Monday, November 03, 2008

Orbs in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond

So I tried to schedule a few entries to post themselves over the weekend, including my big Halloween-themed post. I must have done something wrong because none of them were added to the site. Sorry for the delay with this one since I promised I would post it on Halloween. It is a little late but a good story nonetheless.

Back in 2002 I finally found an ancestor of mine buried in Hollywood Cemetery. I always wanted to find one but never had any of my people buried there. Hollywood was a too prestigious (i.e. costly) for most of my ancestors. Surprisingly enough, I found that my grandmother's great-grandparents were actually buried in the cemetery. I never would have thought it since they were some of the poorest ancestors that I have. They were buried in a relative's section so maybe that relative had money (and some pity)!

Once I found the grave site I was impressed by the nice iron fence but disappointed when I did not find gravestones for my ancestors. I had been to the office in Hollywood and gotten a copy of the burial records for this particular section. I was amazed at how many people were supposed to be buried in such a small plot, some of them not related to our family (as best as I can tell). In the little section there were a total of fourteen graves, only five of which were laid out on the plat. The remainder of the area is marked "full of graves."

I took some pictures of the fenced section and was about to leave when an idea hit me. I noticed that one of the fence rods was loose so I pulled it out of the fence. I proceeded to poke all over the leave-covered ground with the metal rod, not knowing exactly what I would find. After about five minutes I hit something. I then used the rod as a shovel and started removing dirt.

The object was probably six inches below the surface and I was too curious to stop digging. Being so close to a large tree, who knows what the roots might have pushed up! After a few minutes it became clear what I had found...a tombstone. Once completely uncovered I had found the tombstone of my ancestor, Frank Jarvis of Petersburg and Manchester. That only excited me (and cost me another hour of poking). I was thereafter determined that I could find a stone for his wife, Elizabeth, but I did not have such luck. She died in a home for the poor years after Frank so it made sense that she did not have one.

This is a great story so far but it gets even better. When I developed the film, I noticed something even more odd than tombstone being buried. I could understand the tombstone being buried because the large tree had been dumping leaves on the flat stone for well over 100 years. The photos that I took captured something that the leaves could not cover up...the spirits of those buried beneath its branches!

Look at this first photo. If you click on the photo you can get a very large view of it. There is an orb floating in the corner of the section, right where I found the stone for Frank Jarvis. There is also a blob in the top, right corner and a haze over the entire middle of the photo.

In the second photo, taken from behind the section, there is a hazy blob where Elizabeth Jarvis would have been buried, near the trunk of my car. There is also some haze in the air near the top, right side of the photo. There also appears to be a tiny orb in the upper, middle of the photo, in the tree's branches.

Okay, let's try to explain these photos. I can rule out malfunction...look at the photo of Frank's tombstone and you will see no such blurs or hazy spots. I will admit that it was kinda rainy that morning but it was not really raining at the time of the photos. It could have been a little misty and perhaps the orbs are reflections off raindrops. However, keep in mind two things...I am not sure if the flash was even on and I was using my wife's nice camera. If it were raining, I would not have had the nerve to use it. If it got wet, she would kill me.

Take it for what it is worth but I like to think that maybe I caught the spirits of Frank and Elizabeth on film. I know that it was probably just water and humidity but there is a lot of haze around the photos, maybe it is ectoplasm of something. It just seems strange that only these two photos were influenced when I took a bunch of photos that day. What do you think? Water or Jarvises?

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