Three Haunted Cemeteries in Nebraska
Three Haunted Places in Nebraska Series
Although cemeteries are an odd place for spirits to haunt, many have gained the reputation of having paranormal activity and folklore associated with them. Cemeteries are a peaceful place, where loved ones are laid to rest, but the idea of such an abundance of dead bodies in one place can lead to the idea that not all of them will remain dormant for eternity. The energy associated with cemeteries is generally somber, sad, and at times, tragic. People spend their last moments with their loved ones in these places, just before they never see them again. The feelings associated with these sacred sites can attribute to the lasting effect they have on the living, but although some cemeteries may in fact be haunted, many of the stories are most likely folklore. These three cemeteries, however, are considered some of the most haunted in Nebraska.
Be sure to obtain permission before visiting these places. One of them is on private property and no one should ever trespass on land without going through proper channels to obtain access. Learning about the history, tales, and folklore of Nebraska, especially about the people who once walked across the same soil, can create a better understanding of ones community, local history, and the importance of the people who shaped their towns and cities. Please do not break the law and please do not disrespect the dead or the living that watch over or own the areas in this post.
St. Patrick’s Cemetery – “The Glowing Graveyard” – Columbus, Nebraska
On account of the headstones that seem to illuminate in the darkness, locals commonly call St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Columbus, Nebraska the “Glowing Graveyard.” Under the light of the moon, the headstones seem to glow, causing visitors to feel uneasy and as if they are being watched. Another ghost story involves a bridge near the cemetery. According to legend, a bus full of schoolchildren died after the driver lost control and drove off the bridge, killing everyone. Supposedly, people have coated their car with powder and drove slowly across the bridge at night. Once across, small handprints are found all over the car. Also, if people try to turn around on the bridge, they experience car trouble, such as the engine stalling and having a difficult time starting it back up again.
Oxbow Cemetery – Murdock, Nebraska – Private Property
According to legend a disastrous windstorm picked up one afternoon and a young girl named May Carter decided to make sure her brother was safe by getting him out of the schoolhouse. Unbeknownst to May, the teacher had already evacuated the school and had taken them to a safer location. While May was inside the schoolhouse, the building collapsed, pinning her beneath. Her father, who had been working in a field at the time, came home to find May gone and went to the schoolhouse to find his son. Upon arriving, he found the schoolhouse in shambles and discovered May trapped in the remains. Although he freed her and took her home, she died later that night. May’s father later donated land for a new cemetery and May was the first person to be buried in what would become Oxbow Cemetery. According to legend, May Carter’s gravestone is no longer in the cemetery because her body was later exhumed and moved when the family returned to Maine.
According to reports, children can be heard laughing near the road and footsteps have also been heard near the trees. Locals claim that animals go to the site of the cemetery to die. Paranormal investigators have experienced equipment malfunction while in the cemetery and have also recorded the sighting of orbs.
Prospect Hill Cemetery – Omaha, Nebraska
According to legend a woman in white was seen in 1874 by a local sculptor and two men who were working for him. She walked out of the cemetery and demanded to know if her child was buried there before disappearing. After the incident was reported in the local newspaper, many other people have reported seeing the same woman wandering through the cemetery. Several other apparitions have been seen throughout the years including a tall man dressed in a black suit and a small boy who peeks out from around gravestones.
Other paranormal experiences include the smell of flowers when none are in sight, the sound of wind chimes, a feeling of being watched, and a sense of feeling as if the air gets thicker in the lower part of the cemetery.
Founded in 1858, Prospect Hill Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Nebraska. Over 15,000 people are buried there and many of them are notable figures from Omaha including the man who named the city. Many of the people buried in the cemetery have streets, schools, churches, and even towns throughout Nebraska named after them.
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