When we arrived in Silver Cliff, the moon was dropping below the horizon, and the stars blanketed the sky. Our first stop of the night was the Silver Cliff cemetery, as this is the first cemetery that you encounter as you head down the dirt road. We drove through the lot and parked, facing the entrance, so that we could see the entire piece of land. We stayed here for about an hour, checking out different quadrants from the car. One quadrant was difficult to see into because of two bright lights that were shining from the nearby town of Westcliffe, which we later found out was a small horse arena. In the rest of the cemetery we thought we saw some lights, but quickly realized that they were cars in the distance, reflections on gravestones or the reflectors that frequent the graveyard, or the lights from nearby houses.
After the hour of non-excitement, we decided to check out the other cemetery down the road: The Assumption. Not only is the name scary, but the huge cross that stands in the middle of the tombstones is even scarier. We sat in the this plot of land for a good hour with nothing out of the ordinary, when in the distance I noticed lights coming from the other cemetery. After watching through a tree, I exited the car and went in for a better look. After watching the lights move around, I called for my dad and he came over to get a better look. After a few minutes, I suggested that we shine our flashlight at the lights. While shining our lights in that direction we noticed that the lights seemed to mimic our own lights. Since this was the most excitement of the night, I suggested that we head back to the other cemetery and check it out. So we jumped in the car and headed over to the other site.
On arrival, we noticed that a car that was not there before, was parked outside of the gate. We quickly came to realize that the lights we had seem were the flashlights from other paranormal enthusiasts. Not knowing where they were in the cemetery, we drove our truck in and stopped just inside the gate, not really considering that we were blocking the entrance. After a few moments, we saw the flashlight beams of the other adventurers. My dad, careful not to get himself killed, was worried that it might be a group of thugs looking for a fight; or even worse, that it was a group of paranoids that carried firearms with them.
So with only a flashlight in my hand, I exited the car. As the group approached I yelled, "Are you guys looking for the mystery lights too?" A response came back, "Sir, we can't hear you. We'll be there in a second." As they approached I greeted them, not able to see their faces, when one of the apparitions, replied with "Hey, It's Witkowsky!" Within seconds, I realized that I had encountered about eight former students from the high school in which I teach. About an hour from our town, we ran into each other and gave one another a fright. They too, first became started when they saw our flashlights in the distance, and then became even more afraid as I drove from one cemetery to the other, fearing that I was a murderous psycho killer that had come to hunt them down, after all, I had trapped them inside the cemetery. One of the guys even admitted to dropping to the ground and making himself invisible to the cemetery's interlopers, when we had entered a dimmed our headlights. They then talked about the different ways that they had envisioned their demise within the place of death...all ideas we laughed about whole heartily. While I talked with my former students, my parents remained in the car, laughing about the whole situation and the conversations we endured.
Apparently, they went out to the cemetery looking not for the lights, but for a gravestone with American flags attached. The story that they had heard involved three flags on the grave, as one flag was rumored to wave with the wind, the one on the opposite end would fly in the opposite direction, and the one in the middle would remain motionless. After talking with one of the guys on Facebook, they claim to have found what they were looking for and apparently, they will be posting pictures to their page sometime soon. (Picture posted to blog on 9-25-2010. Photo by Devon AfroThunder)
Even though we didn't see the ghost lights, we did enjoy our time together. We spent much of the time telling old stories and getting caught up with our current lives, which can be difficult to do when you live hours apart. Even though I wish my wife would have partook in the night's adventure, I'm happy that she didn't, for I would not have enjoyed her complaints and tiredness that she has with the paranormal. For those of us who did attend the investigation, we enjoyed spending time together, seeing a few shooting stars, and most enjoyable, running into the unexpected.