Reported by Fiona Broome, Halloween 1999
The weather turned unusually warm on Halloween night. In the northeast, Halloween can be sultry or freezing cold. This year, the weather in southern New Hampshire was perfect.
After dropping my son at a church youth social, I decided to return Blood Cemetery (aka Pine Hill Cemetery) in Hollis, NH, to take some quick photos from the roadside. (Like many New England cemeteries, Pine Hill is closed from dusk to dawn.)
I carried my “old reliable” 35mm point-and-shoot camera which I’d used for years without a problem.
I’d taken over 100 photos with it during the two weeks before this, and it had worked perfectly. In fact, about half of my photos are taken in low-light conditions using the flash.
On this evening, the batteries were fresh, the film was fine, and there was nothing to jam the camera.
Since it was Halloween evening, I felt a little nervous as I approached the pitch dark graveyard. Its reputation for hauntings didn’t bother me as much as being alone on a very deserted road.
Because the cemetery had closed at dusk, I stood at the side of the road, looking into the eerie darkness. And I started taking photos at random, pointing the camera into Blood Cemetery.
I pushed the button to take a photo.
Nothing happened. No flash, just the film advancing.
Click again. Still no flash, as I was using up film.
Click. Click. Click.
It took me eleven photos to realize that my flash was not going to work.
Yes, eleven flashless photos of total darkness.
Then the police — who patrol the cemetery regularly at this time of year — arrived and asked me to “move along.”
(My team and I always respect laws and the police when we’re investigating a haunted site. And, when the police ask us to leave, we do so, immediately.)
I left, muttering to myself about my camera. Fresh film, fresh batteries, a good camera… why had it suddenly failed?
For the next few minutes, I went through a mental inventory of reasons why the flash had abruptly stopped working, for eleven photos in a row.
About two miles from the cemetery, I stopped at a red light. Figuring that I had nothing to lose, I picked up my camera and took a quick photo of… well, the car seat. After all, it was right there.
Yes, the flash was suddenly working again.
I drove another ten minutes to another old cemetery–but this one does not have a “haunted” reputation. There, I took another dozen photos to finish the roll of film, and the flash worked fine every time. (That’s the night when I photographed my best picture of a ‘ghost orb’ at Schoolhouse Cemetery in Nashua, NH.)
Frankly, although it doesn’t feel that odd to me, I may have to accept that Blood Cemetery is, indeed, haunted.
I’ve inspected my camera and batteries, and can find no other reasonable explanation for the abrupt and location-specific failure of the flash.
I know that this sounds like a campfire tale from a Scouting trip. However, it’s what really happened.
I can’t think of a reasonable explanation. Not for eleven photos with a very reliable Olympus camera. The camera had worked fine for years before, and — as I update this story in 2016 — that camera has never failed since.
Blood Cemetery seemed like a comfortable old graveyard before these experiences. But, it took me months to feel comfortable returning there. Even today, I’m a little edgy about that cemetery.
Something’s just not right at Blood Cemetery.