The Ravenloft Files
Update on Ophelia's Grave
Shortly after posting this story here, a friend of mine, Donovan, did some research which led me to some more research and what I found was that Ophelia was a very real person and so was the grave. But she did not die in a car crash and she certainly was no witch. And as it turns out, she lived, and died, much further in the past than I was previously led to believe. In fact, her grave site has been reconstructed and is now a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark! However, it appears, from the location provided on a map that the new “cemetery” is no longer in the same location as the original grave. I shall have to go and have a look for myself.
To learn the real story of Ophelia, click on Maps above and take a look at the fourth and fifth “maps” which aren’t really maps but rather documents that I pulled from the internet.
Note in the second one where it says that the grave site was vandalized in 1980, just as I said it was in my story. I can’t help but feel a bit saddened and even somewhat guilty about perpetuating the myth of the place by my visits there, telling others of the place and especially hanging the dead calf in the tree – though to be fair, we, for the most part, were only doing what hundreds, even thousands of kids typically do all over the country – visiting supposed haunted places. And as for the calf, we only moved it about five feet and hung it in a tree. We were not the ones who placed it there in the first place. Still, I feel that it may have a lot to do with the myth that there were devil worshipers out there sacrificing animals, and in the end it may have contributed to the ultimate vandalism of the place.
I am gladdened however, by the fact that the grave site has been reconstructed and that the truth about Ophelia is out there to find if one looks hard enough.
July 27th, 2012
To further update my investigation into Ophelia’s Grave, I did eventually drive out to the place, not long after initially posting this update, and found the grave almost exactly where I remembered it to be (it is a little further from the now long-unused road than I remember). But it’s nowhere near where it’s listed to be on the internet. So you just have to know where to look. It’s probably a good thing though that it’s not easy to find because the fewer people that find it the less likely it is to be vandalized again or littered with the trash of thoughtless people. The wrought iron fence is now surrounded by a chain link fence, to further discourage vandals, I assume. Unfortunately, the chain link fence makes it difficult to see the graves. The woods surrounding the graves are also thick with thorny vines and those annoying little burrs that get up in your pant legs and shoe laces – I suppose these might also serve to discourage visitors to the site.
I took some pictures of the place and have since posted them on facebook. But now that I know the real story of Ophelia’s Grave, I have no desire to ever return to it, as I am now more interested in preserving it as a rare historical site than I am in perpetuating a silly and untrue ghost story.