Hellview Cemetery - St. Petersburg's largest charity haunted house.









People Scaring People since 1996.


The Blackwater Clan
Hezikiah Blackwater and the Blackwater clan

“…and he shall light the circle aflame as he sacrifices the unrighteous to be cleansed in the holy fire.  Only when one has shown the true calling shall they be entered into the family of Those That Walked Before.” - Noctis Arcanum excerpt

 

  Somewhere in the swamplands that surround Tampa Bay, lives a family that has roots here older and deeper than any dare to recall.  Their exact origin is lost… but campfire stories, rumors and missing person reports from around the area keep the Blackwater clan alive.  They have become something of a local legend; as the cities have crept in to take over the land they once claimed.


  Old news articles and church records from surrounding communities can sparsely trace the Blackwater Church back to early Florida history… shortly after the Spanish settled in St. Augustine.   Several families seeking religious freedom and to avoid the influence of their mother church in this new land, set out into the steamy mangroves to find a safe and private home for their radical beliefs.  One of the families reportedly had a copy of the grimoire “Noctis Arcanum”, an ancient Latin treatise on ancient gods of the peoples the Romans conquered.  It is with this book that founded “The Blackwater Church” somewhere near the mouth of the entrance to the “Land of Shadow.”  Early elders wrote manuscripts that had claimed they had been brought to this location by the very ancient gods they had worshipped to found the church and help them return to rule our world.


  The founding families of the church all stayed and married and intermarried for hundreds of years in the swamps of Florida.  It was only during the rushed settling of Florida in the early 1800s that the church was even rediscovered and brought out into the light.  Early stories of the “inbred swamp folk” and “monster faced zealots” circled among the settlements.  The new settlers often traded with the Blackwaters as they had ample food and were willing to trade for simple tools and weapons but people tended to avoid any social connections with the “mystery people.”  Missing pets and livestock and even the occasional person were simply attributed to the troubles of living in the nearly wild tropical peninsula.


  It was the period just after the 1920s in the early days of the conservation movement when the real troubles began.  Certain areas would be claimed as State Parks and fish and game started to be regulated. These conditions along with the ever growing population began to cut off the Blackwater family’s territory.  They grew more and more frustrated which lead to more than one run in with local authorities.  It all blew up in 1961 when a young deformed boy calling himself “Ezekiel Blackwater” was accused of murdering a local girl in the Tarpon Springs area.  Once the boy was arrested, 200 plus members of the Blackwater congregation marched onto the town spearheaded by their spiritual and community leader himself, Father Hezekiah Blackwater in an odd form of protest.  Most were so malformed they needed assistance walking.  Many could not speak but their intent was heard.  Tempers flared and no one is truly sure what started the riot but the reports of fighting, burnt buildings and pieces of human remains littered the streets.  Papers from those days tended to describe horrors and atrocities brought about by the Blackwater cult as “unholy nightmares.”


   Due to the over sensational methods of those early journalists it is mostly considered nonsense.  The only truth that is certain is that the sheriff was forced to let Ezekiel free and the clan left the town as quickly as they had arrived retreating back into the few remaining swamp lands in the area.


  No one really knows how big the family is.  There are only hushed whispers of “this one Blackwater cousin” or “that member of the Blackwater Church.”  Any known members of the family disappeared after they dropped out of the public eye in 1962.  Most people assume the clan has either died out or simply is too scarce to be of any concern any more.  Some say the tourist shops are filled with gator skulls and preserved sharks that have been illegally caught by Blackwater cult members and the occasional tourist still goes missing. The walls from the old stone church remained and are rumored, by some, to be the very mausoleum that marks the entrance to Hellview Cemetery. 


  Now there are tales that they have been drawn back to the mouth of the Gateway to Shadow and have set up church once again inside the walls of Hellview Cemetery.  Their symbols have been seen.  Their chants have been heard.  Have the ancient gods called them here with a new purpose?