Saturday, February 5, 2022

Moaning in the Gloaming

Any time of year is good for a scary story, right? This involves a visit from maybe around 2017 to the old Leverington Cemetery in Roxborough, Pennsylvania. The cemetery has been in existence since 1744 and the Church next door, with its own graveyard in back, has been around since about 1789 (ref.). The graveyard (the technical term for a churchyard burial ground) was closed to new burials in the 1980s, though the adjoining Leverington Cemetery remains active. The much larger Leverington Cemetery (about nine acres) has a gated entrance on Ridge Avenue.

It was the waning end of a crisp fall day, as I recall. Leverington is one of the few Philadelphia area cemeteries that is safe to explore in the gloaming, safe from being locked in, anyway. The main gate is missing, so anyone can wander in (or out) at their leisure. Which has been a problem, from what I’ve heard. Some have related encounters with ne’er-do-wells who had been hanging about the property, but I personally never had a problem. On this visit I was by myself. I’d been here many times over the years. I checked out the Civil War monument in the back of the cemetery and the old graves back behind the church. Made some photographs as I explored the grounds.

As I was walking behind the maintenance shed in the center of the cemetery, I heard the most god-awful moaning, and stopped short. Where could that be coming from? My blood froze. It was broad daylight, so it wasn’t TERRIBLY frightening, but still, this is a cemetery, right? Anything can happen.

Then ANOTHER god-awful moan! Traffic on Ridge Avenue is a block away; Bob’s Diner, which borders the cemetery, the same distance. No creature anywhere nearby that could make such a sound - Whisky – Tango – Foxtrot (WTF) ...!? As I slowly walked around the front of the shed, I noticed that one of the red, barn-style doors was open. I gingerly approached the opening. Maybe the moaning was coming from inside the shed? As I neared the open door, I peered inside ….. was someone hurt or dying? Was someone already dead?

What I saw came as rather a shock. A gentleman, who I took to be the groundskeeper, was sitting on a white plastic five-gallon bucket. His pants at his ankles, apparently taking a fierce dump! I assume the poor guy had nowhere else to go. 

I backed away, so as to give him his privacy, allowing him to continue to focus on this quotidian event. I made my way out of the area and out of the cemetery, vowing to always take care of business BEFORE going on any long explore. 

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