Thirty-one Frights of Halloween

Tis the season to be frightened! At this time of the year when the veil between the two worlds is thin, one can’t help but be drawn to tales of ghosts, haunted houses, and the unexplained. Stories that we know can’t be true, but then again...the possibilities are chilling! After all, science may not be able to prove that ghosts exist, but they have yet to prove that they DON’T. So, in an effort to personalize your Halloween, here is a daily dose of spooky things that go bump in the night, and in the sky for that matter. Thirty-one frights of Halloween!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Watcher of the Stones

Browning Mountain looms over the ghost town of Elkinsville, a massive repository of old-growth woods, rare foliage, and Brown County history. At 930 feet tall, it is actually a hill, but a very steep hill, and the largest peak in the county. Browning Mountain is full of mysteries, most notably the odd circle of stones known as the Indiana Stonehenge, UFO and Bigfoot sightings, and a strange phantom known as the Watcher. At twilight, when the trees are bare, a giant human-like dark form has been seen roaming the mountain trails or on the edge of the summit looking out over the valley. He is believed to be an ancient Indian spirit, a watcher and protector of the curious stonehenge that crowns the mountain. Any attempts to quarry the stones have been meet with freak accidents and unexplained equipment failures. Stories of those who dared to deface the stones are filled with mysterious tragedies and death. If you must visit the stone circle, enter it with reverence, thank the Watcher for his service, and leave the sacred site undisturbed. For this show of respect, the curse will not follow you.

Who erected the stone circle and why, remains a mystery. It is believed that long before white men and the Miami Indians settled the area, an ancient tribe of people lived there and built the site. How they managed this feat, we do not know. The blocks are a non-native Keokuk limestone, weighing many tons, and apparently hand-hewed. The nearest source of Keokuk limestone is around Edwardsville, in Floyd County, approximately 85 miles away from Browning Mountain. Many scientists from all over the world have researched the site and have yet to come up with a plausible explanation on how the stones got there.

Ancient mysteries aside, there definitely is an odd aura around the stone circle, causing many spiritualists, dowers, and pseudosciencitists to believe that it is built on an intersection of ley lines, invisible lines of energy that are believed to crisscross all over the earth. The air within the circle is strangely still and silent. Animals and birds seem to fear and avoid this site as if driven away by some unknown energy. In addition to the Watcher, many anomalies have been seen in this area such as orbs, mysterious mists, and glowing lines. Those who have visited the site claim that the stones sing, for often a strange vibrating or ringing sound is heard echoing throughout the sacred area.

Here is just one of the many paranormal adventures reported at Browning Mountain:

Just off the dead-end of Elkinsville road, a young man and his friend followed an old unmarked sunken trail that wove up into Browning Mountain. After hiking the steep trail for nearly 25 minutes, they reached a flat summit. Here, they paused to peer through the dense, old-growth woods and marveled at the spectacular view of Brown County’s beautiful rolling hills, when suddenly they felt a strong presence around them, a presence that was not welcoming. With great apprehension, they resumed hiking over to the western edge of the summit, to the site of the mysterious stone circle.

The circle consists of many large light-colored square blocks. At one end, is an especially distinctive stone, known as the altar where many believe blood sacrifices may have occurred. Initially, the young men were disgusted by all the graffiti on the stones and surrounding trees, until they realized that it was a vast collection of graffiti, left by generations of hikers, some dating back to over 200 years ago! As they were musing over what appeared to be a stone grave marker with the etching “Here lies John Baurle, Born 7/31/47, Died 9/14/52,” they were suddenly hit by a strong cold blast of wind and an heard an eerie ringing in their ears. Shivering, they looked up and were startled to see an old Indian man sitting quietly at the base of a tree just outside the circle. They had not heard the old man hike up the trail and had no idea how long he had been sitting there. Tenatively, they called out hello. The old man didn’t reply, but shook his head and looked up at the sky. Thinking he didn’t hear them, they called out hello again. The old man continued staring at the sky without response. Feeling uneasy and intrusive, the young men muttered a nervous apology and quickly walked out of the circle. Turning away from the sky, the old Indian man watched them for a moment and then said, “Looks like rain.”

Startled, the young men stopped and automatically looked up. The sky was clear and sunny, just as forecasted. Puzzled, they both turned and stared at him. The old Indian man smirked and said again, “Looks like rain.”

At that moment, they heard a booming crash of thunder. Wide-eyed, the young men watched as seemly out of nowhere dark clouds rolled across the sky. Hastily, they turned to thank the old man, but he was gone, vanished into thin air. And, then it started to rain.


  1. Hi Tamara,

    Can you contact me? I have some questions about the ghosts at Story.



  2. Hi Tamara,
    I loved reading this piece! Well written! :)

    Wilson Peter
    matchmaker Chicago
    matchmaker Chicago Illinois

  3. If anyone can contact me I have some questions about the cemetery me and my buddies were there at 3 and took some pictures and saw a women in white and a little girl

  4. If anyone can contact me I have some questions about the cemetery me and my buddies were there at 3 and took some pictures and saw a women in white and a little girl

  5. We were at Browning Mountain today. I snapped pictures of orbs on the hike up, very spectral looking, 7 pictures over 14 minutes. Really neat area with a lot of history.

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  7. I plan on being in Nashville for three days later this month. Just wondering how I find the hill and where do I find the stones. I wish to leave a peace offering for the spirit.

  8. Has anyone heard an explanation of the boulders found high up in the trees in the HNF. I heard about 15 years ago but haven't heard any explanation. The stones locations are known, there were several several hundred pound stones in the crux of the trees up to 90 feet high. No rub marks from pulleys or any sign of anyway they were placed there. The closest road is about a mile away and the trees with the stones are within a mile of each other. They're called gobblers rocks.

  9. I was up on brownies mountain today. We hiked the face of the Hill up to the circle and sit there and eat lunch. Every time I come up here I see Eagles today we seen four circling above the stones. That's really quite beautiful up there and peaceful

  10. I have a question if you could answer it for me that would be great. I was wondering if you or if you may know someone that i could talk to about my son and the property he bought a few years ago that has till this day changed his entire life for the worst. His wife and children have left the home she says she tried everything even smudging the home but whatever it is was not leaving or leaving my son alone. And under there home there was a door that was found myson pried it open only to find a crack in the ground and a small whole that with light your not able to see the bottom. He says over time the whole gets larger like opening. Its eerie to me that the previous owners blocked off this door and didnt bother talking to them about the hidden door. So many strange things i could take all day and not finish the list of things unexplained that have happened. I need help i believe there is a being or something that has attached itself to my son. If you can honestly help please get in contact with me thank you