50 Days of Halloween, October 17: walking among the headstones

If you’re the type of person to regularly peruse this site, you’ve probably sneaked into a graveyard at one time or another. You may have even seen or heard something while in there.

It’s only natural that the final resting spot of a mass group of people is said to be a hotbed for paranormal activity. While most of the stories are just that, there are plenty of videos and recordings that can make even the most hardcore skeptic second-guess if they would spend an evening between the headstones.

Today on Mangled Matters, we take a look at some of the most fascinating (and reputedly haunted) cemeteries in America.

The Witches’ Graveyard (Stamps Cemetery, Tennessee) is technically known as Stamps Cemetery. Neatly nestled among the mountains of the Volunteer State, this isn’t your typical cemetery. Rather than your normal “coffin in the ground with a tombstone up above” set up, the buried here are actually ‘covered’ by two slabs of rock in a tent formation. A small headstone rests at the top of the structure. There are rumors that the mark of the witch (an upside down star) began to find themselves on certain headstones and thus, an urban legend was born.

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Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery (Chicago, IL) is a location I had the pleasure of visiting firsthand recently. The cemetery has fallen victim to vandalism in recent years but there is no denying the energy that seems to radiate from every corner of the fenced-in graveyard. Ramping up the creep factor, there’s a lagoon beside the cemetery where gangsters were allegedly dumped after being offed during the prohibition era. Rumors of floating orbs and one of the most famous ghost photos ever taken earn Bachelor’s Grove a spot high atop this list.


Old Western Burial Ground (Baltimore, Maryland) is final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe. The ghost of Poe allegedly strolls through the grounds. Other haunts include those who were reportedly buried alive and the “Skull of Cambridge”, which is the head of a murdered minister that supposedly shrieks and drives people mad. Cool!

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St. Louis Cemetery (New Orleans), arguably the most haunted cemetery in the world, is actually three cemeteries on one plot of land. Residents of the cemetery include voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and Homer Plessy, a major figure in the fight for civil rights in America. Unfortunately, vandalism has forced the archdiocese to close the cemetery to the public in recent years. Guided tours still allow for visits, though.

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Howard Street Cemetery (Salem, Massachusetts) is the granddaddy of all haunted cemeteries in the country. The home to several souls who lost their lives during the witch trials, this place is saturated with paranormal activity. In an alley beside the cemetery, Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing to stand trial. The ghost of Corey reportedly stalks the grounds to this day.

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If you’re looking for a portal to Hell, a visit to Stull, Kansas may just get you there. Stull Cemetery is said to be one of the seven gateways to the underworld. It’s said that the seal to Hell opens up on Halloween night and Satan himself will lure you into the fiery depths. While at least 99.9% of those stories are absolutely fabricated, there are still enough rumors of ghostly visits and eerie sights that you probably want to avoid the place after sundown.

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