. Both of them complained of feeling like they were choking, having difficulty breathing along with severe chest pains. The common consensus behind this occurrence is that it’s the spirit of one of the murder victims, attempting to communicate his means of demise.
The next occurrence is not so common, these guys just got lucky! This one team of investigators shows up at the cemetery one night, they first test the “walk the wall” legend only to be proven correct. The dude was shoved off of the wall after only walking a few feet, no broken bones on this round though.
When they actually enter the cemetery they immediately begin documenting light orbs, and some pretty crazy ones at that! Then came the EVP’s, the spirits were ready to talk this night! There was even a brief conversation held between one of the investigators and a male spirit. The spirit asked, quite clearly I might add, “Who are you” and then “Where are you from” There were other clips recorded that night, another male voice clearly states the word “Omaha” and then in another clip you can hear multiple voices saying “Everybody’s saying something”.
So, then these guys had their most relevant occurrence. They were experiencing so much activity that they were scampering around to write notes. They then realized that the notebooks they’d brought along were in one of team members back packs. So the chick turns to go get them out of her bag, it’s a few yards away from where they all are now. As she’s walking up to her bag, she distinctly hears, and records, the sound of the zipper opening on the bag. She’s still got her recorder going for EVP’s, So she stops in her tracks and shines her light on the back pack to see their notebooks being pulled out of the bag. One by one, they were dropped onto the ground in front of her. Looks like to me somebody had something to say that night!
This last interesting documented event was of a whole other nature. This guy and his team had a very productive night at Coon Hill. He has several photos posted on his website of some seriously convincing images. One in particular, no doubt. It’s a man in a fedora wearing a dark pin striped suit. It’s only like from mid chest up, the rest of his body is missing and you can see the tree limbs that are behind him, through him. However, what is visible of him is crystal clear. You can see his crisp tie and tie pin and even make out the lapels on his jacket. There were several other really good shots, but then there was this one that was definitely for real and definitely NOT human in nature. In this photo you can plainly see a face, of sorts, with big gaping dark eyes and what appears to be a veil of flames fluctuating around it. I don’t know what the hell this sucker is, but it don’t look like it’s there to sell girl scout cookies, ya know?
For more info on Coon Hill Cemetery Investigations see: Southern Paranormal Investigations