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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Terrifying Memories of the Yount Mill Hill Phantom

It is that time of year again in Napa Valley...not harvest, but haunting season. The local history, or lore, is brimming over with innumerable local accounts of ghostly encounters. For example, during the 1930s-1960s the curious thrill seeker and naysayer alike, congregated at the Yountville cemetery to catch a glimpse of the Yount Mill Hill Phantom—a nightmarish experience they would always remember and regret!

Recently, one local and down-to-earth woman in possession of all of her faculties, spoke of the night in the late 1960s when she endured two heart-stopping experiences related to the Yount Mill Hill Phantom. For the purposes of this account about her paranormal encounter, she will simply referred to as the witness.

Having heard the rumors and curious about the wicked entity, the witness decided to drive to Yountville one evening with some friends. She said that by dark, the place was packed with vehicles parked randomly around the Yountville cemetery. While some people remained in their vehicles, most of the wannabe spectators stood outside of their cars and trucks. They chatted and laughed about the so-called Phantom. Many of those conversations resulted in dares, challenging one another to stay at their cemetery adjacent vantage points, regardless of what might happen.

Apparently, just as that crowd’s patience and interest began to wane, an odd stillness accompanied an even more unnerving chill surrounding the mortals. Then, a bright and bold flash of neon green light suddenly ignited at the top of the Yount Mill Hill. That flash rapidly grew into a large sphere of a pulsating and (clearly not-of-this-world) emanation.

For quite some time, the sphere hovered while it shifted shapes. Its mortal audience excitedly, but anxiously, exclaimed as if they were watching a fireworks display. Eventually the large orb ruptured, creating smaller glowing balls. In those forms, that other-world energy began to slowly descend Yount Mill Hill as if it was traversing a curvy mountain road.

According to the witness, those smaller light orbs would pause and appear to perform for the mortals. “It was almost like a dance as they moved around one another.” She added, “When they bumped into each other, the intensity of their light changed. In fact, it was almost too bright to look at directly.”

Having traveled about halfway down the Hill, those smaller emanations suddenly stopped, then dimmed and hovered together. As the crowd below grew impatient, some of those spectators began to taunt and jeer. The witness added, “That was a big mistake!”

With a brilliant flash those little orbs became an enormous, brightly glowing and menacing poltergeist. “It seemed as if the heckling had insulted and even angered the entity.” The witness continued, “At the same time, it started rushing down Yount Mill Hill and directly towards us. It was like a malevolent and ghostly tsunami.” She then exclaimed, “It was terrifying! Everyone jumped into their cars and trucks to escape its horrifying wrath!” She added, “As I was speeding southward toward home, from my rear-view mirror, I saw the creepiest, most stomach-turning and hair-raising but amazing thing.”

She stated that the glowing green specter had transformed into an eerie nebula, blanketing the entire Yountville cemetery. The witness added, “While I continued to drive homeward, some friends in another car turned around to see what had happened. They later told me they watched—from a safe distance—the ghoulish fog gradually shrink and drain into a specific spot in the cemetery.” She added, “But when they returned to the cemetery the next afternoon to investigate, they couldn’t find that ‘drain.’ They didn’t even notice anything out of the ordinary.”

As her friends turned back that night to potentially face a horrifying scene and even personal peril, the witness had her own probable terror waiting for her at home. She explained, “I was in such a panic to get out of that place, with that nefarious thing barreling down on us, I just floored the truck as I backed out to flee. In the process I severely damaged the back bumper on dad’s brand-new truck.” She continued, “Although I had been terrified by the Yount Mill Hill Phantom, I was even more scared of my dad’s reaction.” She added, “But when I told him what had happened and what I had done, he just laughed!” She remarked, “I will always remember both unexplainable experiences—the Phantom and my father. What a night!”

For whatever reason, the sightings of the Yount Mill Hill Phantom ceased within a few years of the witness’s encounter. With relief, she and her fellow beholders are comforted in knowing it is gone and can no longer mortify another human as it had terrorized them.

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