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Cemetery Man

Bryan, IL, USA
October 2002

This still sends chills down my spine, just recollecting it, but I thought I would share it, regardless of how unbelievable it sounds (because if it wasn't my own experience, I'd be somewhat hesitant believing it myself).

This happened in the summer (I don't recall exactly which month) in 1999, when myself and two friends of mine had decided to visit Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, to take some photographs. It's one of the most famous and beautiful cemeteries in the city, and many of Chicago's most famous citizens are buried there.

After arriving there, in the early afternoon, we had decided to split up, and would meet up again in an hour in front of the chapel near the main entrance.

It was a brilliant sunny day and the hour quickly flew by as I took many photos with my digital camera of several of the elaborate tombs and monuments. As I headed back down the path to the chapel, I saw my friend Brian a ways up the path. Beside him was an elderly man, in gray, sort of stooped over, walking with a cane. I could see his mouth moving, but it didn't appear Brian was paying any attention to him, which was odd, because Brian is the sort of guy who will listen to anyone, even someone like this total stranger.

Brian kept walking towards me, a couple steps ahead of the old man, not even looking at him, but as soon as he saw me smiled and asked how my photo-taking went. I looked away for only a brief moment, but the elderly man with the cane next to Brian was gone, nowhere in sight. I put my hand over my eyes to block the sunshine, and scanned for him, over the sprawling cemetery but couldn't find him.

"Who are you looking for?" Brian asked. "Jeff is right over there". Our other buddy was coming up another path between two tombs, about 20 feet away. "That old guy who was talking to you. He was there, then he wasn't." I said. "What old guy?" asked Brian. "What do you mean? The elderly man with the cane. He was talking to you, but you were ignoring him." Brian looked at me like I was nuts. At the same time Jeff came up and said hi. "Jeff, did you happen to see that old man next to Brian, where he went to?" I asked. He shook his head, "I just saw the two of you guys talked when I came around the corner, why?" "I saw an old man, walking alongside Brian towards me down that path over there, and this man was talking to Brian, and he just kept walking along, like he was completely ignoring this poor old guy." I explained. "There wasn't anyone around me the whole time I was coming up the path," Brian insisted. "I didn't see or hear anyone." I was really creeped out then. Who was the old man who had so much to say but wasn't heard or seen by his companion on the path? Why did I see him? Was he real or was he a spirit of one of the hundreds of people whose final resting place was at Graceland?

I still have no idea, but he looked very real to me, wasn't transparent, and didn't seem to be floating, but rather shuffling along, with his cane, on the path. Both Brian and Jeff thought I was seeing things, or it was the light playing tricks on my eyes, but I know what I saw, and I still remember every detail like it happened yesterday.

Bryan, IL, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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