Mr. Peet & Me
Photos are ©1995 Donna Kent/Cosmic Calendar/CosmicSociety
The first time I attempted psychic or spirit photography, I didn’t really expect anything to come of it. Little did I know the photographic results of my half-hearted attempt would change my entire life in a multitude of ways. The image of a full figured man, an angel, and a pitchfork (none of which I had seen when taking the photo) appeared on the very last frame of film shot on March 19, 1995 sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.
I began researching the names found on the tombstone he (the ghostman) was pictured standing behind and one “coincidence” after another concerning my research fed my curiosity to continue, each and every time I had resolved myself to give up (its not so easy to find pertinent information on people who’ve lived and died hundreds of years ago unless they were extremely prominent people). The following is a brief overview of the sequence of these synchronistic events (some of these occurrences may not seem important as you read them, but they do actually fit into the scheme of things, as I was to discover later…)
February 1995 – I attended my Grandmother’s funeral in Eulaliah Cemetery, Coudersport, PA.
March 1995 – While returning from a relative’s birthday party in Trumbull, CT, I told my husband to stop the car. Without explanation I jumped out and began taking photos of a roadside graveyard. (He had no idea what I was up to, and quite angrily yelled for me to get back in the car). Upon returning to the car we argued about my impulsive actions and I calmly explained I had heard of spirit photography and decided to try it. Feeling sorry for yelling at me, we soon spied a second cemetery, Nichols Farms Burial Ground (NFBG) on the same road and he pulled over and told me to take as many photos as I liked….of course by now I had only 2 pictures left on the roll of film that also contained shots from the birthday party and previous graveyard. I took the last 2 shots and forgot about them until they returned from the developer. The last picture on the roll showed the incredible images described above (ghostman, angel, and pitchfork).
April 1995 – Returned to NFBG and located the stone that the ghostman had appeared behind
using the photograph as a guide. Recorded the 3 names and death dates found on the stone;
Abijah Peet, aged 54, died 1805, Bethiah Peet, his wife aged 77, died 1826, and son Philo, aged
47, died 1826. Took more photos and upon examination of these discovered the ghostman’s face, complete with mustache was visible in the moldy gook (called lichen) accumulated on the bottom of the tombstone. Also apparent are bony fingers just under his chin, and lower still, an image of a wolf’s head.
-Research began at Stratford Public Library. Found book on Peet family and incredibly the very first page I opened to indicated Peets were buried in Coudersport, PA (my relatives live in this tiny town, mother born there, attended granny’s funeral there, etc.) It was at this time I began to “feel” there might be a connection between my family and the Peet family, although this was just a hunch.
Following weekend spent in Coudersport, PA for a cousin’s wedding. Stopped to buy a gag gift at a grocery store located on Peet St. Relative informed me of a John Peet who worked at the same hospital where my granny died. He told me he was aquainted with her and had spoken with her on occasion. His phone number was located less than an inch away from my relatives number in local phone directory. He met with me the evening I called him at the hotel where I was staying. He informed me this hotel “The Westgate” sits on land previously owned by the Peets and that the cemetery where my grandmother is buried was land donated to the town by the Peet family for cemetery usage. I showed him the ghostman photo and he in turn displayed a picture of his brother who bears a strong resemblance to the ghostman. He and I drove over to Eulaliah Cemetery so I might take a few pictures, and he led me to his great, great, great grandparent’s gravesites. (These would be the people who’s names I turned to when first opening the Peet family book at the Stratford Library). I’d like to comment that I find it very interesting of all the Peet family members alive today I found the John Peet mentioned above who was open to the possibility of a spirit world, he is the family historian and supplied me with his copy of his family tree, and he is also a caretaker of a small cemetery along with his hospital job….anyone one else may have just hung up the phone on me thinking I was crazy or trying to play a joke, etc.
May 1995 – Research done at Trumbull Historical Society revealed that Abijah Peet’s BODY WAS MOVED from Unity Burial Ground to NFBG shortly after 1806. I wondered at the time if this could be cause for unrest (?). Another discrepancy found is Philo Peet’s burial spot. Records indicate he is interred at Long Hill Cemetery, Trumbull, CT yet his name appears on the stone at NFBG. Where is he really ? And could this be the reason for the unrest?
My notes from 1995 include this paragraph :
Since the first photograph (possibly even before) one event has led to another concerning this situation (chance meetings, coincidences, etc.) I feel as if something is leading me to and through these happenings. At this time I still don’t know what it is I’m supposed to find out or why – one possibility still unexplored is that my early ancestors (from PA) may have had something to do with the Peet family (who came from Stratford, CT -where I now live- and traveled to Coudersport, PA) maybe I’m linked with them somehow….Anyway there is some sort of unrest that needs to be brought to closure and my research is ongoing at present.
UPDATE!! That was written 22 years ago and the entire story is now published in my 2nd book entitled “Ghost Stories and Legends of Southwestern, CT. (History Press
~ Donna Kent
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