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rashore

Legal cemetery hunting

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rashore

There is a lot of illegal stuff that goes on with ghost hunting and cemeteries. I thought it would be nice to start a thread about where to go and when to go to cemeteries the safe and legal way....

I'm going to kick this off by asking folks not to give shout outs about how ghosts do or don't exist please. The point of this thread is to share helpful information, not debate the existence of ghosts.

A lot of popular haunted cemeteries have tours. Depending on where you are, there are historical tours, or art/grave rubbing tours. Famous battlefields too. If there is a tour, take advantage of it. Sometimes they are free, and often they charge a low ticket price. If you know of a local cemetery tour, speak up!

Most cemeteries that are NOT on private land have public hours. Often daylight or business hours. Respect that. A lot of "abandoned" cemeteries are not actually abandoned.

I'm going to kick this one off with a cemetery near and dear to my heart.. Bachelors Grove in Illinois.

This tiny little cemetery is often said to be abandoned. And it is not. There are continuous preservation and maintenance efforts going on by various groups. And ownership is somewhat in dispute at times, and this leads to less options on who can give the OK on groups that want to preserve the cemetery. Sometimes that leads to lapses that are forced neglect. But the property is owned, and police will for sure bust you and even ticket you for being there at the wrong time.

It is a heavily vandalized cemetery.

Legal hours that one can be there is sunup till sundown, like other Cook County parks. Legal parking is in the Rubio Woods lot, with the same sunrise to sunset hours. Between sundown and sunup you can and will be ticketed, and your car may be towed. Area residents that one might think to park and enter the cemetery another way are often called in to police.

Some Chicago tours may include BG on their list. In particular, tours that happen more around Halloween. There are legal daytime tours. There are no legal nighttime tours at this time.

Another lovely place in Chicagoland... Robinson Woods cemetery. This too is part of the Cook County park system, subject to sunrise/sunset rules. The cemetery itself it set in a small plot of woodland park, the property once part of the Robinson family. There is parking on site.

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Toowong Cemetary here in Brisbane offers not only tours but ghost tours.

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JesseCuster

I would warn people about exploring cemeteries, especially at night when they are likely to look very suspicious, when they don't have explicit permission or where it's known to be open to the public at those hours. I speak from personal experience where I was out for a walk taking photos and walked passed a graveyard a few miles from where I live. It was around dusk and it looked like a great opportunity to take some nice photos of the graves silhouette against the setting sun, so I hopped the wall, just as a cop car rolled by. Cop called me over and asked me what I was up to. I explained that I just wanted to take some pics and the gate was locked. He explained it was private property, that it was open during the day to the public and that he regularly swung by in the evenings (it's in an otherwise quiet rarely used side road) because it was known to be used as a site for local teens to go drinking and that graves had been vandalised. He believed my story as I had a very obvious SLR camera slung over my shoulder so he just gave me a warning. A more zealous cop and I could have possibly been done for trespassing. Be warned folks.

I do love exploring old graveyards and am fortunate to have many interesting ones not far from me, including one that's a ten minute walk that is on a site believed to have been used as a church/monastery since the 7th century. The current ruined church dates from something like the 16th century and the headstones currently there date back to the 18th century right up to recent years.

I find it interesting that people associate graveyards with ghosts, hauntings, etc. I find graveyards, even at night, the most blissfully peaceful places to be. When I was a student on my way home from visiting friends or from the pub, I used to take a shortcut (perfectly legal as the church grounds were left open all night long) through a churchyard that involved walking through the old graveyard to cut a few minutes off my walk home. Never bothered me at all. I fear the living a lot more than I do the dead.

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tcgram

There are several local cemteries I enjoy walking through but only one of them allows night time tours and only around Halloween. Also there are some historical tours they just started and I would love to attend them.

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Careful_perspective

This is slightly off topic but I don't think Rashore will mind me bringing it up here, but does anyone know how to do research on the history of a Graveyard. There is a Graveyard right down the block from my house, it is tiny, actually in the plot of land between two houses. Right smack in the middle of a residential street. I know the Graves are old, I don't think it is a family plot or anything, yet I am apprehensive to visit it because what if it is private. I don't want to trespass.

Edit: I went on Google Street and uploaded a picture of it.

OPfOpbr.png

Edited by Rinna
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seaturtlehorsesnake

good idea for a topic. i don't believe in ghosts at all, but i think cemeteries are really interesting just for getting in touch with history in an individual sense.

one i know of is cliff cemetary in the keweenaw in michigan. it's not incredibly easy to get to; my friend who lives in the area told me the access trail is almost always flooded now (worn down by atv's). it's open to the public and you can go there any time, but i wouldn't go there alone at night, because the path is overgrown and flooded and it's easy to get lost.

this is a good article about the place:

http://rhombus.travellerspoint.com/95/

one thing they left off is that part of the cemetary dates from the big cholera epidemic that swept through the area in the 1860's. a number of gravestones with entire families listed, in the same year. very sobering.

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Careful_perspective

Fun fact for everyone, a Graveyard is usually attached or was attached to a Church at one point, whereas a Cemetery is a stand-alone.

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rashore

This is slightly off topic but I don't think Rashore will mind me bringing it up here, but does anyone know how to do research on the history of a Graveyard. There is a Graveyard right down the block from my house, it is tiny, actually in the plot of land between two houses. Right smack in the middle of a residential street. I know the Graves are old, I don't think it is a family plot or anything, yet I am apprehensive to visit it because what if it is private. I don't want to trespass.

Edit: I went on Google Street and uploaded a picture of it.

OPfOpbr.png

Considering your description and photo. Your best initial bet may be to knock on the neighbors door and ask. Other options are check with your town hall or title office to see who it belongs to. Depending on your area, you might be able to ask at the local LEO office to see what the legal status of the property is. If those options fail, libraries, historical societies, furneral homes, and parks services can often have information about a cemetery and its legal status.

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Careful_perspective

Considering your description and photo. Your best initial bet may be to knock on the neighbors door and ask. Other options are check with your town hall or title office to see who it belongs to. Depending on your area, you might be able to ask at the local LEO office to see what the legal status of the property is. If those options fail, libraries, historical societies, furneral homes, and parks services can often have information about a cemetery and its legal status.

Thank you! I'm going to try this, maybe I will come back to this thread eventually for an update!

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lightly

hmm cemetery/graveyard visiting seems to be popular.

We sometimes visit them in our travels, and find the oldest parts the most interesting, historically, and to admire the craftsmanship of the older stones, and statuary.

while climbing up the Appalachian trail (for a fairly short hike) we came upon a fascinating tiny cemetery in a beautiful and fairly well kept clearing. I think there were mainly a couple family names and a couple other people. Some were quite old.. and a couple more recent ones.

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Likely Guy

As a member of the local cemetery society, I approve of this thread. :)

When I go on holidays I always visit the cemeteries.

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Likely Guy

This is slightly off topic but I don't think Rashore will mind me bringing it up here, but does anyone know how to do research on the history of a Graveyard. There is a Graveyard right down the block from my house, it is tiny, actually in the plot of land between two houses. Right smack in the middle of a residential street. I know the Graves are old, I don't think it is a family plot or anything, yet I am apprehensive to visit it because what if it is private. I don't want to trespass.

Edit: I went on Google Street and uploaded a picture of it.

OPfOpbr.png

If the graveyard has a name see; http://www.findagrave.com/

Happy hunting. :D

Edit: It looks maintained, the next time someone's mowing the grass, stop by and ask. Most small cemetery tenders know the history, it's usually why they do it.

Edited by Likely Guy
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Likely Guy

Considering your description and photo. Your best initial bet may be to knock on the neighbors door and ask. Other options are check with your town hall or title office to see who it belongs to. Depending on your area, you might be able to ask at the local LEO office to see what the legal status of the property is. If those options fail, libraries, historical societies, furneral homes, and parks services can often have information about a cemetery and its legal status.

Old plat maps from the U.S. can also be found online, most from 1880's, some are earlier.

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Likely Guy

good idea for a topic. i don't believe in ghosts at all, but i think cemeteries are really interesting just for getting in touch with history in an individual sense.

one i know of is cliff cemetary in the keweenaw in michigan. it's not incredibly easy to get to; my friend who lives in the area told me the access trail is almost always flooded now (worn down by atv's). it's open to the public and you can go there any time, but i wouldn't go there alone at night, because the path is overgrown and flooded and it's easy to get lost.

this is a good article about the place:

http://rhombus.travellerspoint.com/95/

one thing they left off is that part of the cemetary dates from the big cholera epidemic that swept through the area in the 1860's. a number of gravestones with entire families listed, in the same year. very sobering.

That! is a pretty cool cemetery. Thanks for the read.

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JDkn

I've always enjoyed visiting Undercliffe Cemetery near Bradford, Yorkshire.

For those of us in England it is a fairly large and well maintained place, many of the graves being old or of intricate design that would satisfy any morbid curiosity about who is there, their position and their wealth.

As for any paranormal aspect, apart from that odd feeling you get from being surrounded by so much death and misery I won't lie and say I've seen something or heard something. I haven't had any paranormal experiences but should you be inclined to believe in the paranormal, I am sure ANY cemetery of sufficient age would have enough negative energy to bring about some sort of manifestation.

For the rest of us, this is a very nice place overflowing with history. You could spend a good while there.

post-160617-0-49069100-1462257281_thumb.

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tyrant lizard

Highgate cemetery in London is old and reportedly haunted. They do tours there of the old vaults and graves. The Lucy Harker tomb scene in the Dracula novel was thought to be set in Highgate...

There was a large scale invasion of the cemetery by self professed vampire hunter Sean Manchester in the 70s or 80s I think. Him and a load of 'vampire hunters' raided the cemetery looking for the Highgate Vampire.

Having been there I would recommend a tour of the place. Old and spooky.

Edited by tyrant lizard
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GracefulClaire

Toowong Cemetary here in Brisbane offers not only tours but ghost tours.

Omg I live in Brisbane.. I live near the Mt Gravatt cemetery and I didn't realise how huge it was until I went there last week..

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little_dreamer

I'm going to kick this one off with a cemetery near and dear to my heart.. Bachelors Grove in Illinois.

This tiny little cemetery is often said to be abandoned. And it is not. There are continuous preservation and maintenance efforts going on by various groups. And ownership is somewhat in dispute at times, and this leads to less options on who can give the OK on groups that want to preserve the cemetery. Sometimes that leads to lapses that are forced neglect. But the property is owned, and police will for sure bust you and even ticket you for being there at the wrong time.

It is a heavily vandalized cemetery.

I first read about this cemetery here. Seems like a interesting spot. http://www.prairiegh...m/bachgrov.html

Would like to visit it one day if I am near the area, but probably only during daylight visiting hours. :unsure2:

Edited by little_dreamer

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freetoroam

I would warn people about exploring cemeteries,

so I hopped the wall,

Be warned folks.

.

tut tut JesseCuster, this is not legal cemetery hunting.

There should be no need to warn people about exploring cemeteries at night, I like to think that most people who want to explore, but find the gate locked, would not hop over the wall. And I would like to think they recognise this "rule" applies to houses, occupied or unoccupied, buildings, warehouses or cars, not just cemeteries....its trespassing.

If a gate is locked.....be warned folks, you ARE trespassing. Remember although those under the ground in the cemetery are deceased, some have family who are not (hence why they are not there yet) and personally, I would not like to think someone is hopping over the wall to trespass around my relatives graves. Its the night time and hopping thing coupled with a locked gate, makes me feel they are up to no good. :unsure2:

On that note, I love visiting old cemeteries, but not because I find them spooky, but to read the names of the people who once lived in the area and many who built the area. Because of them, many would not be here today. Its sort of like paying my respects to those of the pass because of what they have made possible for the present and future.

Edited by freetoroam

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Vlawde

Being involved in paranormal investigating for a number of years, I'd have to say cemetaries are peaceful places. But very rarely would there be any activity far as trying to get evidence/EVPs etc.

Why would spirits want to hang around their rotting corpses? If they were going to "visit" our realm, they'd be much more likely to want to hang out where they had good experiences (family home) or with a loved one. I sure wouldn't care to be attached to my my physical body after death

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rashore

I first read about this cemetery here. Seems like a interesting spot. http://www.prairiegh...m/bachgrov.html

Would like to visit it one day if I am near the area, but probably only during daylight visiting hours. :unsure2:

Troy does not always set down details accurately.... Just sayin.

But you are correct about only visiting during the day. It's illegal to be there from sunset to sunrise.

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little_dreamer

Troy certainly has a flair for drama. I read it mostly for entertainment.

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rashore

Troy certainly has a flair for drama. I read it mostly for entertainment.

He does tell a good tale. But a problem with his stories is a lack of legal and safe hunting. There are properties that are absolutely no trespassing that he just warns people to be careful when going there. Other places he says are no trespassing, but aren't, like BG. He was also behind the Cemetery X scandal.

He's not the only one that does it. It's unfortunate, because this sort of thing is what helps perpetuate the notion that folks can go anywhere, anytime, and it's Ok. And it usually is fairly easy to learn what the laws are with it.

And on from that, and another point I want to touch on in this topic. Parking and driving. Along with cemeteries and traveling to see them is where to park your car while visiting. Some places have parking included. Others have street parking or not, or are simply on the side of the road where parking is a no-no. Even if you go to the cemetery 100% legal, sometimes one parks illegally- and it sucks to come out from a goodly wander to find a ticket on your car :(

It's easy enough when things are marked. But try to find out what the laws are if they aren't posted before you park you car.

Along with that is driving laws. Yeah, sounds stupid to mention this. But sometimes places have "cruising laws". This pertains more with stuff like hell rides and ghost car stretches- but some of those start or end or both at cemeteries.

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little_dreamer

Good point. Best to avoid trespassing and wandering on private property without permission. No reason to get a parking ticket or face arrest.

Desolate areas can attract a criminal element as well. No place you would want to be after dark.

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glorybebe

Where at live, there are three cemeteries. One has a data base at the local museum and two don't. My daughter and I are going to go out and record all the names and dates on the other two. We will be taking pictures of all the tombstones. It should be interesting especially since I moved to a town that my grandmother came from.

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