Many people believe this to be an old ghost
legend. It has been carried down since the beginnings of the towns
of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. The legend is the ghost lights of
the Silver Cliff Cemetery.
Up until two
months ago, I myself would have written this legend off as a bit of silly
fun. No longer will I say this, for I have seen them in person.
It began as a family history project. My
grandfather is buried in the Silver Cliff Cemetery. Now, it should
be noted that there are actually two cemeteries - one is for the
Catholics, one for the Protestants. I'm told the one granddad is
buried in is the Catholic Cemetery. The other one is called the
Cross of The Assumption Cemetery.
My sister and I,
along with two friends, decided to investigate these lights for
ourselves. We arrived at about 8:00 p.m. on a night this
past July. After visiting granddad's grave and saying a few
words, we drove another few hundred feet to the Cross of The
Assumption Cemetery and settled in. Two of us were armed with
cameras, one a digital, and the other a cheap pocket camera. I
will state right here - I did NOT have a flash capability on my cheap
pocket camera. The digital camera was NOT set for flash, and it
did not go off at any time.
The four of us more
or less separated once we got there. My sister stayed with the
car and sat on the hood. We three started off walking around. I'll admit I'm a "fraidy cat" and I didn't leave my friend's side.
His wife, however, took off on her own and wandered around all over
Around 9:00, the
first lights were seen. They were small, most about the size of
a pinky finger nail. They ranged in color from blue to green to
white to yellow, and various combinations of these colors. As
time went on, the lights became more numerous, larger, and more
active. Some seemed to be extremely active, darting from
headstone to headstone, never stopping. Others seemed to float
in a "lazy fashion," landing in the grass, on headstones, just
By 10:00, many were
as big as 3-4 inches in diameter, and many glowed brightly. As
we stood facing the large white marble cross in the center of the
cemetery, we all noticed an orangish glow begin. It was to our
left, at the extreme border of the cemetery. As we watched it,
the glow became larger, brighter, and seemed to luminesce. It
grew to the size of a football and resembled the glow of a campfire.
The various lights
seemed to start gravitating toward this glow. They would dart
toward it, then return, landing here and there. We tried approaching,
but as we got closer, the light became dimmer. When we
retreated, it began glowing brightly again.
One odd occurrence was with the large
cross. Made of a white stone (probably marble), in the night it
had a "ghostly" pale gray white cast to it. My friend with the
digital camera (an amateur photography buff) took a picture of it. The result in her view lens? The cross glowed a dull, deep red. Running up one side of the cross was what resembled a string of teeny,
tiny Christmas lights. They appeared to be shooting towards the
The other odd occurrence
was with my friend. As she walked along through the cemetery, we all
noticed that some of the lights seemed to start "following" her. They danced around her and stayed right with her. When we tried
getting near to her, they would move away. When we retreated, they
would come back. She could see them around her.
As 11:00 approached, the lights were now close
enough to us that we could reach out and almost touch them. They no
longer moved away from us, nor did they dim. I can state positively
they were NOT fireflies nor glowing bugs of any kind. It was as if
you were touching air.
What we saw, I don't
know. But I do believe. And I do want to state this - people
claim that it's caused by the town lights reflecting up into the sky and
back down onto the tombstones. They state that it's stars reflecting
off the shiny surface of the tombstones. I'd like to make a point
here, something that I have not seen pointed out.