I don't normally discuss my religious beliefs because...who cares? So if I mention here and now that I don't have any religious or spiritual beliefs I only say that because it has some relevance to the photos that follow and as you can see already, we are back in the Key West cemetery, and this time there is something weird I am offering you for your consideration. I have friends who make a habit of going out around town ghost hunting. I went once and saw and felt nothing so I treat their fun as just that, a hobby like stamp collecting or photography. Good on them.
I have seen pictures of shapes and shadows before and I have heard the ghost stories told by professional story tellers around town. If you have visited Key West you might well have gone on a ghost tour, and if you haven't you should as they are full of history and great fun. The photograph below was taken by my colleague Kristi when she was out with several other people looking for ghosts in the cemetery. She took this hand held night picture with her Nikon as she says phone cameras don't work as well when ghost hunting. Considering it was night and a hand held picture she got an astonishing amount of detail. By now you will have looked into the red circle she added and I hope you have drawn your own conclusions.
At first glance I saw a dog looking at the people walking by but you can also see what looks to me something like a gryphon...I can only say for sure that Kristi doesn't make stuff up and this is very real to her and I assure you she isn't joking or trying to be a smartass. Whether there is a natural or scientific explanation for the shadow I can't say. I'd like to think there is because like I said earlier I have no belief in ghosts or an afterlife. There is also the white streak of light on the left hand side of the picture which is a little odd as nothing else in the picture shows similar motion. Anyway there it is.
You have to admit the cemetery is a wonderfully picturesque place for ghost stories with all the above ground tombs and mixture of decay and restoration. For me cemeteries represent history and I have never felt ghostly presences there or anywhere else in my life. I wish when I had my accident last August my out of body experience could have offered me a definitive answer as to what happens when one dies, and if I had an answer I would not be shy about sharing it with you but as far as I can tell your guess is as good as mine. I saw neither heaven nor hell, no angles or dead family members though I do remember hoping to see my several previous dogs who pre-deceased me. No luck there either though if I had seen anything I most likely would not have been brought back by the paramedics! So we live on in uncertainty.
Key West has lots of these stories, it's part of the fabric of the city, certainly an element of tourism as I explained but it is also part of the culture of the Conch community, the people born and brought up in Key West. Cuban coffee, fishing and ...ghost stories. There is said to be a ghost in the Key West police station, a modern building built two decades ago on a mangrove swamp said to be the scene of a drowning.
Anyway there is supposed to be a Victorian woman dressed in black who wanders the halls of the police department. I did think I saw a figure one night walking through a doorway out of sight as I walked a corridor. I was not sure of what I had glimpsed if anything but I can say I have never had any spooky feelings walking around the police station late at night. I have been working night shift for most of my 15 years and most nights there is no one but three dispatchers in the building with the officers on patrol. I've been here during hurricanes and never have I ever been spooked in the building, which is locked and secure. I should add.
Maybe there are ghosts all around us but I remain unconvinced even if I have no good explanations for either incident I have written about here. Ghosts make good stories all the same.