First, I am not crazy, and I have never told anyone this story because my family doesn’t usually believe in ghosts and the paranormal. Let me give you some background for this story. My family cemetery sits on a hill at the mouth of a “holler” hidden behind trees and brush just outside Chapmanville, in Logan County, West Virginia. It is just up the hill from the old house my great grandma lived in. My great grandfather passed away in 1983, and she stayed in the house alone for about 4 years, until she became senile. She began wandering off, and she would call us and ask if we had seen my great grandfather, who had been dead for many years, and she would talk about dead people as if they were still alive. She was still in yester-year. We had to get people to sit with her around the clock for the last five years of her life. She died in 1998 at the age of 94.
I was about nine or ten years old when it happened. I was visiting my great grandmother when we saw a Cadillac hearse pull up the driveway, with about three cars behind it. This hearse was older looking, like one of those from the 60’s. They took out a casket and began carrying it up the hill behind my great grandmother’s house. Now this was strange because the cemetery was exclusively a family cemetery, we would have been notified if a family member had died, and for family to just go by Grandma’s house without saying anything would have been a sin.
Grandma was too old to walk up the hill, so she sent me up the hill to find out who had died. I walked up the hill, staying in the background until it was over. When it was finally over, I asked someone there who had died and they told me who it was. I wandered around the cemetery until everyone had gone, and when I went down the hill, I was astonished to see everyone had already left and nobody stayed to visit Grandma, like anyone who ever went near there did. I went in and told her who had died and she said it wasn’t anyone in the family. It was someone who lived up the hollow who wanted to be buried close by, and knew the family well, and my Grandma said she had promised them they could be buried up there. I don’t know why, but I forgot about the whole thing and even forgot to tell my folks about the funeral when they came to pick me up later. I remember going back up there for Memorial Day and a couple of funerals and noticing there was never a marker placed at that grave.
A few years later when my great grandmother died, a few of us stayed on the cemetery just looking around and such. My great uncle, who was in his 60’s, was there. I was asking him about the person who had been buried a few years earlier, the person who lived up the hollow, and why didn’t the family of that person put up some kind of marker. He didn’t know what I was talking about. I showed him the grave and what he told me made me turn white and my jaw hit the ground. The same grave was opened when he was a kid, a very long time ago. He said the man buried there was buried by the state. He had lived up the hollow and the state paid for his services and grave because he was poor. His family never put a marker there because he had no family. He had hung himself.
This story gets stranger still. I never told my uncle anything, nothing. I didn’t want to be considered crazy. My great grandmother and I saw a ghost funeral and I didn’t know it, and she was just re-living the past by seeing it. The weirdest part is that one of my cousins now lives in the old house by the cemetery. She called here one day asking who died because there was a small funeral taking place, up on the hill. I told her I didn’t know, I had not heard of anyone dying. I told her to go up there and see about it. Again, I didn’t think anything of the strange happening in the past. I went over there a week later and she showed me where they had buried the person and again my jaw hit the ground and I turned white. The grave was still fresh, like someone was just buried there a week before. I never told my cousin anything, nothing. I didn’t want to frighten her out of that house. This is a true story. I cannot explain it. If anyone told me this story I would not believe it. This really happened to me.