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Mineral Wells: Did I Hear Ghosts in Elmwood Cemetery?

I heard children giggling when I took this photo! (photo by Tui Snider)
I heard children giggling when I took this photo! (photo by Tui Snider)

Two Paranormal Investigations in Mineral Wells, Texas

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about Haunted Hill House, my husband and I spent last weekend with with our dear friend and talented psychic, Teal Gray, over in Mineral Wells, Texas for a writing research trip. Part of that research included participating in two different paranormal investigations.

The first investigation took place at Phil Kurchoff’s Haunted Hill House. You can read all about by following the link I shared above. The second investigation was at the Crazy Water Hotel. This historic venue is not open to the public and difficult to gain entrance to, so I leapt at the invitation extended to me by Greg Stephens, a founding member of Texas Research & Investigation of the Paranormal (a.k.a. TxRIP) to participate in a paranormal investigation at the historic Crazy Water with his team. I will share more about that experience in the future. I’m waiting until Texas RIP has a chance to review all the evidence they gathered, which can be a time-consuming process!

Until then, suffice it to say that I saw an anomalous ball of light whizzing around with my naked eyes at one point. Meanwhile, the team’s cameras caught a vortex spiraling over my head immediately after I stood up to investigate a strange noise we all heard. Weird stuff, indeed!

Since Haunted Hill House and the Crazy Water Hotel are both notorious paranormal hot spots, I expected the unexpected during my visits. I did not, however, expect a paranormal encounter while visiting Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells…

Why do people expect graveyards to be haunted?

Even though I constantly read and hear about haunted graveyards, a part of me resists the idea. Of all places, why on earth (literally!) would a spirit hang out at a cemetery unless they had spent a lot of time there in their life, as a groundskeeper, or something like that?

Haunted theaters, hotels, ballrooms, and houses, on the other hand, make sense to me. Of course, I realize there is no cosmic rule saying that paranormal activity must make sense to little ole me before it can happen. I just wanted to clarify that although I visit historic cemeteries on a regular basis, I rarely go there expecting to see, or in this case hear, ghosts. I usually visit historic graveyards for research purposes, to clarify the spelling of a person’s name, for instance, or to photograph interesting cemetery symbols.

Historic Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Historic Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

My Paranormal Experience

On this particular day, Teal Gray, Larry, and I were traipsing through Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas on a mission to fulfill photo requests for members of Findagrave.com. (If you’ve never checked out Findagrave, you’re missing out!) Here’s the deal: sometimes after folks figure out where their ancestors are buried, they live too far away to visit the graveyard in person. They will then put in a photo request on Findagrave, hoping that someone nearby will fulfill it. I’ve used Findagrave so much for historic research that I figure it’s about time I started giving back by fulfilling some of these photo requests. (And, hey, if you are on Findagrave, be sure to friend me! I only recently made my public Findagrave profile there.)

As the three of us fanned out and started looking at headstones, Teal pointed to one and told me to check out its epitaph. The headstone is quite faded and hard to read, but from what I could tell, it describes a man named Richard Dyckerhoff, who was born in Germany and died in Mineral Wells, Texas. Mr. Dyckerhoff’s epitaph reads, “The orphans true friend.” Isn’t that intriguing? I’m curious to learn how he earned such an impressive title.

But here’s the fun part: as I knelt in the grass and steadied my camera to photograph Mr. Dyckerhoff’s headstone, I heard children giggling. The laughter seemed to be coming from about 10 feet away and slightly to my right. It was quite loud!

I immediately stood up and looked over, fully expecting to see little kids. As I rose, a mental picture flashed through my head, too. It was brief, but quite detailed: I “saw” 3 little kids ranging in age from 5 to 7 standing behind a nearby tree with their hands up to their mouths to stifle giggles.

The sound was so convincing that I actually walked forward and peered around the tree, then looked all over the place to see if there were any children in the graveyard.

There were not.

Even so, the sound was so “real” that it took me a minute to accept that there were no living children in the graveyard with us. It was so weird! The experience didn’t make me feel creeped out or scared – just baffled.

I finally returned to take another photo of the headstone and as I did so, I once again heard a brief giggle, but not as lengthy this time. In retrospect, I should have taken a few photos of the area where I heard the sound coming from. Maybe I would have caught something anomalous on film!

We remained in Elmwood Cemetery for another half an hour and in that time, I didn’t hear any more giggling or see any other people there besides my husband and Teal Gray.

Beautiful trees at Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Beautiful trees at Elmwood Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Have you ever seen or heard a ghost?

The experience reminds me that while people often ask, “Have you ever seen a ghost?” I have heard strange things way more often than I have seen them. I suppose that this could mean that of The Four Clairs, I tend more towards clairaudience than clairvoyance.

What about you? Have you ever seen or heard a ghost? Which of the Four Clairs is dominant for you?

Want to read more?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!

Hey, you! Want to come along for the ride?

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Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!
Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!

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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
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Published inBlog on Writing & LifeCemeteries & SymbolismHaunted TravelHistoric CemeteriesTravel Photo Essays

8 Comments

  1. Leslie Douglas Hart Leslie Douglas Hart

    My mother and I had a huge falling out and I left her home and never returned. Later that spring I heard her call my name and it was so vivid I expected to look up and see her in her car in front of our house. Over the years this had happened frequently but after this time I found she had recently died and the woman who was looking after her affairs hadn’t told anyone she was dead yet.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Wow! That is a quite an experience. I am sorry that you never had a chance to reconcile with your mom during her lifetime, but it sounds as if she reached out to you from the beyond. Thanks for sharing! ~Tui

  2. Tui Snider Tui Snider

    No one else heard the laughter, but I was the only one of us 3 in that section of the graveyard at the time. Still, it sounded absolutely real to me. My mind didn’t leap to anything creepy… at first!

    Wow! That’s interesting about you hearing your name called! Did it make you feel a little comforted, though, to have heard your friend’s voice?

  3. Wow, that’s a really creepy story! Did anyone else hear the laughter?

    A few months after my best friend died, I heard someone call my name when I was walking down the hallway at school. I turned around immediately, but there was no one there.

    Only then did I realize whose voice it had been.

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