Haun's Mill Massacre Site
Date:27th May, 2011 Type:Cemetery
Location Title:Haun's Mill Massacre Site City/State:Fairview Township, MO
Investigation Times:09:30 PM - 11:45 PM Status:Analysis
Sunrise:05:56 AM Sunset:08:37 PM
High Temperature:62 °F Low Temperature:53 °F
Sky Condition:Hazy Wind:SSE at 10 mph
Lunar Phase:Waning Crescent % disk visible:25%
Solar X-Rays:Active Geomagnetic Field:Unsettled
The Haun's Mill massacre was an event in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement. It occurred on October 30, 1838 when a mob/militia unit from Livingston County attacked a Mormon settlement in eastern Caldwell County, Missouri, United States, after the Battle of Crooked River. By far the bloodiest event in the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, it has long been remembered by the members of the Latter Day Saint movement. The fifty-five men known by name to be involved were never prosecuted.
Christina Anderson:This investigation was like nothing I have been involved in up until now. Haun's Mill is a very remote, quiet place, seemingly apart from civilization. It has been kept in a very primitive state, only accessible by gravel roads. The evening started out with more detours than I have ever seen in my life! It was like every route we could possibly have taken to get there ended in a detour. Eventually, our tenacity won out and we got there! As this site is right next to Shoal Creek, which floods frequently, the ground was very muddy. We also had to contend with the loudest frogs on the face of the earth. To begin with, Kevin, James, and Angela headed across the field, while Becky and I stayed closer to the road. We both had the very overwhelming and unnerving feeling of being completely surrounded and watched. Every so often, movement was visible in the treeline nearby, but when we would shine our flashlights in that direction, there was nothing there. While wildlife was out in full force, none of the movement we saw matched up with what furry woodland creatures do. We also at one point heard a loud slamming noise toward the creek, as well as a few gunshots. Granted, the gunshots could very well have been a farmer half a mile away taking a potshot at a coyote or something, but the slamming noise was not something I could account for. We also heard twigs breaking, loud thuds, and rocks clacking against each other. The possibility of it being deer was explored, but they were too far away to make the noises we heard. Usually they occurred right behind us, and when we would shine our flashlights, there was, again, nothing there. Another odd thing continued to occur throughout the night. We kept seeing flashes of white, like the reflection off of a t-shirt, moving very quickly through the field. These occurred very randomly, in different patterns, going different directions, but they all seemed to occur in roughly the same general area. Later, it was discovered that this area was where the blacksmith shop is thought to have been. We did explore the idea of it being an animal of some kind, but the insanely loud frogs never stopped croaking, which would have happened if a person or animal had come close to them. Although we have been referring to it as "swamp gas" we cannot account for it, and it remains a mystery. I will be analyzing audio this week. Although I do not anticipate finding anything useable on it due to the amphibian orchestra that was out there, I will post anything I find of interest. I hope to return to this location in the following months for a more in-depth investigation.
Becky Ray:Weather was almost not our friend for this investigation, but the flooding had stopped and even though numerous detours seemed to be trying to keep us away, we finally made it!
Due to the storms, the entire area was muddy and slick, but within a few minutes of getting there some strange things began happening. When Kevin, James, and Angela walked down closer to the river both Christina and I kept hearing sounds like people moving around us. There were deer and other animals such as racooons, but this wasn't like that. At times both of us saw what appeared to be people moving in the trees. At one point I was so certain there were other people out there with us that I tried to signal for Kevin, James, and Angela to come back to where we were.
Most of us saw what I'm calling "swamp gas." I've spent a lot of time out in the woods at night and I've never seen anything like what we were seeing. It's difficult to describe, but the best I can come up with is a faint glow about the size of a human torso that would move swiftly across the open area in front of the trees. I know that wasn't real people because it was only visible for like 15 seconds at a time, and the frogs (which were AMAZINGLY loud) never stopped making noise. We watched this for quite a while and saw it numerous times at various different locations. I told myself I wouldn't leave until we figured out what it was, so that's why I'm calling it swamp gas.
Since it was very dark out I did not reference the map of the area while we were there. However upon returning home I discovered that the area in which Christina and I both kept thinking we saw actual people back in the woods is where they believe Haun's House was. Behind that is what they call "Escape Hill." Several women and children tried to take cover there.
And yes, they were completely surrounded in that area during the massacre, which is exactly how Christina and I kept feeling all night.
The area in which we kept seeing the "swamp gas" was where they believe Houston's Blacksmith Shop was. In the days leading up to the massacre as the Mormon's started to feel threatened they had planned to use the Blacksmith Shop as a blockhouse and had a cache of weapons stored there. About 35 of the men in town ran to the Blacksmith Shop as planned when the attack started. Unfortunately this was a bad plan and the shop became a deathtrap.
The unfinished well that at least 14 of the dead were quickly interred in (and are still down there) was right next to the Blacksmith shop.
I would like to return during daylight hours and try to get some photos as nothing I took that night came out well due to the extreme darkness.