This post is part of the This Town is Myth Project which looks to examine a lost town named Pemberton Ferry, Florida, that history has all but forgotten. Most of the material is my way of wiggling out the different aspects of the unexplained, the deep history, and several conspiracies and theories related to the town. As such, there will be mistakes, misidentifications, and misunderstandings. This has always been a part of Tripping on Legends as we know we are not always getting the best information when it comes to folklore and legends, but it is even more so with this. I am an outsider to the area in many respects, and my information comes from different sources and is the best information I have at the time. Mistakes come from a genuine place and not from a desire to be a poor researcher.
Please contact me with any corrections, additions, or clarifications. This project begs for it…
Love is ever elusive. Just when you think you have found the one you want to be with forever, the passion slips through your fingers. It has been the subject of countless books, plays, and movies and the guiding urge behind war and the creation of art. For some, the journey to find that perfect soulmate who will complete who they are and make their dream of days spent holding hands and getting old together drives what they do and becomes the obsession for their actions. Times may change and technology may offer new ways to search and capture, but the determination stays the same age after age. Before we had Tinder and phone apps, people relied on more traditional ways to find the perfect match. Some went on blind setups and engaged in speed dating or even let their mother’s set them up, thinking they could satisfy mom and maybe find someone at the same time.
Then there is the folklore of romance, or at least the urban legends of the best way to ensnare that special someone. Most are pretty straightforward. Find yourself a nice witch and you might be able to conjure up the perfect Love Potion, although historically those things never end well. You can travel to someplace special in your town, touch something by the light of the moon and join the long line of the engaged. In Florida, for example, performing the right ritual while at Silver Springs will net you the right lover and keep them. College campuses are famous for this. Whether it’s Mt. Holyoke in Massachusetts or the University of Iowa, many have deep legends about kissing or meeting under a certain spot and controlling that uncontrollable force called love.
For the most part, they are a mixed bag. Except for one in Sumter County Florida in a forgotten town in a cemetery trying to push back against the modern world’s desire to pave over it. Hidden away behind the massive National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, lies a more modest if not more fabled cemetery long known to insure romantic connection. Wild Cow Prairie Cemetery in what used to be known as Pemberton Ferry has been known by the locals, even if some have forgotten, as the place to take someone if you’re looking to see if they are the one. There is something slightly romantic about the location itself, but it seems to have an unusual effect on couples that visit there. People find love at Wild Cow.
According the Della Daughtry who has been working to save the cemetery and get it listed on the National Historical Registry, people who go there together mysteriously stay together. It was part of the lore passed down to her from her grandmother during trips to the location, but also something she has witnessed. It even had an impact on her own life. She cites a man she was very much into not entering the cemetery and them not finding love despite some strong signs. Daughtry, however, took her current husband there on their first date. She also says it is not just her and not the members of her family (if you want to double down, Daughtry has also seen generations of couples who get married at the site of the Dade Massacre stay together).
The power of this cemetery continues into modern times. On Valentine’s Day 2020 Daughtry’s daughter became the latest victim of the Wild Cow Prairie Cemetery Curse, I mean benefactor of the mysterious love spell. “My daughter Lydia and her boyfriend went out to the cemetery back in December to help us take measurements.” This February 14th they got engaged and are looking forward to a long life together.
For more unusual and supernatural love stories, look for Christopher Balzano’s new book Florida’s Haunted Love Stories set to hit shelves later this summer and follow the hashtag #hauntedlove to see some the legend trips Tripping on Legend has done that involve love and the paranormal.
Wild Cow Cemetery is part of This Town is Myth which can also be followed at www.facebook.com/ThisTownisMyth and with the hashtag #ThisTownisMyth on all our social media platforms.
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