Sunday, May 12, 2013

NASA and The Dead Children's Playground

I don't think many of you know this, but there was a period of time where I wanted to be an astronomer. I don't say this lightly either. When I was in the fifth grade, for example, I was seriously researching Princeton's Astrophysics program and what it would take to be an astronomer. No normal fifth grader does that, but what can I say other than I've never been "normal," really. Although I've found my calling in writing, I'm still enthusiastic about astronomy. My boyfriend, Ryan, shares this enthusiasm--He is an Astronomer after all! To celebrate the end of this school year, we both took a trip to NASA's Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

When I was younger, I really wanted to get some basic astronaut training at Space Camp. I didn't realize at the time how expensive it was. As a consolation, since my parents couldn't afford to send me, my dad took me to tour the Space Center years ago. It was just as good as I remembered. If I wanted, I could still do adult space camp...

This time, there was an interactive exhibit on black holes. We got to print out "explorer's cards" where we chose astronomical names from a name bank. I chose "Chocolate Genius" and Ryan chose "Astro Seeker." There was a really neat part of the museum that talked a lot about the space race and the first astronauts and technology. Outside the museum were a couple of rides: The Space Shot and G Force. These rides were more intense than I remember them.

After visiting the NASA center, we drove through Historic Huntsville on the way to the "Dead Children's Playground" behind Maple Hill Cemetery. My dad was the first to tell me about this site. This site at Maple Hill was founded in 1822. Nobody knows the source of the reported haunting, but there are two theories. Some believe it's the children of the cemetery that come out to play. Others believe the spirits stem from a string of abductions in the 60's, where the children's bodies were found nearby.

When we came upon the playground, located beyond a long stone wall, we were struck by it's beauty. It was like being walled in with dripping the stone that jutted up from the ground. It was so green, and very peaceful. It's not what I imagine of a haunted location, but people say the activity is isolated to late at night.

In the photo below, I couldn't help but notice a little light anomaly. It could be a moth, or maybe even a lens flare? perhaps something could be wrong the CCD? Zoom in and see for yourself...I'm not saying it's paranormal, but maybe some of you might be able to explain it better in a comment down below!

Do you see what I'm talking about? (bottom center-right)

What is going on in this picture?

On the way out of the cemetery, I noticed this interesting Celtic-looking grave. It was picture worthy, I thought.

It was a nice trip, all in all, and definitely worth it. If any of you are in the area, I do recommend stopping by both the Space and Rocket Center and Maple Hill Cemetery. As always, leave a comment if you have anything to say (especially about that questionable photo).


  1. The celtic cross was surprisingly outstanding! I think it's great you're into astronomy, it gives you so much knowledge about the world we live [and don't] in!

    1. The Celtic cross didn't look like any of the headstones we have where I live! It was lovely. Astronomy is good to know, and I plan to keep learning independently.

  2. Wow, you're into astonomy? That's really interesting! When I was a child all I wanted to do was dig up dinosaur bones, so, yeah, nerdy kids ftw!

    The graveyard sounds fascinating, I like the idea that the children come out to play at night!

    1. Yes, nerdy kids for the win! I'll always be a nerdy kid at heart, I suppose.

      The graveyard does was fascinating. I'll have to go at night sometime; perhaps my group will be able to go.

  3. I live in Huntsville. One time my school took a tour of Maple Hill Cematary and I can tell you that not all of the activity happens at night! I was sitting on the playground with my friend and we were talking. I asked my friend why she was laughing and she said that she wasn't laughing. Soooo yeah creepy!

    1. Huntsville is a pretty place. I imagine it'd be nice to live there. That does sound pretty creepy though! I captured a photo there during the day with something interesting in it. I can't say if it's paranormal, but maybe!