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Personal experience: I went looking for the spirit of Halloween, and I found it

By: Jessica Caldwell

Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year, and Halloween is being forgotten. Or so it seems in the stores.

October used to be a time of year reserved for bonfires, hayrides, and haunted houses. It was, for adults, a time for costume parties and finding the kid in you.

It was also a time to out decorate the neighbors and try to produce “the scariest house on the block” or “the house with the good candy.” Kids loved to compete with friends about whose costume was the coolest or scariest as they went house to house crying “trick or treat”.

Not these days. These days, Christmas decorations are put on sale and the Halloween merchandise regaled to a single aisle in the back of the store before the holiday even passes.

It was seeing every fifth or sixth house decorated for Halloween when making deliveries for work that made me start thinking about the decline of Halloween. I decided to research the spookier side of Spartanburg, and I found it.

Out in Pauline, the road I live on eventually turns into a gravel road, and about two miles down it, I came across a place. When I left, I left a lot faster than when I arrived.

It is the old Antioch Episcopalian Church cemetery. The sun was an hour from setting, and I decided to explore it. It was fascinating, at first.


One of the graves at Antioch Episcopalian cemetery [Photo by: Jessica Caldwell]

There are graves everywhere, and there was an eeriness and a heaviness in the air. The uneasy feeling was getting stronger, and the light was growing dimmer the more I explored.

Then, I noticed that it had grown silent, except for the sound of someone target shooting on the range a half-mile away. I decided to leave. But as I was leaving, I thought, “I’m just letting my imagination get the better of me.”

It was then I remembered the EMF reader I have on my phone. I had just enough battery on my phone that I decided to see what kind of readings I would get, especially so far off the beaten path.

I jokingly said out loud, “If anyone has anything to say, now would be the time.”

I turned to leave, and through my phone, a girl’s voice, which seemed to echo through the woods, said, “Maybe.”

My mouth dropped, and I turned, walking quicker. I mumbled to myself, “I’ll be back when I got someone with me, and I am not alone in a centuries old cemetery.”

I was halfway back to my car when another voice called out firmly, “Not.”

I hauled ass out of there, and my car hates me for driving 40 mph on loose gravel with numerous deep holes in some places. I found the way to get into the Halloween spirit, but I am probably going to sleep with the light on for the next few nights.

Do you have a personal experience at a special place in Spartanburg, you’d like to share? Send your Spartanburg stories, ghostly or not, to carolinian@uscupstate.edu, and you might see them published on our website.

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