[TX] Columbus, Texas – Ghostly Ectoplasm?

Could this be ectoplasm?

Ectoplasm? I’m not sure what caused the odd misty areas in the unretouched photo at left. (And, to be honest, I’m not sure anyone knows what ectoplasm is.  We usually use the term to mean an expansive area of colorful, translucent energy.)

Look for the whitish, pink, and red areas in the photo.  I have no explanation for any of those anomalies.  They remind me of the colorful orb-ish shapes in the anomalies at New Orleans’ Jackson Square.

The photo was taken with a tripod and a delayed shutter. I stood to the side of the camera. When the flash went off, I could clearly see anything that might have been in front of the camera.

In other words, I didn’t see any bugs to explain these odd, colorful areas.

There was no chance of a camera strap, jewelry, or hair reflecting light on the lens. Also, since I was over five feet away when the photo was taken, it’s not breath.

I took over 200 photos in this cemetery, and none of them show insects. As usual, I’d looked for bugs before taking any photos. I saw none except the mounds indicating fire ants. (I was in sandals and kept my distance.)

The Columbus City Cemetery — also called Old City Cemetery — is on Walnut Street in Columbus, Texas, not far from the middle of town. In 1870, it was deeded to the city as an existing cemetery.

No one is certain how old the graves are, but the earliest headstone is dated 1853.

This wasn’t the first time I’d seen non-orb anomalies in Columbus photos. I’d seen possible ecto in a photo taken during a “Live Oaks and Dead Folks” tour, a popular annual event in Columbus, Texas.

This is an especially interesting cemetery. Many of the grave markers were washed away in a flood at the end of 1913. Disturbed graves could explain the recurring fog-like mist or ectoplasm in photos. There are at least 500 unmarked graves there.

This cemetery also contains the grave of Jonathan W. Sargent (1877 – 1929), who was killed in a car accident near Columbus. He’d assisted Howard Carter in Egypt, and may have been a victim of the famous “curse” of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

In addition, the cemetery was the final resting place of many Confederate soldiers, as well as victims of the 1873 yellow fever epidemic.

Any one of these could account for higher-than-average paranormal activity in this lovely cemetery.

I recommend this cemetery for ghost enthusiasts, but only during daytime hours. After dark, uneven ground and the possibility of snakes make investigations treacherous.

The cemetery is patrolled regularly by police, who visited while I was there. Day and night, they can see activity in the cemetery from at least three nearby roads, so don’t expect to escape notice when you’re in the cemetery.

Since Columbus Cemetery’s orbs can be photographed in daylight, an early morning or late afternoon visit could be worthwhile.

[TX] Columbus – Daytime Ghost Orbs

Columbus City Cemetery, in Columbus, Texas, is one of the most photogenic cemeteries in southeast Texas, and it may be one of its most delightfully haunted.

In the daytime photo above, an orb appears near the angel monument. The skies were heavily overcast, so this wasn’t a lens flare; the sun wasn’t visible, and no flash was used.

During three separate visits to the cemetery, nearly every photo of this angel shows at least one orb, and sometimes two or three.

The eerie mists in the photo, Columbus, Texas – Ectoplasm are just to the left of the angel.

These graves are almost in the center of a very large field that’s been set aside as the Columbus City Cemetery at 1300 Walnut Street in Columbus, Texas. Only a small percentage of the graves have headstones, but those that do are often extraordinarily beautiful… and haunted.

This cemetery is described in more detail in my book, The Ghosts of Austin, Texas. That book contains a full chapter about haunted sites in nearby Columbus.




[TX] Columbus – Ghost Orbs

Columbus City Cemetery in Columbus, Texas, is a wonderful, photogenic cemetery about an hour and a half west of Houston, where I-10 meets Highway 71. It’s across from the second largest oak tree in Texas.

Columbus is well worth the drive, especially early in November when they celebrate “Live Oaks and Dead Folks,” in the city cemetery.

Ghost hunters should visit the cemetery just after dawn or at dusk. The cemetery is in a large, mostly-empty field, accessed from a dirt path that’s studded with tall weeds. In areas with poisonous snakes, it’s not smart to explore areas like this in the dark.

Because the cemetery is covered with trees that shield the graves, it’s possible to take flash photos after the sun comes up, if you get better results with artificial light.

In the photo above, the sun was up, but I needed a flash photo to see much of anything there.  The tree cover is that dense.

At the center of the photo, the dark object at horizon level is the angel monument that you’ll see in one of our daytime orb photos. (That’s the photo on the cover of my 2007 book, The Ghosts of Austin, Texas.)

Even in daylight, you can still capture orbs in photos at Columbus City Cemetery. That’s a rare treat for ghost hunters.