alternative beliefs, celebrations, gravestomps, metaphysical, paranormal, ritual, spiritual path, witchcraft

Gravestomps: A Grave that Calls

One night during a local gravestomp, we had a large group of several people spread throughout and exploring the various areas of the cemetery. Richard, Nightshade, and I kept running into each other repetitively in one section. I was merely wandering about and exploring that area of the cemetery, however, they said they were tracking what they referred to as “a feeling” that was calling to them. The feeling eventually brought them to a grave, which I had already seen, noted as odd, and passed on by. Once they found it, however, they called me back over to it since it had some unknown plant growing rampantly across it.

The fact that the plant was unidentifiable was odd in itself, because Nightshade is the resident all-knowing plant-freak/ herbalist of our group. He comes from Native American blood, trained from an early age, by his grandmother to recognize the local flora, and she instructed him in their uses for a variety of issues, yet he said he had never seen one like it before.

This night, we noticed that the plant was growing on one grave and one grave, only. It did not extend beyond the border of the grave, itself. This grave also had the distinction of being the only grave in that section of the very old cemetery and the headstone so weathered as to be unreadable.

I decided to take some samples of the plants, partly because they were oddly shaped, from what we could see by candle light, and they were very sweet smelling, and so soft. They grew to a height of about 24 to 30 inches. I hoped the plants could be identified in the light of day, as I wanted to try to cultivate them in our yard.

Unfortunately, by early the next morning, the plants had a rancid smell and had already started rotting to such an extent we could not even tell what they looked like with bright morning sunlight. It was odd that the next time a group went to that cemetery (I was not able to attend that outing) the group said they could not find the same grave much less the unusual plants. What was most odd to me, personally, is that I tend to be highly allergic to most live plants, but I never broke out with one blister after handling the plants that night.

I hope that we will go back to the same cemetery some night and try to see if we can rediscover the location of that mysterious grave, to find the source of the plants, again. It would make for a very interesting gravestomp!

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gravestomp, ritual,

Gravestomps: The Faerie Lights Cemetery

Here in the DFW metroplex, we have a small graveyard on a two lane, gravel topped road that has been popular for decades. Locals call it the “Faerie Lights Cemetery”. I first heard about it about in the early ’80s, when I met a new friend who lived up the road from the cemetery. He, Jeff, said the local people told his parents stories about it when they bought their home there several years before he was born. The stories say that for the past several decades, lights will appear to some people, but they do not appear to all. Unlike most paranormal events, many of the locals seem to end up seeing them eventually, if they live close by for a long enough time, usually a few months for some or years or for others.

This is a popular cemetery for gravestomps, We have had groups where some saw the lights and some of others we were with thought we were crazy. One thing we have noticed, the more of a seeker the person is, or the more spiritual the person, the more likely they are to see the lights. We have also noticed that some people, those who are sensitive to the unexplained things around us, see them very easily the first time they visit. The least likely to see the lights are those people whose dogma prevents them from having an open mind to unexplainable events.

The last large group gravestomp we took to the “Faerie Lights Cemetery”, our entire party was made up of pagans, witches, Wiccans, Druids, an Eternalist, and other people who were new to seeking out some form of spirituality that made sense to them. It was very exciting because that night, everyone present was able to see the lights and participate.

The standard practice for gravestomps to this cemetery is to go when there is no moon at all. The reasoning being that this rules out the possibility of reflected moonlight being a cause of the sightings. We go late at night to rule out headlights passing on the gravel road and reflecting off headstones, as causing the effect. It is an extremely small town, anyway, with less than ten thousand citizens, so there is never very much traffic on this small back road. Late nights there is also less of a possibility that one of the few houses in the distance will have outdoor lights on, and as such, less chance of the lights reflecting off the headstones to produce any odd effects. These are all precautions taken for the benefit of the skeptical ones among us trying to see the lights for the first time. Those who do see them and are open to the experiences of the unexplainable can tell you that these lights are not caused by any kind of reflection at all.

The lights appear as slightly flickering flames. They are a bright and glowing blue, an almost neon blue shade which seems to be about 3 or 4 inches in height. You see them from a distance but when you approach the spot where they were… they are no longer there and they will appear behind you, instead. They show up on empty plots and occupied plots alike. There is no reason or rhyme to the placement of the flames, even though there have been decades of experimentation in this cemetery.

In the past, many people have tried to out-think the lights but it has yet to work. As for our groups, we have begun in the center of the cemetery as a whole all facing out toward the lights. They always seem to be just 30 or so steps away and scattered throughout the cemetery. We have one person count off steps away from the center, as we each take one step forward for each number called out. By the time we are 15 steps out, the lights have either blinked out or moved back from the location where they originally were. Some are still 30 steps away while others are simply gone. When the caller reaches 30, we have turned and looked back toward the center, lo and behold, they are several lights now behind us in the center of our circle, No-one could remember seeing them as we passed them though obviously, we had passed them or they had passed by us, sight unseen.

The last time we went to “Faerie Lights Cemetery”, I stood still with a couple of other people and tried to guide some of the others toward the lights. We had them circling around behind the lights in an attempt to sneak up on them. (” No… No! Go back about another ten feet, take four steps to your left and then come back toward us about fifteen feet. You’re almost there, almost there, almost… AAARRRGGGHHH! Don’t step on it!) Though it seems that we were able to see them from a distance still, Lysander and even Nightshade with his size 13 clodhoppers could not see the light, which was less than two feet in front of them. Yet, from where we were standing, it glowed as brightly as ever. However, as they were looking right down upon it as they loomed over it; they could not see a thing other than the empty plot they stood on.

Meanwhile others of the party were elsewhere in the cemetery doing their best to sneak up and catch the lights unaware. As usual, no luck was had by anyone trying to catch up to the lights and view them close up. No one that I am aware of has ever gotten a close look at the elusive “Faerie Lights” in all the decades that groups have been trying.

psychomanteum, necromancy, spell work, witchcraft, gravestomp, celebration, ritual

Witchery: The Celebration of Gravestomps

No matter how abhorrent the name sounds, this activity is actually a harmless and non-offensive adventure. A gravestomp is nothing more than a scheduled late night outing to a local cemetery that has been reported to be unusual in some manner due to reported hauntings, odd experiences, or other paranormal reports.

In our area a group of friends get together to go in search of graveyards that are out of the way, very old, locally famous, or ones that hold our loved ones remains. We go at night during the final stages of a waning moon, or a new moon. We go out in the dark of night to commune with those who have crossed over, to leave them small gifts, to leave behind our feelings of loss at our loved ones not being with us any longer, or to do spell work, symbolically burying any negativity we currently have in our incarnation. If we are burying negativity, we leave the cemetery feeling refreshed and renewed.

As we tour the cemeteries, we explore the graves. Some have taken rubbings from interesting grave markers. We look for specific points of interest or allow the cemetery to pull us where it wants us to go. Sometimes, a grave calls out to someone in our party. Sometimes we feel drawn to a particular grave for reasons that we may not immediately understand.

One such sudden surprise related to the dates of those interred. Our friends, David and Nicola, experienced such a shock during one of our gravestomps. They were engaged to be married, and as they wandered through the headstones, they discovered the graves of another betrothed couple. The couple shared their birth dates, but not birth years, of course. According to the information on the headstones, it seems the late couple were buried side by side by their families as they tragically died before the wedding could take place, and as such, would never be able to wed in that incarnation. Nicola was very upset by the notion until it was pointed out that she and David could very well be the reincarnated lovers, back for another try in this incarnation. She made plans to investigate her past lives to see what she could find.

We believe that we learn from these experiences. We feel enriched by paying homage to the generations, which have come before us. We feel that we can learn to commune with the spirits of the deceased and that we have much to learn from them. Sometimes, we may discover something, which (if we pay attention) may be able to help us at the current point of our incarnation.

If the laws in your area permit it, try to organize a gravestomp to an area that has significance to you or your group of friends. You never know what you may be able to learn about yourself, until you try. Just remember that contrary to the name of the function, you should always have the utmost respect for the cemetery and its inhabitants. Behave in a respectful manner, if not for the deceased’s benefit, then for the sake of their loved ones, and for the sake of your own honor.