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Historic Norcross: A Railroad Town with an Afterlife
This character from the Imagination Tour greeted guests in the city cemetery Photos (1) Photos Credit Sally Toole
Published: 12:18 PM - 07-16-11

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”

Tell your neighbors about patch within the city’s cemetery, where weathered tombstones record birth and death dates, some the same day, of those souls who departed this earth.

Rampant disease, difficult childbirth, a reckless crossing of a train track, farm equipment mishaps and a bloody Northern Aggression snuffed out the life light of many Norcross denizens.

Curious modern visitors step gingerly around the plots, careful to avoid some token offering or memento symbolic of respect--respect for the dead, placed on the oldest of the legible dates.

Will the gifts quiet the unsettled souls? Or can the gravedigger’s wagon, be heard or recorded still traipsing up Cemetery Street?

Could a fog of fear float in the midnight mist, visible to the photographic eye of a ghost hunter's lens?

The Norcross Paranormal team recorded sounds of wheels rolling up that fateful avenue, a path along which babes who were lost at birth, thieves who met justice at the hands of vigilantes, or souls who stumbled onto the tracks, unaware of oncoming trains, took their last wagon ride to rest eternal in the city's historic graveyard.

Old timers tell a tale of hearing the sound of an old carriage hearse en route down Cemetery Street. All they thought they heard was the wagon, no sound could be discerned of hooves or horses pulling it.

That intrigued the Norcross Paranormal team and it was the perfect chance to investigate the ability to capture and playback audio under a normal frequency range intelligible to the human ear, audio anomalies ghost hunters refer to as Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP.

After summoning up some courage, two of the hunters decided to listen for this carriage. Under the guise of going to take some photos of historic buildings the hunters set up recorders at about 3 a.m., a time known as the "witching hour."

After placing one device by the railroad tracks on S. Peachtree and Cemetery streets, a second on Skin Alley and Cemetery Street and third at the elbow of Cemetery Street heading up toward Buford Highway the "record" button is pushed and the devices are left alone while the pair wandered around town photographing suspicious structures. A sudden chill tingling up their collective spines quickly ended the EVP session...

Back at base, safe inside their office, the two investigators listened carefully to the audio. Within the first 10 minutes of the recording sounds of a carriage or wagon wheel drawn down Cemetery Street by clopping horse hoof were heard.

Thus was caught the first tangible bit of paranormal evidence in Norcross?

Below the well-kept city cemetery a bone yard of long departed Norcross indigent lie silently and unrecorded beneath today’s youth football field. A vast death field of impoverished remains is shabbily buried in shallow unmarked graves.

In the late 1950s bulldozers leveled the grounds to make space for athletic fields, the scattered remains of the town’s poorest citizens were never properly relocated.

Perhaps the curious visitor skips over a smooth rock, once bearing silent witness to a lowly life lost forever in the dirt dump of the dirt poor. Souls of meager earthly means rest in disintegrating death clothes somewhere just below the crust of the overgrown rocky field, unbeknownst to fans cheering above them.

Innocent players may wonder why they stumble to the ground. Did, perhaps, some unsettled soul, anxious to make contact with the living, reach through time and space and hash marks, to tickle the toes of a tumbling tackler? Just a thought...to make you pause before exploring the city’s historic cemetery.

Edited by: Brenda Booth
permanent link: http://www.mysterycasebook.com/2011/cemetaryhill.html

source & references: By Sally Toole

Photo Credit: Sally Toole

www.norcrosspatch.com http://norcross.patch.com/articles/cemetery-on-a-hill

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