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Barbecue Church and the Frozen Stranger

Barbecue Church Cemetery

The wind howled like a banshee, a chilling lament that tore through the pines of Harnett County in the winter of 1766. A lone figure, a Scotsman, trudged through the swirling snow, his breath ragged gasps in the frigid air. A blizzard, unexpected and fierce, had descended upon the Carolina backcountry, and The Stranger, caught unawares, was desperately seeking shelter.

Cairn in memory of the original church

He squinted through the snow, his worn kilt plastered to his legs, and saw a beacon of hope – a church, its steeple a stark contrast against the angry sky. He stumbled towards it, his heart pounding with a mixture of fear and relief. This was Barbecue Church, a place he’d heard whispers about – a haven for weary souls.

But as he reached the heavy oak doors, a crushing disappointment washed over him. They were locked. The Stranger pounded on the wood, his voice hoarse from the biting wind. “Help me! Please! I’ll perish out here!” But there was no answer. The storm seemed to swallow his pleas whole.

Despair gnawed at him. He sank down onto the icy steps, the cold seeping into his bones. Visions of his warm hearth back in Scotland flickered through his mind, a painful reminder of what he’d lost. Exhaustion and the relentless cold began to lull him into a deceptive state of peace.

The next morning, the storm had abated, leaving behind a world painted pristine white. The rising sun cast an ethereal glow upon Barbecue Church, but it couldn’t penetrate the icy grip that held The Stranger. He was dead, a victim of the unforgiving elements and a locked door.

The discovery sent a shockwave through the small community. Shame hung heavy in the air. How could they have turned away a soul in need? As they buried the Scotsman in their cemetery, a simple headstone was erected, bearing only the inscription: “Sacred to the Memory of The Stranger.”

From that day forward, a vow was etched in the hearts of the congregation. The doors of Barbecue Church would never be locked again. A lantern, fueled by the memory of the Scotsman, would forever burn by the entrance, a beacon of welcome in the darkest of nights. And the legend of “The Stranger” became a constant reminder – that humanity finds its truest expression not in walls and locks, but in the warmth of an open door.

The final resting place of The Stranger

©Space Gypsy Creations 2024
Photo artwork: copyright Kosmiczny Cygań, Space Gypsy Creations 2024
No reproduction without permission

Written by Kosmiczny Cygań 
Paranormal Investigator, Photographer, and Blogger

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