Houses that Came Back
Benjamin N. Keys, Jr.
In the more than 50 years I have been involved with the Paranormal World one would think I should have encountered just about every possible facet there was to be witnessed but one fateful day when I least expected it, something entirely different happened that put my psyche out ‘in left field’ all over again!
A new adventure in the paranormal world would bring me into direct contact with a building that refused to stay gone once it was torn down. The phenomena took place during the period I was covering the ‘Great Indian Uprising’ at the Pocahontas Parkway just south of Richmond Virginia. A new express highway had recently been constructed there directly over an ancient Indian village site and burial grounds at a place history often refers to as ‘The Falles of the James’! Some of the Indian data taken from the site has now been traced back thousands of years.
However, it always seems to happen without fail. When construction on old undisturbed lands takes place in the name of progress, there comes a time when it is not feasible to consider the historical value of every location and relegate them with a historic designation and put them aside. In some areas steeped in history long before the growing pains of a young Nation even began, entire cities have been built! If these old historic sites had been set aside, there would not have been any place to build our cities. Such has been the case here. Due to increasing expansion of the nearby cities, the highway was needed and this was the only area where it could be located feasibly. Before all this paranormal activity began taking place, few if any knew of the previous seven thousand year old history of the Indians who had once lived and died there. Thus the roadway was planned and construction began. Upon completion and before anyone knew what was happening, the Indian Spirits interred under the expressway decided to object to this disruption of their ancient tribal lands and let their disdain be known. They started by showing up on the many hilltops alongside the highway while carrying torches, beating drums and chanting. Some even started walking through heavy traffic with many reports of them having passed right through cars and trucks. They seemed to take great pleasure in unnerving the toll collectors. There were dozens of reports filed daily with the Virginia State Police who came to investigate the encounters. Soon, reports of the strange happenings were picked up by the newspapers and local TV news programs. Within days, thousands of sightseers crowed the area. From then on, it was no longer problems with Indian Spirits the police had to contend with but crowd control. By the time I was alerted and arrived to check out the happenings, the place was pure bedlam! People were camping out all along sides of the expressway with coolers filled with beer and having beer parties while waiting to see the ‘Indian’ ghosts. It was an appalling sight!
I left early the first night but was there almost every night afterwards and the crowd was continuing with their insane drunken antics. The police soon became as numerous as the crowds with a major dilemma on their hands. The TV and newspapers were asked to publish a report as soon as possible warning anyone involved in the continuing antics along the expressway that they would be arrested and fined.
I waited for several days for things to quiet down and returned to the farm lands along side the expressway from which the Indians Antics now seemed most prevalent. Luckily, a good friend of the owner gave me permission to be there and thankfully I did not have to involve myself being near the expressway.
I parked my vehicle and started across an immense field to the site of one of the large ancient burial mounds where the ‘drumbeats of the upset Indians were being heard on a continuing basis. On approaching the area I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye but it happened so quickly there was not enough time for me to determine what it was. I learned a long time ago when this happens, react immediately and take a picture with the camera! I got a picture of the area but when I looked in the viewfinder to see what I had captured I almost froze. There, not more than 800 feet in front of me appeared to be a building somewhat akin to an old trading post or general store of some sort and quite similar to the pictures I remembered seeing in old photographs. But, there it was and I had the picture! It seemed to be ‘floating’ over the top of a knoll and headed to a specific place which I later determined to be between two of the old Indian Burial Mounds. Still, try as I might, I could not see the darn thing too good with my naked eye, as I sometimes can do, so I took more pictures. I was so involved mentally, I did not bother to review the pictures I had taken until I got home and downloaded my camera. I could not understand why but I had only taken one very good picture. And boy, that was enough! I had a picture of the old building sitting there between those mounds as though it had always been there!
On a lark I began to search old records of the place and finally found a faint mention of an old building at the place prior to the middle of the 18th century. Could it have been an old Indian Trading Post?
Some time back, I encountered a similar event but it did not happen to me this time. I received an E-mail from an old friend. Attached to his e-mail was a picture of a house located in a grove of trees on his old family farm out on the Western Plains. The house appeared to be a normal house in every way until I read the narration that accompanied the picture. My friend stated that he had gone to visit his old family farm one last time for it was soon to be auctioned off. The house had been built in a grove of trees to protect it from the fierce winter winds that constantly buffet the Plains. In order to sell the place, the new owners wanted the descendents to have the all old buildings removed and the place cleaned up. The current owners acceded to the potential buyers request and both the dilapidated house and the accompanying buildings were torn down and only the trees remained. On a lark, my friend decided to take a picture of the location where the house once stood. To say he was shocked when he saw the picture would be an understatement. There, standing on it’s original site, was the house still standing in the same place in the grove of trees just as it had been in the old days and looking none the worse for wear and tear! As he was studying the picture, he saw something else in that picture that was just as mind-boggling. All the shadows of the trees being cast onto the ground in the late evening sun were going in different directions! How on earth was that possible? Several other old building appeared to have returned even though they had been bulldozed at the same time as the house.
Like I have said many times, the Paranormal World is truly one of the most mysterious and incredible places in the Universe and I doubt if I will ever do little more than scratch the surface. I would like to learn what all there is to know about it in my lifetime for after all it is one of our parallel dimensions. That is, if live long enough! Of that I am sure!
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