Friday, January 23, 2015

The Black Hope Haunting

The two stories below reflect an ongoing theme I have presented on Seeks Ghosts--which is when graves are disturbed or desecrated bad things can happen.

The following stories happened in the same neighborhood.

Black Hope Cemetery
In the early 1980s, Sam and Judith Haney purchased a new home in a Newport subdivision in Houston, Texas.

When Sam decided to put a swimming pool in their backyard, an elderly black man, Jasper Norton, showed up at his door. Norton told him he was about to disturb two graves. He then showed Sam, where these graves were located.

Norton knew about these graves because years before, he had dug them. The sub-division where the Heney’s new home was located on was an old 19th century African America slave cemetery called, Black Hope.

According to Norton, there were at least 60 pauper graves in the area. The last burial had been in 1939. These graves had just been left and covered up by the developers of the sub-division.

Sam now curious brought in a backhoe and had the area dug up. Right, where Norton had shown him, he found two old pine boxes. The county coroner officially exhumed the bodies.

Two wedding rings were found, and it was determined the two deceased were Betty and Charles Thomas. They were slaves that were freed after the Civil War.

Judith Haney uncomfortable that their graves had been desecrated, insisted they rebury the two former slaves in their backyard--she then planted flowers over them.

New Graves

After these two graves were disturbed strange activity started to happen in the Heney home.

A clock in their bedroom was seen eerily glowing and sparking--it was unplugged. Judith heard the distinct sounds of someone enter their home through their sliding glass doors, she heard a voice she thought was Sam's state, "What you doing?"  Only to find no one was there.

Judith Haney
A pair of her favorite shoes disappeared out of her closet. Later she and Sam found them sitting on top of Betty’s grave. They discovered that it was Betty’s birthday that day, and they felt that Charles, her husband placed them there.

The activity became so frightening that the Haney’s wanted to move out of their home--but they could not afford to. They sued the developers for not informing them about the cemetery.

They eventually lost this case. They had to declare bankruptcy, for they owed $50,000 in court costs.

They moved.

A dozen other neighbors reported lights, televisions, and water faucets turning on and off. They also heard disembodied voices. Several reported seeing apparitions.

Ben and Jean Williams reported that near their flowerbeds sinkholes appeared in the shape of coffins. They would fill them only to have them reappear a few days later.

Jean stated that the flowers she planted in this area all died.

The couple saw shadows move along the walls in their home accompanied by whispers and a putrid smell.

Their granddaughter, Carli, lived with them. She felt intense cold spots in the home during the hot summer months.

She and her grandmother got the uneasy feeling someone was watching them. The toilets flushed on their own, and Carli states as the water would go down, she could hear murmuring voices.

Ben, late one night, after returning from work, saw two apparitions appear in the kitchen. He watched as they entered the den and then disappeared in the hall leading to the master bedroom.

The Williams also took legal action. They were informed by the developers without bodies, they had no proof.

Frustrated, Jean started to dig in the backyard. When she became ill, Tina, her 29-year-old daughter, took over. But after a half-hour she became sick.

Tina was rushed to the hospital, where she died of a heart attack. Jean believed that her death was a direct result of the paranormal activity they had been experiencing.

The Williams lost their entire life savings when they moved. They have since written a book about their encounters entitled Grave Secrets.

Nothing unusual has happened in their old neighborhood since--probably because many of the old graves were eventually moved. 

The Haney and William’s stories were shared on Unsolved Mysteries in July of 2002. 

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