Tucked away within a copse of trees off a dusty road in the town of Southvalley is a small cemetery known all around as a place where spirits reside. It is said that the Old Catholic cemetery is populated with the spirits that are buried there. What walks there is anyone’s guess but it is said that if you are lucky enough and brave enough that you would see something appear before your eyes. Like many cemeteries Guernsey Hollow, as it is most commonly known, is mildly spooky during the day but at night it takes on a whole new feeling. A feeling almost of being watched, a feeling like whatever resides there does not want you to enter the wrought iron gate and step into the hallowed ground. It was not until my first year of college that I even heard of this out of the way cemetery that was supposedly haunted. I was introduced to it on one fine dim evening during the summer of 1994. A few of my friends had decided that it would be an interesting time if we visited the cemetery so that we could possibly get spooked.
As we drove down the rural roads past dilapidated farmhouses and dense forest I wondered just what it would be like there. I was scared but I also thought that nothing could possibly happen. However, I was mistaken something did happen and it would change my outlook forever. On this particular evening I was with a few friends like I said, who are not the type to create things to spook others since they were spooked themselves. I, the unbeliever, arrived at the gates of Guernsey expecting nothing since I knew nothing was there. We parked the car at the base of the hill and shone the lights through the gate basking the cross at the very top. The supposed cross that according to legend one must kiss so that they can see the spirits that walk the hallowed grounds. Immediately upon crossing the threshold of the cemetery I noticed a chill in the air, but since it was a very cold night to begin with there was nothing strange about it. I walked to the top of the cemetery and kissed the cross at the behest of my friends. They could not believe I did it but again I thought the whole trip was a lot of hype. It was at this time that I took it upon myself to walk around the graveyard on my own. I left my friends at the top near the cross while they prodded one another to kiss it. As far as I know even with all the chiding no one ever did kiss it save for me.
So there I was twenty to thirty feet farther down the hill on the right side of the cemetery at a tombstone right near the outside fence. Between the car and I was nothing other than the wrought iron gate and a few tombstones. It was then that I heard a soft giggle. A giggle almost like that of a small girl but that could not be possible it was three in the morning and as far as I knew there was no small girl within a few miles of us. And yet I still heard the giggle again much louder this time. It was right about now I started to think something was up but I still thought there must be an explanation, an explanation that did not have to do with the paranormal. I walked a little further down the hill past the tombstone on the right and something caught my eye. It was then that my world changed and my outlook on the paranormal started to take hold of me. On the face of the tombstone, which recently has been broken in tow, was the shadow of a small girl. It was fleeting but I saw it reflected in the light from the car. I looked there was nothing between the car and I but the gate and a few tombstones, none of which were reflected on the face of the stone anyway.
Once I started upon the quest to document paranormal phenomenon in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties I decided to start with Guernsey Hollow Cemetery for various reasons. It was a good place to start since I knew there was something there that I had even seen. The other reason was because of the remoteness of the location I was sure I would not be disturbed in an investigation and would most definitely have no interference with my instruments while I tried to take Electromagnetic Field readings among other things. The location was virtually cut off. In my research I came across many stories that were told about Guernsey about how the place was haunted by a little girl that was stoned to death in the 1800’s, about Black Masses performed at the base of the cross, or about the strange deaths of animals especially the impaling of deer on the wrought iron fence and even a pile of deer carcasses found within the confines of the cemetery. It is apparent that something does walk in those hallowed grounds in the calm of the night but is it paranormal or of the flesh? There is something I do know for sure these stories will persist about a little cemetery tucked in a copse of tress off the beaten path. As long as they do the legend of Guernsey Hollow will never die.