Kinds of Cemeteries

If you’re planning to investigate ghosts in haunted cemeteries, you’ll need to know which cemeteries are in your community.

Different kinds of cemeteries can provide different research opportunities and results.

An abundance of metal in a haunted Columbus (TX) cemetery.
This Columbus (TX) cemetery is lovely, and has an abundance of related ghost stories. Even in the daytime, visitors may see (or photograph, or record) anomalies.

Generally, I look for cemeteries with graves from the 19th century. I prefer cemeteries that are open to the public from dawn to dusk, or later.

However, if a haunted site has been over-visited or over-researched, its energy can be diluted.

In my opinion, the lingering residual energy — from startled or enthusiastic ghost hunters — can mask older residual energy from the ghost, or impressions from the ghost himself.

So, private cemeteries can have an energy advantage, as long as I can get permission to investigate them.

Here are some categories of cemeteries:

  • Church graveyards, usually next to the church, but they may be moved if the real estate becomes valuable enough to justify the move. (That’s the case next door to Salem’s “Witch House.“)
  • Family plots and cemeteries. They’re where early homesteaders (and others) sometimes buried their relatives. Today, those graves may remain — marked or unmarked — near old homes. Others may have been moved to community cemeteries. (And, in some cases, bodies or body parts may have been overlooked.)
  • Battlefield cemeteries. Sometimes they’re just pits where the bodies were buried, en masse, with or without a marker.
  • Community cemeteries, sometimes built around earlier church graveyards or family plots. Research their history to find out what was there. In some cases, like at South Street Cemetery in Portsmouth (NH, USA), the site may have included a gallows.

I describe other kinds of cemeteries — and some of the pros & cons of researching them — in my book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries.