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Behind Every Cloud is a Kindred Spirit (BECKS)I lost my grandfather when I was 17. I had a VERY difficult time getting over it. How could I still communicate with him? I loved him so much I didn't think I could live without him. I read everything I could get my hands on to do with the "afterlife" and that started it all...the love of Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. I have been researching the paranormal for over 30 years!! It is my way of staying in touch with my grandfather. Being a Ghost Hunter is not always as exciting as it seems on TV. Many nights I have sat in the dark and not a thing happened. BUT it is those times you DO get that one voice, that one unexplainable picture or have an experience that sends chills down your back that makes it sooo worth it all!!! My purpose of this blog is not to make people believe in ghosts but maybe to open their minds just a little bit... I LOVE this crazy thing called Ghost Hunting. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I am just a girl that refuses to accept we can't still contact our loved ones after they die. My grandfather won't let me.

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8/12/2011

Mills Cemetery's Ghost of Smiley-Garland,Tx

No matter what the truth is, here is a grave marker for the family in the cemetery.


SMILEY

Mother: Belle Hall, born October 30, 1890
Father: Chas Oscar, born March 17, 1890
Daughters:
Lilath Merle, born June 20, 1914
Gretta May, born December 27, 1915
Charlena, born February 9, 1927

All Died May 9, 1927

 
 



So I don't know what to think about this story other than I think I would like to check it out. There are several stories of Mr. Smiley at the Mills Cemetery in Garland, Tx. One is.... that one tragic evening, he killed his family then himself.hhhuumm ok... But the story I tend to believe is that of a Tornado came through Garland on May 9,1927 and destroyed most of the city.

The reason I tend to believe this story is because if there had been a mass killing of a family,then suicide, you would be able to find more documents on the event. It to me, would have been "news worthy". You know, lots of articles written about it.

But there ARE documents of a violent Tornado that hit the City of Garland on May 9, 1927 and destroyed much of the city, therefore that would explain the deaths of Mr. Smiley, his wife and three daughters all on the same day.  It is a sad story, whatever the truth is, but Mr. Smiley was only 37 and his youngest daughter was only three months when they all met their fate.  What a sad, sad story.

The story goes, that his spirit walks around the cemetery at night, his soul tormented at the lost of his entire family.  There is another story...that takes place on Halloween night that has to do with the cemetery but if it waayyy out there so I don't want to pass it on.  If you are interested you can look it up on the internet I'm sure.

Although I have never been there(but plan on going soon)they say his grave is easy to find. Just enter off Commerce Street onto Mills and it is just to the left.

So, that is my cemetery story for today.  If anyone has been there, please let me know what you thought.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the house where he and his family supposedly lived. If there is any historical record of where this family lived, i'd love to see the address.

The story went that he hung his family and then himself in one of the upstairs bedrooms, which used to be the attic. But like you, i'm more inclined to believe that it was a tornado.

I can't say I was ever fully comfortable being in the house, but that doesn't prove the paranormal. I never saw or heard anything strange, but the lights did flicker a few times. Again, not proof of anything.

Becky said...

That is so cool that you lived in that house! I will see if I can find an address for you.

Because you lived there, and didn't see or hear anything strange, that makes me tend to believe the story of the tornado more. If something as tragic as an entire family hanging, that is a horrible death that might cause spirits to remain.

I would love to know, do you remember ANY experience in the house that you look back now on and can't explain? And how old where you when you lived there? And how long did you live there? Sorry for so many questions, I am just so interested that you lived there.

Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Anonymous said...

It was a tornado. There's an article in the paper from May 11, 1927. (Available on microfilm at Nicholson Memorial Library.) The house was destroyed by the storm.

Becky said...

Thanks for the information. I guess that clears things up. I would love to read the article. I will have to check it out.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I went out there on a whim about two years ago, saw the graves, tried the whole lying down thing, and I'm sorry to report we both got up easily.

I'm leaving this comment right now because as a result of doing some local historical research, I've been accessing some local news archives, and just read the true story of the Smiley family's deaths, dated May 10, 1927. Apparently, at 3 a.m. on May 9, a tornado touched down in Garland for literally one minute, and killed 11 people, including the Smiley family. Several more were killed and injured in neighboring towns:( The article also says that C.O. Smiley's home and several others were completely demolished.

Anonymous said...

Also, there was one survivor, Dorothy Smiley, six years old, who wasn't expected to live, but apparently must have.

Becky said...

Wow! Thank you for that information. I would love to know what happened to Dorothy. I might could do a people search on google and find out. Yes, the story has so many different "tales" that is only makes since about the tornado to me. Thank you again for the local information.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad, but fascinating, too, huh? I tried looking for Dorothy in the archives, maybe a marriage announcement or something like it, but couldn't find anything:( I'm guessing that she probably left the state and went to live with family somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you ever need to look up anything on any of these local stories, feel free to email me, and I'll see if I can find anything in the archives. My name is Paula and my email address is furcoveredcatmom@aol.com.

Becky said...

Thank you Paula. I am going to work on it and see if I can find out anything else about Dorothy. It could be that she was adopted and her last name changed if she was only 6. My email address is beckylvickers3@yahoo.com if I can ever help you with anything. And thank you again for your input. I love hearing from people that read my blog.

I went to Arkansas over the weekend and took some really cool pics there. I hope to post them in a couple of days. I have some very unsual grave markers I have to research. I would love to know if you have ever seen anything like these or may know something about them. I know they wouldn't be local, but would be interested in knowing if you have seen them before. Anyway, on the road back, so thank you again and btw.... nice to met you Paula. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Deanna Skelton & my family included the Smileys of the Mills cemetery Smileys in Garland Tx. For whatever reason I am assuming either because the family all parished together or that one of the family members birthday was the day before Halloween (talk about grasping} I am here to correct the slander , the family all died on the same day because they were simply "ALL TOGETHER " as a family when they died what a coincidence ! Oscar was the brother of my daddys grandfather Walter Smiley married to Cora Smiley who both came from large families of siblings "ALL POOR" their families were their riches infact until the day after the tornado not one of them had a nickel but my great grandmother whO I Knew well managed to scrape together app $56.00 to purchase gravesite where my daddies mother Mae Skelton his nephew Roland Skelton Walter & Cora Smiley & Oscar family are all buried ! Because of the horrible slander people have abused this gravesite my daddy has had to get the headstone of Oscars family reset twice & it now houses a bullet ! They errected a building for the mayor that perished that day but my family has had their eternal peace interupted for 85 yrs & since most of my family that I remember from Christmas gatherings & sunday lunch at grandmas is buried their I feel they are ALL needing to finally rest! I do have some spine chilling stories of the Skelton family that surely involves a few Smileys if your interested & I live only a few short miles from cemetery & I dont mind monitoring it for VANDALS except it is a HORRIUBLY wrong legend ! So if you find yourself having trouble rising up from laying on Oscars grave I will tell you this its because hes pissed let his family rest after all he was only human !

Anonymous said...

I am a family member of the Skelton Smiley plot in Garland, Mills Cemetery Deanna Skelton I have info deannagayeskelton@hotmail.com

Becky said...

Deanna. I apologize if in some way you feel that I have "slandered" the Smiley name. That was never my intent. I don't put a lot of stock when people say they go lay down and can't get up. But again, this is my option and mine only. So, may I ask you a question, just so I am clear on what happened? They were "ALL TOGETHER" when a tornado came through? I am so sorry to hear that there has been abuse at the gravesite. I would hope that no one from this site would do anything like that.
I would like to thank you for your comments and appreciate the information. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Deanna Skelton and her DADDY are not the spokespeople for the family.

Anonymous said...

Deanna, I'm so sorry your family's resting place has been disrespected so much by vandals. I was wondering, on a completely non-paranormal level, if you could tell us what happened to your relative Dorothy. I'm the one who posted here earlier about historical research I'd been doing, and after reading the newspaper articles from that time, I became concerned with the lone survivor, Dorothy, and to this day wonder what happened to her, how her life played out. I would love to know if and what you know about her if you don't mind sharing.

Paula

Anonymous said...

Becky, I don't think she meant you:) I know you do what you do with absolute and complete respect for the departed:)

Anonymous said...

I went last night and searched both cemeteries and found no smiley grave. :/

Becky said...

I am sorry to hear that. Can any of the readers help with the location of Smiley's headstone?

Shelly said...

I just did a search of the father's name. There's a lot of info. According to a lady that was looking into the family for a grandson: Family of 7, 5 killed by tornado, 2 children, daughter Margaret and son Dorrit (maybe Doritt- I forget how it was spelled), survived.

I've never been to Mills Cemetery, but other people find the grave so it's there. It's supposedly "unassuming".

I wonder if the city would let the family put up an iron fence around the grave. It won't stop determined people, but may deter some of the vandalism. Sounds like a kick starter campaign to me. I live in DFW, I'll chip in.

Anonymous said...

The gravesite is right out there in plain view, can't miss it....

Anonymous said...

I pass by that grave almost everyday because its like a shortcut to my home but I don't know where smiley lives though

rch said...

Dorrit and Margaret Smiley appear on the 1930 Census in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas living with their aunt, Jessie (Hall) Jones. Margaret appears again on the 1940 Census, same place.

Becky said...

RCH- That is great information!!! I plan on visiting Smiley's grave in a couple of weeks and just see for myself if I can communicate with the Smiley Family and "get some answers" as to what really happened to the family....a tornado or something else. Thanks again for the information on Margaret.

Anonymous said...

They died in a tornado, i live by there

Anonymous said...

tornado.nobody killed anyone.

paje said...

I have been there with my aunts and cousins and let me tell you its real my cousin lisa had layed down and she tried to get back up and she couldn't she started turning pale and we then tried helping her after maybe 5 min she could get up right efter that happened we left right away and never went back everytime I drive by the cemetery I look and think of that day, matter of fact we tried driving around looking for it the night of Halloween right after midnight couldn't find it so we went the day after and sure enough we found it and that happened , I really really really think u should check it out :)

Becky said...

Paje. I have been there and gotten some great flashlight communication but I did not lay down beside the grave. Next time I go I will try it. Although through the communication I received from the "Smiley's" they are a very sweet family and I don't know why they would want to hold anyone down? But I WILL try it next time. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Garland my whole life, in the same house, and have drove by "Smiley's" too many times to count. In the 80's, the FFA barn was right down the road and Mills Rd was a cut through. I've always heard of the stories, but never believed them. I was always told just to smile as you pass, which I do. I do only because its my way of acknowledging the family and wishing them peace in the afterlife and that not all people believe the horrible stories about them. I hate the vandalism and disruptive behavior of their final resting spot that has taken place all the years and I would love to help the living relatives put an iron fence around their graves. How? I have no clue, I live pay check to paycheck, but I do think Im not the only citizen of Garland that would like to give peace to the Smiley's once and for all. God Bless

Becky said...

Anonymous 4-4-2014 Dianna Skelton(see above post) is related to the Smiley's. She may be able to help with how to preserve the family's final resting place. Thank you for your kind words to the family and I'm sure the Smiley's smile back to you when you pass by. :) I wrote about me experience when I finally went to see the Smiley's. You can read about it if you check on the left side of my blog under 2013 and look for the July 29, 2013 Titled Smiley's-The haunted cemetery. I got a really good feeling after visiting the family. I do not believe all the bad things people say about this family. I also recorded a flashlight session I had with the family on You tube if you would like to view it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YAzurvKouo
Thanks again for writing. :)

Anonymous said...

for anyone who is questioning the family's cause of death, it's plainly stated on the father's death certificate, "killed by cyclone." Nothing mysterious of nefarious about it, very well documented in the press of the day.

Michael said...

I'm a city worker for Garland. We knew about the tornado. The legend we tell is; don't touch his grave stone our you will get very sick. Reason being he is upset for the city putting a rode through his property which I think is centerville road.

Becky said...

Michael, I have heard that legend as well. But I was there alone for a couple of hours and touched the tombstone many times and nothing happened. But you have to love the legends. I think this was a very nice family that's lives just ended to soon when a tornado came through the town. But thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Dorit Smiley died in 2003, the last I can find any record of his sister Margaret Ruth Smiley was in a San Angelo City Directory in 1949. Their mother Belle was a sister of my grandfather.

Becky said...

That is so cool that you are related to the Smileys! Thanks for your comment.