Supernatural or not

I had quite a weird experience a few days ago which on the one hand one could explain easily and on the other hand one couldn’t explain that easily and I would like to share it with you.

On Sunday, my hubby Milan and I went on a trip to castle festivities in Velhartice. When we were almost there, we saw an old church which Milan found familiar having said that he had read something about it but was not sure and was not much specific. We made a quick detour to have a look at it and found out that the church was situated inside a cemetery. We were hurrying to the castle so we even didn’t get off the car but I quite liked the place and later on our way home I asked Milan to stop there again so that I could go inside the cemetery and have a look at it and at the church in the middle of it.

Thus it happened that a few hours later we stopped by the cemetery once again and I was walking around it, taking photos of both the tombs and the church. The church was in a damaged state but the cemetery was in excellent condition, most of the tombs looked neat and decorated. I really liked the place.

There was only one thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable which  was a good-looking young man in a black T-shirt and trousers, lean and muscular, who was walking around the cemetery as well, talking to his mobile most of the time. He was most probably just waiting for his parents to finish their decoration of a grave but it felt like he was watching me. Pure nonsense and coincidence, I am sure, but for whatever reason he made me feel as if I shouldn’t have been there.

When I completed the circle around the cemetery, I came back to the side entrance of the church facing the entering gate to the cemetery. The side entrance was protected by a decorative grid behind which you could see an open door and a partial view of the church. The view caught my attention so I took out my camera, put its lens through the grid and took a few photos of the scene.

I can’t show you any of the photos, I will tell you why later, so try to imagine what I saw based on my description. An open green door with straight diagonal lines covering the left side of the photo and being a bit blurred as focus was aimed at a side view of a pew in the right part of the photo. The yellowish pew was the last one in a row and the only visible, facing the space hidden behind the door. Opposite the entrance, there was a tall window through which light rays were falling on the ground behind the pew, creating a puddle of light on the ground. There was some white and black dirt on the ground as well, possibly fallen pieces of crumbled plaster or some stains. The scene looked desolate, lonely, hiding something yet somehow transformed by the rays of the light.

After I took all the photos I wanted, we left. We made one more stop near the cemetery and while I was photographing another scene, Milan was searching the Internet, looking for the article he might have read. He finally found it and when I got back to the car he read it to me. I was surprised to hear that the article depicted the cemetery we could still see as an ominous place having adverse effect on many of its visitors.

They say that some people sense evil in the place or feel anxiety, that women used to faint in the church, that some people report nightmares or even severe illness right after visiting the cemetery. The cemetery is listed as a paranormal site based on countless evidence of negative energy and it is not recommended to be visited just for fun.

Of course, there are also people who say that they were not affected by the visit at all and people who say it’s all just a bubble full of nonsense.

History of the place dates many centuries back. The stone church of St. Mary Magdalene was built in 1373, before it, there used to be a wooden church and before the church, there used to be a ritual Celtic burial-ground.

There are quite a few stories trying to explain the negative phenomenon. One of them is a folk tale saying that sometime in 15th or 16th century, there was a girl in the village who fell in love with a soldier who died in a battle. She was asked by another man to marry him and when she refused, saying that she would never love anybody but the dead man, the suitor took revenge. With some help, he supposedly managed to invoke the dead soldier’s spirit which subsequently possessed the girl. Eventually, the girl was saved but at the gable of the church a female face appeared. People thought it was a bad omen and wanted to demolish the church but they were not allowed to do that so they at least removed the plaster from the gable and put on new plaster. Yet the face appeared again and you can see it up to now, whether those are just stains of dirt or not.

Let me tell you that I heard so many folk tales and supernatural stories when visiting various castles and churches and other places so I thought, what’s the difference here? It might not have been a good idea to go there but it’s just another place to be put on the list, nothing more.

Later at home I switched on my laptop and downloaded the photos that I took during the day. When I got to those from the cemetery, I started to have a bad feeling. I felt as if I brought home something that might infect the household severely. I explained myself that I was overreacting and my mind was just playing tricks on me because of what I heard in the car but because I didn’t particularly like the photos, I decided – for the peace of my mind – to delete them. All with one exception which was the best photo from those that I took at the side view inside the church. That photo felt strong and I was attracted by its mystery, light and overall atmosphere.

I switched off the laptop and went to take a shower but before getting to the bathroom, I made myself to get my camera and format its card to get rid of the photos entirely.

I thought that thus the problem was solved but it just started. The one photo that I left presented itself in my mind bringing quite unpleasant visualisations of what is hidden behind the green door covering the left part of the photo. The scene was bursting with tension, its calmness being the calmness right before the storm hits. I felt more and more anxious, afraid of falling asleep until finally I switched on my laptop once more and deleted the last photo including the backed up copy of the  Lightroom catalogue including it. I needed to do that although I bitterly regretted that I was losing the image.

I slept well but next day the nagging continued. I felt strongly attracted to the side entrance of the church to come back and retrieve the photo. I even kept drawing the scene in the course of the day repeatedly. When I came home from work, I was looking for ways how to retrieve the file. On the one hand I wanted the image back no matter what. On the other hand I felt it would be a wrong thing to do. A few days later, I still can see the photo in my mind with some trepidation and uneasiness and as much as I would love to capture the scene once more, I know that the gate to the cemetery is closed for me, I feel strong resistance when thinking of entering it again.

I risk being considered foolish when telling this story publicly, these things are always so strong when experienced but sound so trivial when told aloud. All the anxious feelings could be easily dismissed and explained as an (in)appropriate reaction to the facts and rumours I was told. Yet I believe I should listen to my instincts that say that there is something wrong which should not be trifled with, supernatural or not.

Obviously, I could not accompany my post with the photos that I don’t have any more so I decided to add a few photos that I took on our way home. They are bright and optimistic and counterbalance the story in such a welcome way.