“The Spring Hill Cemetery, is located off of Fort Dade Ave. in Brooksville. It is an old black cemetery with the earliest “known” burial starting in the late 1800’s. At dusk you can see what seems to be a man hanging from a tree limb. Also, groups of spirits can be seen standing together around the headstones of family plots. One report states that an infant’s cry can be heard during certain times of the night.”
Last week while visiting good old friends, Mr. and Mrs. O, the conversation turned to a cemetery close by. It was an old African-American, black burial site. It had been recently, maybe a couple of years ago, cleaned up and cleared of vegetation and thickets that had covered the plots. “It’s haunted,” Alex told, and right away he and my husband decided not to join our expedition. Cowards!
The cemetery was not far away. The day was beautiful, the sun was warm, the shadows dancing. We turned to a sandy road. There was a pick up truck in the middle of the road, and husky man with tattoos leaning on the hood. We slightly hesitated, but went on. A new gate was wide open and there was no-one on the site. The heavy Spanish moss-covered the big old trees. We carefully went from one grave to another, read the names, tried to guess their stories. Of course we had no knowledge of any of their lives, as always in the graveyards. People are born, people die. There is marker as a reminder, but who remembers?
Many of the graves were covered with cement blankets, some had handles on them. The stones had a beautiful patina. Some were unreadable. Many of sites were adorned with silk flowers; no natural plantings of any other kind like we are used in Europe. Barren. Simple. “God is Love” or “At Rest”, maybe “Mother” inscribed in the stone, very little anything else. The butterflies fluttered from a lantana to another, the little lizards were trying to play hide-n-seek, the moss swung with the breeze.
There was peacefulness.
On the way back, the truck had turned around, the driver was nowhere to be seen. Would we go into this gravesite again? Yes, but not at pitch-black Florida night. No way!