The old church bell tower tolls midnight. A ghostly mist creeps between the gravestones in the cemetery. An owl hoots and bats flutter over the boneyard. A piercing shriek shatters the silence of the small hours. Are you scared yet? Read on for tales from America’s spookiest burial grounds. They’re sure to make the hairs on your neck stand to attention.
4. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Bremen Township, Illinois.
Okay, so some graveyards apparently have ghosts. What with all the dead people who reside there, that’s to be expected, right? But how about an entire ghostly farmhouse? That seems plain excessive. But it’s just what spooked observers have reported at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Chicago’s suburbs. The ghoulish homestead in question is said to appear complete with a porch swing. Then it shrinks as you draw closer before vanishing completely.
3. Stull Cemetery, Kansas.
Stull Cemetery has what must be a unique feature among American graveyards; it purportedly includes a gateway that leads to Hell itself. And that of course is the residence of Old Nick, Beelzebub or Satan, whichever is your preferred name for the Devil. And the fact that the cemetery includes a ruined church makes it all the creepier. Legend has it that if you tap on a piece of the church’s broken masonry, the Devil himself will appear in person.
2. Westminster Burying Ground, Maryland.
It would surely be a surprise if this cemetery wasn’t haunted, since it’s the last resting place of master ghost-story spinner Edgar Allen Poe. As well as the ghost of Poe, who died in 1849, reports mention the head of a murdered minister, the “screaming skull of Cambridge.” The unfortunate man of the cloth wouldn’t stop screaming even after death, so his skull was interred in a concrete block to muffle his cries. Listen hard, the tale goes, and you can still hear him.
1. Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles.
The Hollywood Forever cemetery in Los Angeles has the distinction of allegedly hosting the ghost of a man who isn’t even buried there. That man is William Randolph Hearst, the hugely wealthy newspaper mogul who died in 1951. He was laid to rest (apparently ineffectively) in Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, some 340 miles from Hollywood Forever. But he has a compelling reason to visit the Hollywood Forever boneyard. It’s where his long-time mistress Marion Davies – who outlived him by a decade – is interred.