Final Report & Analysis

Black Diamond Paranormal Society©

“We are the light that cuts the darkness. Therefore, when you see… truth must be honored.”

Final Report and Analysis

Case 030

Sinking Springs Cemetery

July 9, 2011

Abingdon, Virginia


Rodney Shortridge, Matt O’Quin, Dave Horn & Michele Crigger

Along with BDPS Advisers

Clayton Trout & Dr. Shari Stacy of Darkobjects

Special Guests

A Local Director, Becky Price, Tabitha Horn, Ellen White Owl Smith-Apple, Roger Tall walker Apple, 

Robert Salyer, and various other local guests

     On July 9, 2011 the BDPS team investigated the historical Sinking Springs Cemetery located in Abingdon, Virginia. I would like to take this moment to thank the mayor of Abingdon Virginia for giving us permission to investigate such a historical site. Special thanks go out to A Local Director of a documentary of the civil war and the paranormal along with Clayton Trout, BDPS Adviser and founder of Darkobjects, for inviting the BDPS team to be a part of the historical documentary. We decided because of the size of the cemetery and with the cabin on the property, that each team would investigate separate areas of the cemetery and structures simultaneously while one team would watch the camera monitors at our base within the center of the cemetery. We started our investigation around 6:00 p.m. with a walking tour of the cemetery that was given by Clayton Trout and A Local Director. We started our set up around 7:00 p.m. We then proceeded to our investigation soon after dividing into teams. Team 1 consisted of me and a local guest, Team 2 consisted of Matt O’Quin and a local guest, Team 3 consisted of Dr. Stacy and Clayton Trout, Team 4 consisted of Dave Horn and Tabitha Horn, and Team 5 consisted of A Local Director, Becky Price, Ellen White Owl Smith-Apple, & Roger Tall Walker Apple. Each team was placed in various sections of the cemetery while filming was being conducted before and during the investigation. A Local Director asked questions throughout the investigation to all who were investigating. Each team worked on a rotation changing their location about every 1 1/2 hours. We finished our investigation around 1:00 a.m. the following morning. This was a great experience and very helpful in our constant training.


  • (6) DVR’s (Digital Voice Recorders)

  • (1) Microcassette Recorders

  • (4) Zero Lux low lever IR (infra-red) cameras

  • (0) Panasonic handheld camcorder

  • (1) Sony handheld camcorder

  • (3) Kodak digital cameras

  • (1) Fuji digital camera

  • (1) Canon digital camera

  • (1) Samsung digital cameras

  • (0) Motion diction IR (infra-red) Field video/camera

  • (2) K2 Meters

  • (1) EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter

  • (2) Laser Thermometers

     We placed (1) DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) in each of the areas of the cemetery with reports or claims of paranormal activity. The (4) IR cameras were placed in a grid pattern to cover as much area as possible. (1) Sony handheld camcorder was carried around by different teams to document the investigation. (1) Microcassette Recorder was carried by me during the investigation. Also, each team carried along with them during their investigations one of the following: K2 Meter, EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter or Laser Thermometer.


Reports & Claims:

     Unexplained woman in white being seen in the cemetery late at night, unexplained moans and voices coming from the cemetery late at night.


DATE: 7-9-11


Sinking Springs Cemetery, Abingdon, VA

Summary and interesting points


Dave Horn


*There is little written on the cemetery, thus most information is from oral histories that have been collected regarding this patch of property.

  • Sinking Springs Cemetery and the area in and around Abingdon, VA was once Indian trails. The Cherokee Nation was to the south and the Shawnee made their home to the North. Much of their travel was done by water. Holston River provided a pathway through this country. This was also their hunting ground and the forest trails they traveled. Neither tribe ever made their homes here. According to local legend, the Great Spirit forbade them to come to this lush area because the living would be too easy and the inhabitants would become corrupt.


  • Around 1750, Daniel Boone and a fellow hunter, Nathaniel Gist, were traveling through the area. They stopped to camp and spend the night where the town of Abingdon now sits. During the night, wolves attacked their dogs. Boone gave Abingdon its first name – Wolf Hills. The wolves lived in caves under where the town is today. The entrance to the caverns is located where The Cave House, a gift and antique shop, is presently located.


  • In 1774 a large fort was built. It was soon enlarged to hold up 600 men, women, and children during the fierce Indian raids. The town’s second name was Black’s Fort, named after the man who built the fort – Joseph Black.


  • Washington County was established in 1776, the first region in the world named after the great General George Washington. The town of Abingdon was incorporated in 1778, again in honor of the Washington family. It was named for Martha Washington’s English home, Abingdon Parrish.


  • Sinking Springs Cemetery began on the exact day the nation was born. The first man was buried in the cemetery on July 4, 1776.


  • What is now Martha Washington Inn was a private mansion built by Francis Preston in 1830. It was used as a women’s college for awhile but during the War Between the States it was converted into a hospital for Confederate soldiers. Local history says that many who died there were brought to Sinking Springs for burial.


  • Also, during the war, a train transporting Confederate troops wrecked near Abingdon and the victims (or victim) were brought to the same cemetery. There are differing opinions about the number of casualties. Earlier stories said a mass grave was used to bury several unidentified Confederate soldiers. In later years, it is believed that there was only one casualty. At one time there were wooden crosses in the cemetery marking individual graves.


  • We do know that the section of the cemetery known as Confederate Square is the burial place of those unidentified soldiers who died in Washington County during the Civil War.


  • The basic history of the cemetery itself is simply put…a cemetery.Due to its location and continuous use, it has been deemed historic in value.


Personal Experiences:

No Personal Experiences to report


Photo evidence: There was no photographic evidence to report

Video evidence: There was no video graphic evidence to report

Note:  BDPS does not support the idea of orbs as evidence of the paranormal because most orbs can be explained away as dust, bugs, rain, mist, fog, etc. There are cases that the orbs we photograph seem to move with some type of intelligent intent. We post these photos because we feel that there needs to be more investigation into the Orb Phenomenon and we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this phenomenon without further investigation and explanation. So we show these photos in an attempt to add another piece to the puzzle and leave this decision up to you to accept or dismiss orbs as evidence. It is also my opinion to show all evidence so we all can learn from what might be an area of the paranormal that may be getting over looked by researchers.

EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)

We heard the following EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and unexplained noises on our DVR’s (Digital Voice Recorders) & Microcassette Recorder:

Col. Samuel Folkerson Headstone:

  • Unexplained Male Voice (NAPOLI)

  • Unexplained whisper (GET OUT)

John Buchanan Floyd Headstone:

  • Unexplained whisper (HI)



     We have come to the conclusion that the Sinking Springs Cemetery has very low paranormal activity in the forms of EVP’s, which helped us to determine our conclusion.

  I look forward to our next investigation. If anyone would like for us to do a paranormal investigation of their home, business, church, property or a family cemetery please contact us. If you would just like to speak with us about any paranormal activity you may be having we would love to hear from you. No problem is too small. We would be honored to help and we do not charge for our services. Contact BDPS to set up a time and place for us to discuss your paranormal questions and or problems.

            I feel honored to be working with such a great team. Without the team’s hard work and professionalism BDPS would not be what it has become today.


*Check out our Website:

I would like to thank all of the BDPS members for all their hard work. To all of our clients, a special ‘thank you’ for giving us the opportunity to be able to come in and help to the best of our abilities. I know with the team that I have formed we will have exciting investigations in the future. I would like to let everyone know that our members have become more to me than just investigators, they have become my family. Without them BDPS would not be possible. Just like a family we sometimes agree and sometimes we don’t agree but each and every member of BDPS is very special to me. Thanks guys, you all are the best!!!

     I hope everyone enjoys the photos and the analysis sheet along with the new video we are providing. Also we will have our EVP’s, photos and any video evidence on the website for everyone to view and listen to. You can judge for yourself. If anyone has any questions or comments we would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think.

Thank you,

Rodney Shortridge

Founder/Lead Investigator

Black Diamond Paranormal Society


Michele Crigger

Case Manager