The experiences my family and I have had on this mountain have been ominous, terrifying and have continued to the present day. The first experience happened not long after we closed on our property. I arrived at the property with my cleaning supplies in tow to began making our new house a home of our own. We were thrilled with the amount of acreage and most of all, the serene privacy of our Virginia mountain property. My husband was at work, so I thought I would get a head start on all the cleaning I had in store. I walked up on the back deck, taking in the unbelievably quiet stillness. I had just placed my key into the keyhole when I was jolted into a surreal terror as something sharply grabbed me on my shoulder as if to say, "Do not go in." I was in complete shock when I sharply turned expecting to see someone standing there, yet no one was.
This incident though disturbing at the time, was only the beginning of things to come and also the least of the future events that occurred.
After a few years of living here we become accustomed to seeing strange movements of figures, shadows and hearing unexplained noises, etc. All things I suppose could be rejected by some reasonable explanation if one sought after them hard enough. By the fourth year my Mom had began to stay with us a lot, as I had begun to have serious breathing problems. One night I was sitting in the bedroom working on my laptop, and my mom was out in the dining room. We were home alone. All at once, she ran frantically down the hall and into my bedroom gasping, her face was snow white. She sat down to catch her breath just as I jumped up to try and see about her. My first thought was that she had became ill because she is a diabetic. She then explained that she was looking out the dining room window that she and I had cleaned just the day before, and noticed hand prints on them. This could normally be easily explained if other people were in the home, but you see, I have no children and no one else had been here for several days except she and I. We had painstakingly cleaned those windows together and she knew that. She had grabbed her cell phone to snap a couple of pictures of these unexplained hand prints. As she looked into the darkness at the chandelier's light reflecting the perfectly placed hand prints, suddenly in the reflection, she saw a figure of a man! The bearded gnarled face of the stranger was standing right behind her staring at her at close range. She turned in horror and saw that there was no one there. She then fled for refuge in a panic and to locate me.
As I tried calming her, I grabbed the cell phone to see if there was anything evident in the photos. I was in complete and utter shock and horror as I looked at the two photos on her phone. Not only was the face of the gnarled man she saw there, but several faces appeared in the reflection photos. A young woman, a child, many faces appeared tormented, many very sad and disgruntled. The faces were literally everywhere.
I decided enough was enough and I sent the photos to a paranormal photo lab. The photos were somewhat distorted when zoomed in, due to being taken on a cell phone, but they were plainly present upon long examination. The lab report was as follows: "Yes, we have located the many faces as indicated in these photographs. Unfortunately, we cannot determine the origin of these figures." Well, neither could we, so we were basically at square one.
Things continued on pretty much as before, until one night a turn of events left us all reeling. My dad (a minister) traveled up on the ridge to bring me a grocery item. He was quite shaken when he came to my door. He stated that when he had topped the mountain and came upon the A.F. Deel Cemetery, a gray figure had suddenly darted in front of his car. I simply answered, "What was it Dad?" He said he had gripped the steering wheel and quickly braced himself to hit it as he had absolutely no time to stop, or even brake. He just gritted his teeth thinking it had to be a deer upon first thought and glance, as they are very common up here. But, he quickly realized, NO, instead it was a gray smokey apparition the size of at least two bushel baskets.
Absolutely mortified, he realized the car had gone right through it! He watched awestruck as it passed over the windshield in a dense swirl. As he slowed the car to look back, he immediately began to rationalize what had happened in his mind: "Fog. Must have been fog."
In reality, he realized the climate was incorrect for fog as well as the temperature. He looked around noticing the night was absolutely crystal clear and the moon was full, therefore the visibility was also near perfect. No swamp gas present on a mountain top with no swamps! He had to admit the only thing that made sense was something paranormal.
Two days later, after we had finally settled down from what had happened to Dad, my Mom and I were riding off the ridge toward their home. There are many cemeteries on this mountain and we were actually just talking about the apparition Dad had seen two nights prior when I mentioned that I was dreading passing the A.F. Deel Cemetery. We were just coming upon the second Deel Cemetery located in the middle of the ridge, when suddenly out of nowhere there it was! The apparition was actually upon us, fast as lightning it appeared, just as Dad had described it happening to him. It was large and dense, smoke-like and gray with swirls going in every direction. As my car hit it head on, it literally dissipated around the car as we drove directly through it. I can honestly say I had never witnessed in all the years of experiences here, an apparition of this type or nature. I turned, and as we drove back by the cemetery once again we caught another glimpse as it stood ominously beside the road next to the cemetery.
My Mom tried to snap a picture, but she was not quick enough. Apparently this eerie apparition is just roaming around the Rakes Ridge cemeteries at night.
What can I say? I know this ridge is haunted. In my opinion it is not conclusive to only my property, but this mountain in general. So, if you are brave enough to witness the Rakes Ridge Apparition then simply take a road trip to Dickenson County and drive across this lone Virginia mountain road after dark, and you will just likely meet up with the fright of your life. Bring your camera, but, be prepared, it appears very quickly and goes just as fast as it appears. Even if you're prepared to see it, prepare to be scared stiff.