Along the Way: The Bloody Ghost of Brush Valley

Brungart Cemetery

Note: The cemetery itself is not haunted – at least I have no ghost stories involving it – and is used as a reference point to where this story takes place.

“Have you ever heard anything about the area around Brungart Cemetery being haunted?” Brenda, a former co-worker, asked during a recent meet-up. Brenda had shared a ghost story about another haunted cemetery in Brush Valley and continues to send me information from time to time about the legends and lore of Centre and Union Counties. Note: Another story Brenda had shared with me can be found here: The Giant Ghost of Brush Valley.

“I don’t have any ghost stories about the cemetery, but Henry Shoemaker did mention it in his writings,” I replied. “The condition Brungart’s was in the last time I drove past it I can see why people think it is haunted.”

Over the years I have visited Brungart Cemetery a number of times and the first couple of visits the cemetery needed some care as it reminded me of something out of a horror movie with old tombstones protruding from the tall grass. However, in recent years the grass is constantly mowed and the creepy feeling of the past no long lingers.

“So what did Shoemaker have to say about the cemetery?”

“He mentions a white wolf being seen in the cemetery,” I answered. According to the brief mention, an unnamed preacher met a white wolf in the cemetery at Brungart’s Church. Exactly what the beast was doing in the small cemetery is not revealed, but it ran from the cemetery like a scolded dog. Shoemaker does state this white wolf was the same beast that was terrorizing the farms of Sugar Valley.

“Well, I have a story that you might find interesting,” Brenda spoke. “It didn’t happen at the cemetery, but near it. My parents have told me about it a number of times – that I shouldn’t drive that stretch of highway at night. Anyway, this happened to my parents back in the 1980s. Either 1985 or ’86.”

It was early summer when Brenda’s parents experienced something odd in the area of Brungart Cemetery. They had spent the day in Lewisburg and the sun had vanished from the sky as they headed west on Route 192.

It was a normal drive home as the watched the side of the road for deer as they drove. The normal drive home would change as they topped the hill just east of the cemetery. As the vehicle crested the hill something appeared in the car’s headlights at the road’s edge. At first they thought the bloody thing along the edge of the road was a deer, but they soon discovered otherwise.

Brenda’s mother let out a scream as she realized the thing along the road was not a deer, but a man in tattered clothing covered in blood.

“My mother said the figure was on his stomach. It appeared he had been dragging himself along on his elbows due to the trail of blood behind him.”

They drove to a place where they could turn around and went back to the scene, believing they had witnessed the aftermath of a hit-and-run. The car ride was in silence as they passed the cemetery and started up the hill just east of the cemetery. The headlights failed to reveal anything out of the ordinary as the passed the place where they saw the figure, but did not see it. They turned around again, crested the top of the hill slowly and nothing was along the road. The figure and the trail of blood was gone.

“The next morning my father got a couple of his buddies and went out to look over the place where he saw the figure. The three of them searched both sides of the road and fields nearby but found nothing to explain what they had seen the night before.”

“My father has claimed he thought it was a deer that had been hit, but my mother disagrees. She maintains it was a person she saw along the edge of the road,” Brenda informed me. “If it was a deer, then what happened to it and what happened to all the blood they saw along the road? It wouldn’t just vanish would it?”

Whatever her parents saw that night, was never spotted again, and if it was, I have not found anything more about it. When I asked Brenda if she knew if anyone else had encountered it, she stated that as far as she was aware, she has never heard anyone else claim to have spotted the bloodied figure. What her parents saw that night remains a mystery.

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