An encounter at Graveyard Point

An encounter at Graveyard Point

Published on December 1, 2008

Dale Jarvis

Last week, I returned home from Happy Valley-Goose Bay after spending a memorable week at the Labrador Creative Arts Festival. While there, I had the great fortune to stay with Gary and Barb Mitchell and their daughter Raylene.

Originally from Makkovik, Gary Mitchell is a well-known musician in the area. Mitchell also had a great ghost story to share with me from his home town, a place called Graveyard Point.

Newfoundland unexplained – Last week, I returned home from Happy Valley-Goose Bay after spending a memorable week at the Labrador Creative Arts Festival. While there, I had the great fortune to stay with Gary and Barb Mitchell and their daughter Raylene.

Originally from Makkovik, Gary Mitchell is a well-known musician in the area. Mitchell also had a great ghost story to share with me from his home town, a place called Graveyard Point.

“Graveyard Point is 12 miles up an inlet from Makkovik,” explained Mitchell. “There is an inlet that runs in, which we call Makkovik Bay. That's where a lot of people haul their firewood from, because it has good firewood up there. Plus, it is a recreation area. A lot of people have their cabins in the area, and there is one area that is called Graveyard Point, at the head of the bay.”

The area is called Graveyard Point because there are some carved headstones there, with engravings on them dating back to the 1800s.

“I don't know how people got there,” says Mitchell, “because at the time, the community of Makkovik wasn't established.

“We always passed by there when you were going into the bay. We always called in and had a look at the headstones. This one trip I went in, fooling around one summer, we were on the ground with the headstones getting our pictures taken. I saw two nice sticks of firewood. I said, 'Nice dry sticks of firewood I'm going to pick up later on.'

“Come December when people started hauling wood on the Ski-Doos again, when the bay froze up, I took a run up, Christmas Eve, just before sundown. I said I was going to haul back some firewood for my dad. I remembered those two dry sticks at Graveyard Point, right by the headstones. So, I said I'd cut those down today and haul them back for nice dry wood.”

It was still daylight, with the sun just starting to dip as Mitchell went in and started up his chainsaw. He walked into the woods, right at the edge of the wood, and started sawing the tree. Then his saw got jammed.

“I couldn't get the saw out,” he says. “So I had to wiggle the saw around, and by that point the chain was off. I got the saw out, and took it back to my komatik (sled), and put it on it. The komatik was on the edge of the woods, and I thought, I have to take the chainsaw apart and get the chain back on the bar. So, I laid everything out and took all the bolts and nuts and put them there.”

Mitchell walked into the woods to get his axe. When he came back out, he said, “I'm going to finish putting this together and see if I can finish cutting down the tree.”

When he started looking for the nuts and bolts, they weren't all there.

“There were some nuts gone,” he said. “And there was a little piece of plastic that belonged to the housing part that was missing. So I said, 'what's going on here?' I thought, 'is there a ghost here?' because there was no wind, there was no one else around and there were parts missing from what I had placed on the komatik.”

Mitchell was at a loss as to what could have happened to the pieces of his chainsaw. He looked around the snow, and dug around. He got on his hands and knees, but could find nothing. They couldn't have just fallen off the komatik, because there was no wind, Mitchell said.

“I'm getting out of here,” Mitchell muttered to himself.

“All of a sudden, I had this spooky feeling that there was someone in the area beside me and I couldn't see them. So I went out of Graveyard Point pretty quick and went back home with no wood. Ever since then I've thought there is something haunted about Graveyard Point.”

According to Mitchell, people always had a spooky feeling about Graveyard Point. Passing by in the night-time, people used to say they could hear strange noises, like somebody cutting a tree or an axe hitting wood. On other occasions, people might hear somebody calling out, late in the night.

As Mitchell puts it, “we had cabins just above there and they'd say, 'there was someone down in Graveyard Point again tonight.' We heard little bits of stories like that, like somebody calling out from Graveyard Point, and it was always a place that was off limits in the nighttime.”

Mitchell said he had such a spooky feeling and he knew something was not right during his visit to Graveyard Point that day.

“I just couldn't find my chainsaw parts. I don't know. That was the last time I went cutting firewood in Graveyard Point,” he said.

“People said, you know, you are fooling around with the headstones, taking pictures. Someone is going to get you one of these nights. You think about it afterwards, someone did come after me!”

Dale Jarvis can be reached at info@hauntedhike.com

An encounter at Graveyard Point – Columns – The Telegram.

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