Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Haunted Church

I don't believe in vampires. I don't believe werewolves. I don't believe in zombies, mummies, trolls, Big Foot, Nessie or other assorted monsters.

Ghosts? I suppose it's possible. I have no first-hand experience with the supernatural... Except that time I went to a haunted church that I didn't know was haunted until I Googled it while parked in front of it.


I took the back roads home from Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge Saturday for the scenery and the nice long drive. I spotted a few markers from the Tennessee Historical Commission along the way, so I stopped here and there. This one I almost drove right past. I hit the brakes, turned around and followed the arrow to check out an old church, thinking it might be neat to photograph.

I paid so little attention to the actual sign that I missed how far up the road it was. I almost gave up and turned around, when I came around a curve and there it was.

I saw the sign first.



The entire Mason, TN church was fenced with a rusty "no trespassing" sign clanking against the gate. To complete the spooky scene-setter, it is nestled back off the road (which is sparsely traveled), hooded by oak trees. And I wasn't expecting tombstones.

It didn't immediately give me the willies, though I think subconsciously I was glad I couldn't get any closer. I snapped a few photos of the small cemetery on the right, and a few of the church head-on. I paused to watch what I thought was a hawk make a break for the trees, and that's when I noticed the front door was open. Not to be melodramatic, but I do not remember that door being open when I pulled up. I really think I would have noticed.

That's when I started getting the creeps.



I got back in the car and did a quick search to see exactly what the Internet had to say about this historic church. Turns out: nothing good as far as I'm concerned! Message boards are full of stories about the grounds, the graves of infants, and a statue of Mary that cries blood.

What? Whatever. I'm completely skeptical of urban legends.

But I can't deny that the longer I sat there, the more the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I definitely felt too exposed, yet too hidden, and my instincts (and overactive imagination) told me it was time to leave.

It took about 45 minutes to get home and the whole way I couldn't stop thinking about the doors. Further research turned up more stories about those very doors opening by themselves. This one from Your Ghost Stories was over the top but it accomplished the goal of every campfire ghost story: I was completely freaked out.

To be fair (and rational), my searches also uncovered those who chastise the thrill-seekers at "Old Trinity," drunks and teenagers who are blamed for vandalizing the property, desecrating the graves and causing extensive and expensive damage.

There is a Facebook page for Friends for the Preservation of Old Trinity. There are so many more photos there, but it does look like the page has not been updated in a while.

It is also worth noting that there is a full moon tonight.