Ghosts of Gilson Road Cemetery

Gilson Road Cemetery is in Nashua, New Hampshire. It’s one of America’s most haunted cemeteries. Once an isolated and rural location, it’s  features apparitions, cold spots, compass and EMF anomalies, EVP, and visual anomalies that show up in photos and videos.

Blue flowers at Gilson Road Cemetery, Nashua, NHGilson Road Cemetery is on Gilson Road, on the west side of Nashua, NH (USA).

Directions: From the south (Massachusetts), take Rte 3 (Daniel Webster Highway) to Exit 1 in NH (Spit Brook Road).

Turn left at the end of the exit ramp. Follow that road – despite how it weaves and how often the name changes – until you reach the T-style intersection at the end of it.

Then, turn right and look for the four corners intersection (convenience store and other retail) at Gilson Road.

Turn left onto Gilson Road and look for the gate and stone wall on the right, shielding the cemetery from view.

Ghost orb at Gilson Road Cemetery, Nashua, NHGilson Road Cemetery probably started as a family cemetery in colonial times. According to legend, the stone wall enclosed a farmhouse. Then, the house burned and some of the fire victims were buried in a small plot near the charred remains of the house.

Another house was built on the site, but it burned to the ground, as well. Like the previous fire, its victims were buried close to the home.

After that, people gave up on the location and turned it into a rural cemetery.

Early records suggest that the Gilson Road area was the site of at least two large Native American battles. Nations from the north (Penobscots, among others) and from the south (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and beyond) met near Gilson Road and engaged in bloody warfare.

This was before many contemporary records existed, so the stories are largely from oral tradition. Details aren’t clear.

The Betty Gilson Legend

Gilson Road is also famous for a local, urban legend. According to stories, if you walk farther up the road (heading slightly northwest) just a short distance, and shout, “Betty Gilson, I have your baby,” she will appear.

She’s described as appearing around age 30, in Colonial clothing, and some say she’s in the middle of the road. (A couple of people talked about the danger of seeing her, and steering the car to avoid hitting what they thought was a real  person.)

More people report her hiding behind a tree, occasionally peering out to see who’s calling her name. The first thing they see is her white “mob cap” (hat), and sometimes part of her face, as well as a hand grasping the tree.

More information about Gilson Road Cemetery

Click here for a brief selection of photos from haunted Gilson Road Cemetery.

And – of course – you’ll find lots more articles about Gilson Road Cemetery, at this website. Check articles tagged “Gilson Road Cemetery (NH),” or use the drop-down menu to find Gilson and other New Hampshire haunts.

Gilson Road Cemetery – 6/08

On June 12, 2008, we returned to Gilson Road Cemetery in Nashua, NH. Except for a notable number of new houses and subdivisions in the area, little has changed… with one exception. The denser wooded area in back of the cemetery seems to provide the illusion of cover for the spirits who visit during daytime hours.

While we were there, I noted several figures moving steathily in the woods. Most of them were about 20 or 25 feet behind the back cemetery wall. I also saw a momentary flash (residual energy?) of a Native gentleman who’d appeared to us at that back left corner (where there’s a break in the wall) during a 2003 visit to Gilson.

The Lawrence headstones remain among the most active in the cemetery. Many of our photos produced orbs, but the most vivid were around the Lawrence stones. Here are two photos taken within seconds of each other:

This is a good reminder of the importance of always taking two photos, as close together as you can. (If that orb looks familiar, it’s because we’ve photographed it before. From a slightly different angle, it’s in the photo in my article, Gilson Road Cemetery – ghost orbs return 6/02.)

Rufus Lawrence — like many people interred in this isolated cemetery — has been difficult to find in any records of the era. Despite numerous records for other members of the Lawrence (or Laurence) family, and generally good census records (at least for adult males), Rufus and others in Gilson remain elusive.

He was probably related to Samuel Laurence who married Betsy Thyng (or Tyng) and named a son Rufus in 1815. (The Rufus Lawrence in the Gilson grave would have been born much earlier. We suspect that he was from Epping, NH, and the son of — or closely related to — David & Anna Lawrence.)

We’re not sure why the people in Gilson Cemetery were buried there rather than in the old burial ground in the middle of town. (Today, that’s by the shopping center at Daniel Webster Hwy near Spit Brook Road. The cemetery is nicknamed “Schoolhouse Cemetery.”)

Another note about Gilson: One of our group noticed that the back wall of the cemetery appears to include pieces of broken headstone. Look at the shapes of the stones, and — amid the usual round-ish rocks and boulders — you’ll see several slabs of stone.

If those really are pieces of headstone, we’re not surprised that the back wall of this cemetery is one of the most haunted areas in a profoundly eerie graveyard.

Also, outside the wall just south of the gate, we noticed several pieces of headstones, as well. We’re not sure why these suddenly became obvious, but they indicate another area for research.

As a guideline, any time you see graves, monuments, or pieces of headstones near (but outside) a cemetery, check it for anomalies. Those are often the graves of “sinners” who couldn’t be buried in hallowed ground. Whether or not they were unjustly accused of crimes and mortal sins, these spirits often return to haunt their remains. Perhaps to them, being shunned after death isn’t the final word, after all.