Saturday, October 20, 2012

Naultag Cemeteries

It's October and Halloween approaches. Nothing's spookier than a cemetery at night, preferably a moonless, cloudy, perhaps even foggy, night - - on Halloween! But I'm not writing that kind of post. Around here, we have some beautiful old cemeteries. With the brilliant colors of autumn leaves to decorate both the trees and the ground, it seems like the perfect time to share photos of a few with you.

This is Adams Cemetery in Barre, MA. The two leafless, craggy trees frame the view nicely. Imagine how creepy they must be at night! I wish there was a good ghost story to go along with this photo, but to my knowledge none exists for this cemetery. If you know of one, please share it!

The entrance to Evergreen Cemetery in New Braintree, MA, is stately yet inviting - if it's right to use that word for such a place. I like the stone-pillar gate posts as well as the wrought iron fence. The hedges are always kept trim and neat.
This cemetery does have a ghostly legend. The story goes that a young woman named Elsie died on the eve of her wedding day. People have claimed to see her spirit walking beside the stonewall that runs between the cemetery and Route 67. Likely an urban legend, there is no Elsie buried in this cemetery but there is an Elsie Newton, who died at age 11, buried in a nearby cemetery. For more about the local legend, check out this Worcester Telegram & Gazette article, "Legend Has It."

In the center of North Brookfield is the Maple Street Cemetery, or Old Cemetery. I don't know any legends or ghost stories about this location but it's a great sight for doing gravestone rubbings. The old headstones (and some footstones) are still legible for the most part, though some are heavily encrusted with lichen and moss. Wandering amongst the graves, one easily understands how blessed we are to live in this modern time.  Many families are buried side by side, and the children often died quite young. There is no sign giving the name of this cemetery. The only signs read: This Cemetery is Closed From Dusk to Dawn. Maybe that's why there are no ghost stories here!

We have several cemeteries here in North Brookfield, most no longer in use and containing rich history about the region. This one on Elm Street is called French Cemetery. The stone bears the date 1899. This cemetery served the French parish of St. Ann’s Independent Church, formerly on Grove Street, from 1900 to 1904. Only one marker remains visible. To learn more about other old cemeteries in North Brookfield, check the Driving Tour PDF put together for the 200th Anniversary.
Across from the French Cemetery is Walnut Grove Cemetery, currently the only active public internment facility in use, although the St. Joseph's Cemetery is also in use for St. Joseph Parish members and family. Walnut Grove was established in 1860 and has a Boy Scout monument, placed in 1970 as a memorial to scouting. Though no ghost stories circulate about this cemetery (to the best of my knowledge), there is a story about one "resident." Elizabeth R. Hill. A Worcester Telegram & Gazette article sums up her story: "She was an outspoken property owner, traveler, teacher and newspaper reporter who often rankled those in power in the small community with her opposition to the taking of her land by the railroad. She frequently filed lawsuits against the town and others...""Local officials twice had her committed to the Worcester Lunatic Asylum. She was released once, but at age 78, she was sent there a second time and died there 16 years later..." In 2010, the remains believed to be of Elizabeth Hill were brought home to rest alongside her sons.

I noticed this interesting headstone as I drove out of Walnut Grove Cemetery. Can you tell how I took the photo? Yup, in the side mirror of my car! Look closely at the name - it's backwards!

If you know of a good cemetery ghost story, or historically interesting story about a cemetery, please share with us. Everyone loves a good ghost story for Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Win a FREE Kindle Fire!

No, I'm not giving one away - I don't even have one of my own! But I'm hoping to win one. You have a chance to win one, too, just by popping over to Christian Fiction Book Reviews and following the instructions. It's real easy - just need to share on Facebook and Twitter and send CFBR an email.

This promotion is being brought to you by CFBR and John Hileman's novel "Unseen" so be sure to check out his Amazon page and maybe you'll discover a new book to add to your TBR pile!

So what're you waiting for! Oh, yeah, the link. Here it is: