St. Augustine, Florida is a well preserved city. Along the Matanza River which is the main entrance into St. Aug., my friend and I saw extensive marsh areas where habitat can live. As one who enjoys nature, I found this body of water a must see. What makes it so interestingly dark is that its name actually means killings! Since St Aug. is the oldest surviving european city, many battles took place where many people were slaughtered. Chaos was nothing new to this area in its over 450 year history.
Walking a trail to the cemetery included passing these abandoned automobiles!
More abandoned cars. Could they have been driven by those trying to find the cemetery?
The cemetery is maintained very nicely when you finally discover its location.
Stones are spread out in one of the most ghost hunted cemeteries in WA state.
I found an unmarked grave.
At last I find the stone I have been asked to photograph. It was sad to see it had been broken.
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Seattle. In fact so nice, I decided to go for a walk on some trails not too far from where I live. I actually had a dual purpose. As a volunteer photographer, I had received a request for photos of The Maltby Cemetery. With camera in hand and a map with directions, I set off on my adventure.
You might ask how could this be an adventure? The truth is I had no idea where I was going. The only information I could find out about this place is that it is in such plain view that you can not find it! I guess you could say that peaked my interest. Having lived in the area for about 20 years, I figured this place can not be that hard to find! I was wrong.
Now before I go too much further, I must share with you the legend of The Maltby Cemetery which is sometimes called Paradise Lake. It is one of the TOP 10 most HAUNTED cemeteries in the nation! Seriously if I had known this yesterday, I would not have gone. I was not prepared for what I was going to come across!
Driving along the road to my destination I knew I would have to go through the Paradise Valley Conservation Area which is a 795 acre wildlife refuge (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/paradise-valley-conservation-area). I began my sleuthing from there and began asking folks if anyone had heard of the cemetery. To my shock, no one had. I then decided to scout out neighboring home developments and met a few folks that knew of it, but did not know exactly how to get to it. This adventure was proving to be more than I bargained for. This day was about to get tricky! Finally I found an area that looked like it could be the spot where a trail might lead to the cemetery. I began walking it, but soon abandoned it due to it becoming unwalkable and I was headed up a steep enbankment. Before I began walking back to my car I shot a few photos of what I saw lying on the side of a cliff. This was truly creepy and I just knew I was SO CLOSE to the cemetery, but I could not find it. I began to get a spooky feeling these photos show what may have belonged to people many years ago trying to find this cemetery. Let me know what you think.
After 2 hours of searching, I finally found some folks out walking that knew more information. The cemetery was very near the area I had just abandoned. These people knew of another entrance which is completely unmarked. Alas, I was able to get my photographs. After leaving the cemetery, I stopped to talk with a man who lived nearby. He said to me, “You know this place is haunted.” To that I replied, “No. I am just photographer. Have you seen any ghosts?” He began to smile and say, “I know that someone was caught digging up a grave back there.” I replied, “Wow, you sure they weren’t just burying someone after they died?” His reply was, “OH NO, the cops took them away!” With a shocked look on my face I said, “Glad I did not know that before coming up here.” After that I said thank you for the information and left.
After returning home I decided to google this place and sure enough the place I had just visited is considered one of the most haunted places in Washington State. It is even more haunting if you are a group of crazy teenagers with a six-pack looking to have a good time with your buddies in a place you do not belong at 2 in the morning ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbcQH8O3Xdw ). If you need a good laugh I would definitely go look at these guys You Tube. It is pretty hysterical. I must admit the place did creep me out some, but I never felt unsafe. In fact the folks buried there are some of the first settlers to the area. May they rest in peace.