Valley Hill Believers Continue Searching For Miracles

Published: Apr. 24, 2003 at 7:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 1, 2003 at 10:40 AM EDT
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By Jackie Hays

(SPRINGFIELD, Ky., April 24th, 2003, 6 p.m.) -- A quiet spot near Springfield, Kentucky, has been in the news off and on for the last 10 years. It's because of what some claim are miracles that happen in an area known as "Valley Hill." Is it a religious experience or a hoax? It depends on who you ask.

Valley Hill sits along a bubbling brook in Washington County. The splashing water and tall trees under a blue sky make it a very peaceful place.

But it's not just the peace and quiet that brings people there. They come hoping to see a miracle.

Angela Wimsatt from Bardstown says Valley Hill is "very special. You know something is going on here."

Hazel Spalding from Springfield has no doubt that the place holds special powers from above. "I had my rosary in my hand and it turned gold," she said. "I smelled roses but there was no rose bush."

Nowadays it's very quiet and peaceful at Valley Hill. But there was a time that it was packed with people after something unusual happened in April of 1995. Seven young girls and their Catholic education teacher who reported seeing spots of gold and even getting pictures of angels and the virgin Mary.

Robert Stack profiled the occurrence on NBC's "Unsolved Mysteries." Even though an "Unsolved Mysteries" expert debunked the visions and photographs, those at the center of the mystery stood by their story.

And the crowds grew large.

Today the large crowds are gone. People come and go, but now it's one or two at a time.

The mystery of Our Lady of Valley Hill seems to have died down. But it hasn't died away.

Among them, Amanda Terrell. We talked with her and her friends back in 1995 and eight years later her faith remains unshaken. "A lot of people don't believe me," she said. "I tell them the story and they just think you're crazy."

But Amanda still believes, and what she saw remains the keystones of her faith. "It gave me a more spiritual background," she said. "It made me feel like I was closer to God."

Although the crowds have diminished, Amanda is not alone. Many of the believers who were there in the spring of '95 still make a pilgrimage to the quiet corner in the Blue Grass -- and remember. They remain steadfast in what they saw. And how it's changed their lives.

"We seen spots all over each other," Mandy Mattingly of Springfield said. "The sun was just pulsating. It was a miracle. It was great."

And feeling closer to God may be what continues to bring people back. People who say they've known for years that the quiet spot on a bubbling brook on a wooded hillside is a spiritual journey that can lead to miracles.

"I know what happened, said Phyllis Filiatreau said. "I know what I got out of it, and I know what my daughter got out of it. It will stay with she and I both for the rest of our lives."

The woman who owns the land, Iona Wright, says the miracles are most likely to be seen the 2nd and 23rd of every month. Regardless of what people see or don't see, it's a quiet retreat in a very busy world.

Valley Hill Fields is located on Bloomfield Road near Springfield, Ky., north of Hwy. 55 and south of Hwy. 458.

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Online Reporter: Jackie Hays

Online Producer: Michael Dever