When Jeremy and I first moved to Champaign, people told us to watch out for Effingham. We assumed it was for the speed traps on the interstate by the rest area or all the construction. Nope, that was just part of what we should have been warned about. Turns out that in Effingham there are werewolves, warlocks, spirits and something else entirely weird prowling around. When Jeremy and I found out what all was going on down there, we had to go check it out ourselves.
We ended up going down there on New Year’s Day. It was one of the few days that Jeremy actually had off and was able to get away for a few hours. For those of y’all that have dealt with recruiting duty, you know how rare that actually is. I had hoped to turn this into our first youtube channel but a few things happened that day that stopped that. I’ll get to that later.
In my research of the werewolves and warlocks in Effingham County, I found out that those two things actually had to do with the same area. We figured we would head out to that area, Ramsey Cemetary, to start our investigation. It took about two hours to get there from Seymour. This cemetery is a tiny, tiny cemetery down a very long dirt road off of a random country road. So we were a little surprised to find that someone else was there when we pulled up. There was a gentleman who had just arrived to look for the warlocks grave. His name was Jason Myers.
Side note to jump back to the whole youtube thing. I’m nervous in front of the camera so I wasn’t about to try and record in front of a stranger. Also, it was so cold I was having problems operating my camera. I didn’t even check this photo to make sure Jason’s eyes were open because I wanted to put my hands back in my gloves… Oops. Things to work on for the future. I am working still on the youtube videos.
Anyways but to the story. Jason, like us, had a sudden free day and wanted to come to check out the cemetery. He had come out there as a teenager and wanted to see if it matched his memories. He said that when he was a teen, that cemetery was a teen hangout area at night. He was especially interested in trying to find the warlock’s grave. He said that the first grave placed here was supposedly a warlock’s grave. He wasn’t sure if it was really a warlock’s grave or just an old teenage rumor. We told him that we would help him search for the grave.
We searched for about an hour going through each headstone individually. A lot of the headstones were quite worn and hard to read. Others were pushed over or broken. It made it difficult to find the grave.
Eventually, Jason said that he thought he had found it. It was quite worn but we could still make out the name on the headstone. It was the grave of Alexander Ramsey. He was 29 years old when he died. While it isn’t clear why people claim it was a warlock’s grave, it was interesting to find. On top of the headstone was a coin. Jason explained that there was a superstition that if you put a coin on the headstone, next time you came back it would be flipped onto the other side.
After finding the grave Jason told us about some of the history of the area. He said that he remembered a church being near the cemetery when he was a teenager but there was no church there now. From my research, I learned that the church was torn down after a guy had killed himself in the church. Since the suicide, a black figure wearing a cloak with red eyes has been seen in and around the area the church used to be located.
Jason also pointed out the fields beyond the cemetery. He said that there were caves back there that supposedly were inhabited by werewolves. He said he never saw anything paranormal there but he had heard of the legends. From the research I’ve done, the rumors of werewolves started back when people use to live in the caves. While there is plenty of proof of people living the caves, not much proof other than eye witness testimony over the years. I plan to go back when it’s warmer to explore the caves myself.
The werewolves aren’t the only thing I hope to see when I go back to search the caves. There have been several reports of a pale crawler roaming the woods and near the roads. It was even reported as recently as last year! No one seems to know what it is. Most people describe it as a very tall grey/ white humanoid creature that walks around on all fours. One person described it as “Too short to be a deer, but too big to be a possum or raccoon. As we get closer it gets clearer, and I realize what I’m looking at is skinny, hairless and grey, human like but definitely not human. Crazy as hell looking…thing. It was crouched down, Its arms were incredibly long and looked like it could have been 7ft tall or bigger standing.” These creatures seem to stay in the caves and woods near Ramsey cemetery.
Some people I have talked to have questioned whether these creatures and the werewolves are actually related or mistaken for each other. The Pale Crawlers, as they have become known around the country, have been spotted elsewhere in the states and in some other countries like Scotland or England. They seem to hang around the caves and the forest around Ramsey cemetery.
You would think warlocks, werewolves, pale creatures, and black figures with red eyes would be enough for this tiny cemetery located in the woods but it isn’t. There are also claims of headless horsemen that ride through the woods scaring teenagers that wander through the woods at night. Never before have I heard of so many types of spirits and creatures in one location before. Whether they are attracted there by the magic left behind by a young warlock or the rumors from drunk teenagers, the area around Ramsey Cemetery is definitely interesting. I will for sure be back this spring or summer to explore the area more.