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The Turning Angel
October 17 2009
[ Non-fiction : Paranormal/ ]

The small Southern town where I grew up was a terrific place. Old antebellum mansions, former plantations, and several historical sites lent the place an air of mystery. Naturally, there was no shortage of ghost stories, legends of haunted places, paranormal activity to capture the imagination. One in particular that always fascinated me involved a statue in the local old cemetery, which everyone called the “turning angel”.

Obviously it was a statue of an angel that had been in this cemetery for a very long time, positioned very near the low wall that ran alongside the road. The story said that if you drove your car past it at night, the angel would turn and look at you as your headlights hit her. Everyone I knew had heard this legend, as such things were told and retold by each generation, and several even claimed to have seen it. I myself had never had the opportunity to explore this legend, but in my mind I pictured (among other things) an elaborate mechanical setup with a photosensitive trigger, causing the statue to turn on its base when struck by light. Never having seen it for myself, that was the closest I could come to a logical explanation. Seems a bit far-fetched, I know, but in this town there was no shortage of wealthy, eccentric people who could and probably would pay for.

When I was 19, however, I had the chance while out driving around with some friends to actually see this phenomenon for myself. I had borrowed my mother's car for the night, and after picking up three friends, we spent some time checking out our usual places. Finally, though, we grew bored and began trying to think of something fun to do. I suggested we take a drive by the old cemetery. My friends were all for it, being as interested in things paranormal as I was, so off we went. Drive time out to the old graveyard was 10-15 minutes down the usual dark, nearly deserted road. As we neared our destination, the girls started to get a little freaked out, but they wanted to see it as much as I did, so we kept on.

The statue was very near where you first reach the cemetery as you round a bend in the road. I was excited as we approached it, and as the headlights struck the statue full on, it actually DID turn and look at us over its right shoulder, just the way a human might. “Wow,” I thought, and said out loud, “Cool, let's get out and go look at it up close.” My buddy agreed, but the girls were so freaked out, they were almost screaming that we should definitely NOT pull over but should get the h*** out of there. Extremely amused, but not wanting to scare them anymore, we turned around and headed home.

Was it an optical illusion or a genuine paranormal phenomenon? To this day, I have no idea, but I still get a chuckle whenever I think of the girls and how they flipped out. That was one of the most fun nights of my young days.
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Comments from Our Readers

  "wow,, this is a cool story erik,, how come ive never heard it before? very nicely written" - jesse_jean, October 23 2009 - reply
  "We had a lot of fun in that old cemetery!! Great story. Keep them coming and who knows...maybe one day, we will get the chance to do it again!!" - Cat, June 24 2010 - reply

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