Cemeteries are inherently a little creepy, but these plots take it a step above the rest, as local legends say they're haunted.

Center Church Crypt:250 Temple Street, New Haven, Connecticut

Once upon a time, in 1812 in New Haven, the city wanted to build a meetinghouse on the town’s burying grounds, which was an interesting choice. Rather than dig up the bodies on the site and reinter them somewhere else, the town made another interesting choice and opted to set the building over the headstones. Literally over. As in, the headstones were left where they were and the foundation of the building was laid around them so the graves make up the building’s basement.

That meetinghouse is now the Center Church, where parishioners have reporters spectral apparitions and other creepy happenings, which is to be expected when there’s 137 marked graves and up to 1,000 unidentified remains in the church’s basement. The oldest headstones date back to 1687 and quite a few famous early Connecticut settlers, including Benedict Arnold’s first wife, Margaret Arnold.

Granary Burying Ground: Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts

One of the main requirements of a haunted spot is history and the Granary Burying Ground in Boston is full of it. Literally full. Like, the ground is full of historical figures.

Opened in 1660 after the city’s other burying grounds were full up, Granary Burying Ground is so-named because it’s where local farmers would store their grain and, like most grass-covered open spaces at the time, it was also a spot to graze their livestock. There are about 2,500 headstones, but an estimated 5,000 bodies buried on the grounds, and if that math is giving you a pause, it’s for good reason, as more than half of the graves are unmarked. It’s said that, when the grounds were first opened, the bodies were buried in graves so shallow they would sometimes resurface in a heavy rain and float down the street. Gross! 

The cemetery definitely has its share of famous inhabitants, as you’ll find the remains of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin’s parents, and the victims of the Boston Massacre along with other prominent New Englanders. You also might find, at worst, a ghost. Or several. At best, you’ll find some creepy Victorian headstone art full of death-themed imagery.

Green Mount Cemetery: 250 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont

How could a cemetery with such a pretty name be haunted? Pretty easily, actually, especially when it features a statue which, according to local legend, is haunted. And with a name like “Black Agnes,” who wouldn’t believe that?

The bronze statue, which has aged into a very creepy kind of green color, sits atop the grave of John Hubbard, a businessman who died in 1899. Legend has it that Hubbard was already wealthy when a family member died and left him a considerable inheritance, however, the majority of that estate was willed to the city to do good things, like build a library. Hubbard didn’t like that, contested the will, and won, significantly reducing the amount of money gifted to the city. Because he had money to burn, Hubbard commissioned a large bronze statue to be cast and placed atop his grave when he died, and this all culminated into, according to local legend, a curse on the statue, which says anyone who sits in the lap of the statue will have a terrible tragedy befall them. Why anyone would sit on the lap of a creepy bronze statue atop someone’s grave is a question for another day, though.

For more on Green Mount Cemetery, check out this story from the Burlington Free Press.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery: 467 RI-102, Exeter, Rhode Island

When it comes to haunted cemeteries, it’s hard to beat vampires. Or, the belief in vampires.

Chestnut Hill Cemetery at the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church in sleepy Exeter is the final resting place of little Mercy Brown, Rhode Island’s last “vampire.” Obviously, vampires aren’t real, but as we’ve covered in the Haunted New England newsletter before, Rhode Island (and Connecticut) went through a bit of a vampire scare in the late 1800s thanks to an ongoing tuberculosis outbreak. Tuberculosis had been ravaging New England for over a century at that point and, with germ theory still a ways from being accepted by most doctors, the most plausible explanation for rural New Englanders was - vampires. When the Brown family started dying of “consumption” in 1892, local folklore pointed to a vampire, in the form of a dead member of the family rising each night to consume, or feed, off the living members, and the only way to stop the vampire is to desecrate its corpse. So George Brown, Mercy's father, did just that, digging her up to burn her heart and liver to turn into a tonic that would hopefully save his last living child (it didn’t).

 Mercy’s remains were reburied in the cemetery and, today, she enjoys a nice following of people who leave offerings and stones on her gravesite. However, this is absolutely the kind of story that leads to restless spirits when the sun goes down.