J.B.'s Journal: Killough Massacre - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

J.B.'s Journal: Killough Massacre

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - Paranormal investigators believe there are many locations around East Texas that are haunted. In J.B.'s Journal, Sheriff J.B. Smith takes us to a historical site in Cherokee County that some believe the spirits still roam.

"This was considered Cherokee Indian Territory, they had made peace with the Indians, thought they were well secured here," said Shelley Cleaver/Cherokee Co. Historical Commission .

On October 5th, 1838, in a forest just north of Jacksonville something happened.

"When they went to harvest their crops, left their guns at home, that's when they got attacked."

Eighteen members of the Killough, Woods and Williams families were either killed or captured by a band of renegade.

"This was the largest massacre happened in East Texas."

Stones mark the graves of the dead. A site left to memory until the 1930's when a monument was constructed.

"They built it out here out of the native stone here."

A large presence now dwarfed by a canopy of trees, or is there something more?

"They would come here, hear things in the woods, thought the spirits was here."

A cold chill felt by Cleaver during a routine inspection.

"Always kept my radio on in my truck, usually had some firearm when I come out here, superstitious being in places I didn't know a lot about what could happen."

Some have reported hearing horses and Native American chants in the woods.

"When you have a real heavy fog out here they think they can see an image of a Cherokee brave here."

Possible spirits still restless here in these East Texas woods.

"You think of how they sacrificed their life here, what happened here, makes a chill up your back."

For CBS 19, I'm Sheriff J.B. Smith and that's my story.

Descendants of the Killough family meet at the site every year for a reunion and to clean up the cemetery. The location was given a historical marker in 1965 and is open to visitors during the daytime.

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