Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moment: Seance at Cypress Hills

We had all the essentials: nine white candles, two guidebooks, a flashlight, and of course, the Ouija board.

Making our way up Jamaica Avenue, our six-person troop stopped at Jackie Robinson Parkway. Our car seemed miles away, the surrounding neighborhood of East New York a wall of boarded-up brownstones and dilapidated Victorian mansions. Dusk illuminated the evening sky with an array of burnt colors. It was perfect weather for a séance.

“This is it guys, we have to go in through here,” my good friend Katy Desmond, a 22 year-old publishing marketer said. She had written her college thesis on paranormal activity and was an expert fence jumper.

The fringe of the Cypress Hills Cemetery was surrounded by a rusty, jagged lattice. The crematorium was the only break in this chain. Surveying the graveyard we were initially terrified by a group of dogs we assumed were the night watch. To our relief, they were just feral.

Perspiration dripped from my upper lip leaving a salty residue. I cursed myself for ever agreeing to this. The group braced to jump the corroded barrier. Jamaica Avenue turned red. It was every person for himself. Up and eventually over, pants ripped, candles shattered, purses spilled, and flip-flops landed in every direction. However clumsily, we had done it. We were on our way to the other side.

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