|Coordinates||49'45"N, 95 degrees 39'03"W|
The Hillendahl-Eggling Cemetery in Bear Creek Park, located in west Houston, Texas, has been the subject of rumor, mystery, and destruction amongst the locals for decades. In reality there were less than 20 people ever buried there, and those bodies were moved to another site that is still open for burial to this day, but problems still remain with vandals and site seers, even with a local unit of the Army Corps of Engineers taking control of the area.
Bear Creek was one of earliest settlements of Houston, as the Hillendahl and Addicks families were among the first Moravian-German settlers in Texas. The land was bought and sold a few times beginning in the 1830s until a parcel of 480 acres was sold to Henry Eggling on Dec 28, 1859.
The people who were buried at the cemetery include:
- William Addicks
- George Herman Grisbee (July 16, 1866 - November 18, 1895)
- John H. Grisbee (September 26, 1857 - December 4, 1899)
- Avalie Hillendahl (April 1, 1873 - 1875)
- Dora Hillendahl (July 8, 1878 - 1888)
- George H. Hillendahl (1872 - 1881)
- Hugo Hillendahl (January 26, 1888 - Mar 10, 1888)
- Louis Hillendahl (?, 1877-?, 1877 [six months])
- Eliza Jane Keely (November 4, 1856 - May 24, 1882)
- Ira Gerald Kunze (July 14, 1883 - 1884)
- Samuel Quade (? - ?)
- Erlie Ries (January 26, 1846 - November 21, 1914)
- Reverend Fred Ries (1832 - September 18, 1884)
- Dina H. Sauer (1850 - 1896)
- E. Thompson (April 4, 1840 - 1880)
The site that now makes up what little is left originally also had a church (which the Bear Creek Methodist Church was established around 1879, with the actual church itself being built in 1890); both the cemetery inhabitants and the church were relocated due to constant flooding of the area (which still persists to this very day). The cemetery and the church were abandoned when the church was moved to Route 6 (now Highway 6) and Interstate 10 in 1902.
The Hillendahl-Eggling Cemetery is commonly, locally called the “Blue Light Cemetery”, although it was never officially named that. It became a nickname due to a reported blue light that could be seen emanating from the area during some nights. This light was probably due to Labradorite, a material that was commonly used in headstones decades before, causing them to glow at night.
With Labradorite being used for creating headstones, there had been many cemeteries around the country that earned the nickname of "Blue Light", but what was supposedly the original “Blue Light Cemetery” (the Tetter Cemetery) still exists in Spring, Texas.
Since there have reportedly been several cemeteries in Houston that earned the nickname "Blue Light", there has been confusion and rumors as to events that might or might not have occurred in the area. For instance, local Houston Fox TV station (KRIV) once aired a report about Satanism in the late 1980s or early 1990s, citing a “Blue Light Cemetery” (an area known for Satanist activity, although it depends on which area that meant in the report) in Sugar Land. The Hillendahl-Eggling Cemetery is in Bear Creek, not Sugar Land, hence why rumors of Satanic activity could be confused as to which “Blue Light Cemetery” was meant. There was also reportedly a murder at the Hillendahl-Eggling Cemetery at one point, but this has not been confirmed.
Conditions throughout the yearsEdit
The perimeter around the place has changed over time; from several decades (until the 1990s or early 2000s), the cemetery area was originally small, as it didn’t even have 20 people buried there at most, but the fenced off perimeter around it accrued, as well as the height of the fence was also increased to try to prevent people from entering the area. However, this has not stopped people from digging underneath the fence in order to access the site.
A local chapter of the Army Corps of Engineers made it difficult to enter the place by barricading the original pathway to the cemetery (plus the area is also patrolled occasionally), although there is an alternate route through Bear Creek Park to reach it.