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Hand on my Shoulder

New York, USA
October 1999

I've always been fascinated by cemeteries and remember visiting them with my mother as a little girl.

One summer day when I was twelve years old two of my friends and I were riding our bikes back from a day at the local beach. In order to get home we had to pass by the only cemetery that is within village limits of the town where I grew up. It is a very old cemetery, I don't think anyone has been buried there in 75+ years. It is also very small, I'd say about a quarter of the size of a football field. There are no trees in the cemetery and it is bordered on two sides by sidewalk and the other two sides by a fence.

Well, we decided to stop and walk around and read the headstones. We were each doing our own thing when I came upon a headstone embedded in the ground. It was on the inside edge of the cemetery and I was bending over to read it. It was the headstone of a girl, aged 12 (this is when I started to get chills), the next line read her date of birth and the next her date of death. The date of death had been exactly 100 years ago that day. As I realized this I felt the hand of one of my friends on my shoulder and I turned to tell her what I had just read and I saw both of my friends on the other side of the cemetery. Not realizing right away that it wasn't my friend's hand on my shoulder I called out to them, it was then that I realized that there was no one standing next to me but I could still feel the hand. I screamed and ran for my bike. My friends followed in chain reaction without even questioning me. Later I told them what happened and they never doubted me for a second.

I have never been back to that cemetery and occasionally drive by it when I'm visiting my parents. I still get chills. Maybe someday I'll do a little research and see if I can find out who the girl was.

New York, USA
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