In the northwest corner of Missouri, a gravel road with cornfields on either side will take you to an isolated and ramshackle building that was once a one-room chapel. Even in daytime, gnarled trees enhance the atmosphere of decay and desolation that surrounds the place. Legend is that those who once came to worship here since the turn of the century, still consider it sanctuary, or in some cases hell.
Sometime in the 1950s, the area farm families that worshipped wed, and mourned in this small white building for decades, gradually moved to the growing nearby cities. The chapel soon fell into disuse, the adjacent cemetery once a community burial site, is now only the future resting place for the few Workman family members who still dot the area.
It’s also a place of legend. Internet descriptions paint this place as more haunted than the Stanley Hotel and creepier than the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. A preacher stabbed to death a woman in a white dress and hid the murder weapon beneath the floorboards. A woman was hanged from one of the great, old trees, and greets visitors by dragging booted toes across the top of any car parked under it. A bearded giant in a flannel shirt wields an axe to chase off interlopers.
Sounds scary. Of course, the legends are urban.
John Workman’s descendent Lester Workman was caretaker of the chapel and cemetery until his death in 2011. When interviewed he said, “There’s supposed to be a murder or hanging out west here,I don’t know whether there was or whether there wasn’t."
Research indicated that has been no murder, hanging or lunatic lumberjack, just a reputation that most old, abandoned building and cemeteries develop over the years.
But at Workman Chapel, there are some stories that indicate that something’s going on out there.
People have reported seeing Civil War soldiers on horseback in the cemetery. According to Lester Workman, two are buried there. Others have only heard the horses. This incident was reported by a witness
I went out in the afternoon with a friend of mine about 3 p.m. They were staking out the site for a haunted excursion after dark. We took the dog with us. We walked down to the cemetery and the dog started running back and forth like it was playing with somebody. But it wasn’t playing with us. Church bells clanged while we stood amongst the headstones, but we couldn’t understand why – there is no bell at Workman Chapel.
Tombstones rise like molars from long grass outside Workman Chapel, a black, wrought iron gate holding them back from the chapel grounds. White paint is peeling from the chapel walls and blank holes are what's left of where the windows and doors used to be.
Those who have visited the chapel describe hearing whispers when they are alone, distinct from the bats that flutter around the ceiling and the creaking of the ripped-up floorboards. Shadows have been seen on the walls, and black human shapes have been reported dancing on the tombstones.
A large black ceremonial circle lined with votive candles was painted on the floor marked with writing in glyphs.
A former Northwest student, visited the chapel one night in high school, and saw something he wished he could forget. This is what he described:
We took a bunch of the freshman girls out there and we had the intentions of scaring them. We were going to give the code word and all the guys were going to jump in the cars and leave the girls there and come back in about 15 minutes or so.
A college newspaper reporter who visited the chapel with other students, laid his audio recorder on a grave-site near the gravel road. At the end of the night, he retrieved the recorder. The sound it picked up was shocking. He said,“About eleven minutes in you could hear the other students kind of talking in the background, and then as soon as they went away, you could hear this galloping sound. It really sounded like a carriage on gravel. At first I couldn’t believe it. Did we actually capture something? The galloping sound lasted a few minutes and faded out. There was clearly something there trying to give me proof and it did. It sounded like a team of horses running on gravel."
At the end of the night a photographer snapped three consecutive photographs of a student standing just outside the cemetery grounds. The first and third were nearly identical, holding just the student, but the middle picture, taken less than a second between the other two, shows a white ribbon dancing in front of her, and disappearing behind her.
There is no murder victim, no hanging, no axe-wielding maniacs, but there is something otherworldly happening at Workman Chapel.
Source - MysteriousUniverse
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer