Welcome to the first entry for the Old Crow Ghost Show, a new monthly that declares a purpose of digging up local ghost stories all across America before they are lost to time.
Each entry will contain pictures, witness testimony where possible, addresses so that locals may go visit these sites for themselves, and other media that we may find along our way.
Our premier focus will be the Hebron Lutheran Church, located at 3140 Limaburg Road, Hebron, KY 41048.
Church Website: http://www.hebronlutheran.org/
I have lived in Boone County off and on the last 15 years, and had always heard there was a rich history of supernatural events in my very own neck of the woods, but lacked a good enough excuse to justify my explorations. I now have a reason in this blog. I wanted to see this one because it’s one of the most storied of my city. There are reports of rustling being heard among the graves on still days, of the smell of the crematorium being overpowering while it’s not operational, and feelings of dread.
I first set out around dusk, because as any spooky sage will tell you that’s just when you do these things. I pulled into the empty parking lot, feeling a bit like I should have left earlier; lone men in a graveyard after dark tend to give people ideas, typically the wrong sort.
On my left was the Hebron Lutheran Church, which was originally constructed in 1854, long after the graveyard was in use. In front of me, was the graveyard, which opened its first grave up in 1786. I took out my camera, and began documenting the area. I snapped two photos of the Church itself, thinking it’d be cool to let everyone see the spot. Later, I’d learn this would turn out to be a very fortuitous choice.
I next stepped over to the graveyard, and there was a cute little wooden footbridge, and a nice sign engraved with Veterans Memorial Gardens. As I started snapping photos, I began to feel like I was being watched. I turned around and noticed a dark navy car pull into the parking lot. Whomsoever they were, they didn’t get out of their vehicle, but sat there instead. They watched, and I began to head back to my car, citing that it was late anyhow and I’d probably come back tomorrow for better photos, and a better chance of not being questioned.
After I returned home, I pulled up the pictures I’d taken, and noticed something odd in the very first two I’d snapped. I noticed the two oblong shapes (I’ll call them Oblong Bobs) above the cross that I can’t rightly justify being there. Again, I was outside my car when this was taken, so it’s not shot through my car window, and the Oblong Bobs even stay persistently in a “live playback” feature my phone does, moving ever so slightly. Apophenia is a possibility, but what fun is there in believing that!? Do you see the Bobs?
With a final look at the yard, I decided to return at Noon the next day. In the meantime, started digging into the history of the land, trying to figure out just WHY this area is haunted. Documented statements about the hauntings are not in abundance online, but other areas in Burlington are – including the Renaker House, making its appearance in this series soon. Finding little, I was determined to find something more interesting the next day.
During the light of day I got a much better look at all of the graves, some of them were much larger than others, figuratively as well as literally.
It was windy when I went, and I had heard that you could hear chimes, or whispering among the headstones. It was windy outside, but even with a smattering of houses in back of the cemetery, there were no windchimes heard. Nor was there whispering. I knew I should have stuck to darker hours…
I sent an email to the administrator of the church, David, and hoped to be able to secure a brief interview with him, or someone in his purview. Unfortunately, 2 weeks have passed with no follow-up, so I am assuming the email was either spam filtered, or sent to trash.
Just before I was ready to submit this article, I had something strange happen that I feel I should mention. I had just left an appointment yesterday morning, when I took a road I had never taken before, but believed went toward area I was travelling. What do I see coming up in front of me but the Church, taking it as a ‘sign’ I stop and get out.
I ventured along the Hays family plots first, as I’d noticed they had some bright red flowers set out recently, and wanted to admire them. Now, they are situated right along the edge of the cemetery, along a small wood. Though it was a windy January morning, I heard birds chirp, and leaves rustle. But the longer I stood there, the more I heard a strange, noise that I can’t truly explain. I know it wasn’t birds, I know it wasn’t leaves. And it persisted. I searched the tree line, tall trees though they were, and found nothing that would make such a sound. Once about every couple of minutes, it would sound.
I tried slowing the sound down with some audio software, but it just didn’t pick it up well enough to determine normal, or abby-something-abby normal.
So, on a Hauntabilly Scale (like a hauntable/hillbilly), I give this place a 4/10. I did see some Oblong Bobs, and heard some weird sounds. Other than that, nothing too earth breaking.
As a parting though, and fun fact, headstones are rumored to be used to stop the dead from rising…so what happened here?
Kudos to Boone County Public Library & The Chronicles of Boone County for having information about the founding of the church and its history: https://cbc.bcplhistory.org/doku.php?id=hebron_lutheran_church
First Grave Laid – 1786 https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/kentucky/16-cemeteries-in-ky/
Testimony by Emma, and full credit to HauntedPlaces.org: https://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/hebron-lutheran-cemetery/
Chad McClendon can be found on Amazon, Facebook, and his webpage www.cmcfiction.net