What was that sound? Was it just the wind? Someone breaking and entering? How can anyone be sure? It could very well have been a spirit. At least, that's what raced through the minds of these protagonists, as they reveal the creepy, unnerving encounters that are just a regular night on the job for them. This chilling content has been edited for clarity.
How Was The Mausoleum Opened?
“I was a tombstone caretaker for a cemetery in rural Georgia. It was a summer job for a 16-year-old. Nothing crazy, just cleaning off the grime of the elements on tombstones. Now to just set the scene, the cemetery included one building that housed bathrooms for the 5 ‘staff members’ of this cemetery. It was a small simple mausoleum, and then other than that, flat earth with tombstones EVERYWHERE. The only surroundings were dense forests. That being said, due to the eerie surroundings, I was always a bit paranoid. Plus, I watch a lot of scary movies.
So one night, I was doing my rounds, and I had to go into the small mausoleum. It had some of the richer families in the areas entombed within. I had to go in and make sure all was neat and clean. Standards had to be upheld for these uppity folks. I approached, and right off the bat, something was off. The air was pretty darn cold, even though this was during the summer in Georgia. There was also a light coming from the mausoleum. As I approached, I heard voices. Was it laughter? Laughter from a child, maybe a little girl, or maybe some younger kids had sneaked in? I haven’t seen anyone enter or leave the cemetery, and the laughter sounded young. As I got closer, the voices and laughter died, like almost instantly. I pause. The light I also noticed had gone out. I call the lone security officer that does a few rounds on the lot, because I’m not gonna go in alone. We’ll call him ‘Officer Friendly.’
When Officer Friendly arrives, we both go inside. We see one of the doors to the entombed remains of a young girl open. Nothing seemed to be disturbed within, but it was still somehow open. A doll lay on the stone beneath it. Officer Friendly and I do a small sweep, which didn’t take long. We close the door to the girl’s entombment, and after we get about 30 feet from the mausoleum, voices and laughter again.
I jump, and Officer Friendly nervously asks me, ‘You hear it too?’
We look back, and boom, lights flicker again, laughter continues. We don’t go back and just book it. I found out the next morning that the door was open again, and this time the doll was on the other side of the mausoleum from where we found it the night before.
I resigned the next day.”
“My mom and stepdad were the caretakers of a small cemetery for about 10 years. All of us kids (6 of us between the two of them) helped out at one point or another. One summer, I was helping my mom with mowing and upkeep. It was a super hot summer, so we would try to go and get the mowing done early before the heat became too unbearable. Well, we had trouble getting the truck going one day, so we ended up starting a little later than usual and were unable to finish up everything that day. My mom had an appointment the next morning, and the day after that it was supposed to rain, so I told her I would go up early the next morning and finish up the trimming with the weed eater.
So, it’s about 7:00 in the morning, and I am listening to music with my headphones and going around the headstones. Everything was going well until I got to the oldest section of the cemetery. That part was on a small slope of a hill. When I finished up the last headstone, I turned off my equipment and started back up the hill. I glanced up in time to see a little girl in a pretty red dress. She was running and disappeared behind a large headstone. I figured her parents were visiting another grave and the little girl ran off to entertain herself. It was around 9:00 am at this point. I got to the top of the hill and there was no car or people around.
The cemetery wasn’t really close to any houses and the girl was too nicely dressed to have walked out there. I looked around and shouted for her to come out. I was able to see the headstone she ran behind. I would have seen her if she ran out again. I couldn’t find her anywhere. I called my mom and told her what was going on. I asked if I should call the police to tell them about this little girl. She looked to be about 3 or 4 years old, so she certainly shouldn’t be by herself. My mom asked me if she was wearing a red dress. I said yes, why?
She proceeds to nonchalantly tell me that was just the ghost girl. Now, everyone who knows me knows that I am terrified of ghosts. I asked why she didn’t tell me there was a ghost in the cemetery! She said she needed my help and was afraid I wouldn’t go if l thought it was haunted. Now granted, I probably would have been more leery of the place, but knowing no one else could help her, I would have still helped her that summer. But I would have made sure I wasn’t there by myself! I still go there sometimes, as I have relatives buried there, but I am always with someone. Fortunately, I never saw any other ghosts and I have never seen the little ghost girl ever again.”
That Isn’t Dirt
“I used to do some odd jobs at the 12th century graveyard in my hometown. I mean ’12th century,’ as in the church and its surrounding graveyard had been in continuous use for at least that long. When you keep burying bodies in the same small patch of ground for that many centuries, eventually the soil has been turned over dozens of times, and it consists mainly of bone fragments.
You can’t even plant flowers there without accidentally uncovering some teeth or finger bones or something. It’s nothing but fragmented skeletons all the way down under the thin turf. The ‘soil’ sort of resembles seaside shell-sand, except on closer examination. All the light-colored bits are bone fragments rather than crushed seashells.
Not really scary or unexpected, just a bit eerie until you get used to it. You learn to treat anything recognizable as human remains with respect, and just tuck it away out of sight under the plant or whatever else you were putting there.”
“I am a recreational genealogist. Much of my free time is spent in cemeteries, in order to document headstones and to map the area for records.
I was taken by surprise when I was working late and the sun had gone down. I began seeing these lights across the cemetery. The cemetery was in the middle of nowhere, literally surrounded by miles of cornfields. At first, I dismissed it as lightening bugs, but soon saw that they were too large and too steady. Shortly after, I started freaking out, because I thought that maybe it was a flashlight that someone was using and I wasn’t alone. So there I was, in the middle of the night, walking back to my car in this creepy cemetery.
Of course, my panic starts rising and I’m convinced that there is something nefarious at play. I ran to my car, which wasn’t easy with all of my equipment. My blinders were on, because I had one goal and I wasn’t going to get tripped up by seeing something more worrisome as I tried to get out of there alive. My mind planted everything from demons to grave robbers to other criminals.
This was about a decade ago, when solar light bulbs were becoming a popular decoration next to burial sites. With it being a newer type of decoration, I wasn’t aware of them. It was 100% a few solar lights. I felt like the biggest moron, but it was certainly spooky!”
Most Definitely Haunted
“I worked for a county cemetery department years ago. We would go to all the cemeteries in the county and mow or just do basic upkeep. Occasionally people (mainly farmers) would stumble upon some headstones in a field or a stand of trees, and we would come out and prod the ground with dowel rods to find more headstones and reestablish the cemetery. Soon after I started working there, we got a tip about some headstones a farmer found while clearing out a path through some trees.
It turned out to be the oldest cemetery in the county, dating back to the 1700s. After investigating some of the names on the headstones it got really creepy. The story is that before the cemetery was there, a school house stood there. The teachers were a husband and wife. It’s not clear on what exactly happened, but the students and the husband and wife all died in the schoolhouse. The information we found kind of made it sound like an illness of some kind, and they were all quarantined in the school until they all died. After that, the school was demolished and the students, husband, and wife were all buried right where the school stood. So yeah, I’m sure it’s haunted.”
“I work at a graveyard and I just have one thing to say. Plastic. Here in Norway, graves are protected by law for 20 years, but after that, the spots can be ‘reused.’ Usually a grave is fine to reopen after 20 years, as the body is supposed to be decomposed and pretty much gone. Now back to plastic.
Between the 50s and 80s, it was common here to be buried in plastic, to minimize ‘smell and leakage’. I’m sure they thought it was a good idea back then, but once we started reusing graves in Norway, we realized it is a curse. A lot of bodies are wrapped in plastic, and I’ve myself been part of what was supposed to be a burial at a reused site. The body was about 50 or 60 years old, and should be basically gone, but nope! It was not. The plastic wrap it was covered by kept the body from decomposing, and it’s basically just been marinated it its own juices for 50/60 years. The smell was awful, the sight was even worse.
It’s honestly the most horrific and bizarre thing I’ve ever been part of.”
“She Needed To Get Back”
“When I was in college, I worked part-time at a Jewish Cemetery in reception/office management. The cemetery was closed from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening for Sabbath. We sometimes stayed a bit later in the office on Friday afternoons to get bills out or checks processed. We heard a loud commotion by the cemetery entrance, which was locked, and only staff could get in and out. The office manager went to see what was going on and made me come with her.
We went down to the gate to find an older woman (probably around 70), dressed to the 9’s begging us to let her in. She kept saying she needed to get back. This was in the suburbs of NJ, so you needed a car to get around, but we didn’t see a car or anything. She was just there in this beautiful dress. We couldn’t open the gate without the Cemetery Manager, so we went to go get him. We brought him back to the gate and no one was there. We looked at video footage of the entrance, and you could see us (the office manager and me) talking but there was no one on the other side of the gate. The cemetery manager thought we were trying to trick him.
I swear to this day we saw a woman in a fancy dress outside that gate. There were multiple cameras, and not a single one picked up anyone on the other side of the gate, and you could see the whole gate. All you could see was us. I don’t know if it was a ghost or what. The office manager and I decided not to tell anyone else, but we would mention it to each other every once in a while.”
Like Father, Like Son
“My great-great grandfather and his son were foremen at the cemetery in my hometown, way before I was ever around. The oldest of them was said to be ‘sensitive’ (as in he felt and saw things). There are stories of people that he buried who came by during nights to tell him that they were cold (which means that there were no flowers/wreaths on the grave), or that their feet were cold (the soil around where the foot of the casket was had leveled). One particular story, that they still tell around the Sunday dinner table, is when a friend of his had been lost at sea. Nobody knew of that until much later, but my great-great grandfather saw his friend entering the house, drenched in seawater, and noisily walk into the living room. He apparently sits himself on an old sailor’s chest that was by the door, and just as quickly, the man disappears.
My great-grandfather took over his father’s job when he got too old to do it. I can’t remember any similar stories about him, but there is a joke about some youngsters that tried to scare him that people have told about my great grandpa all over. There were a few people in town that didn’t like the fact that the graveyard workers worked after dark and there were a group of young men that decided that enough was enough. They were going to scare the gravedigger. So they outfitted themselves with white sheets and went to the graveyard and walked around the graveyard saying all sorts of ghostly sounds. They found the gravedigger as he was in the middle of digging a grave by hand, and they stood around the grave for what seemed like hours, shouting and screaming and doing whatever it is that ghosts do. The gravedigger paid them no mind and just continued with his work. The young men then, having given up, started to leave, and as they approached the gate of the graveyard, they could hear shouting and protesting behind them, as the gravedigger angrily came running towards them, shouting, ‘It’s one thing that you are up and about walking around here, but don’t you think for a second that I will allow you to leave.'”
“Surrounded By Bodies”
“My dad purchased a cemetery when I was in middle school. I worked for him through high school graduation. I did yard work– mowing, weed eating, flower beds, etc. Aside from the occasional shadows seen out of the corner of my eye, seeing people who turned out to not be there, and hearing strange sounds, the cemetery was actually a quite peaceful place.
However, the strangest is when you have a burial in the crypts. Basically, you dig down about four or five feet to expose giant cement doors. You pull the cement doors off and drop down into a little room. These rooms can fit two coffins OR years and years and years worth of cremated remains, so back in the 50s and 60s, families would buy one crypt and the entire family would be cremated and put in it. Some just put the cremated remains in it and close her up, but others light candles and leave flowers and souvenirs and pictures. It’s beyond creepy opening up one of those bad boys after 50 years and finding melted candles and old pictures of the people inside. Plus, when you hop down in there, you have a weird realization that you are at the same level and completely surrounded by bodies.”
“Former Funeral director here– my partner and I had just gotten back to the funeral home from a house call for a 31-year-old woman who died of cancer. As we were moving her body from the cot to embalming table, we heard an audible click. The radio across the room turned on full-volume to static. It’s one of those old radios that you have to turn the volume dial until it clicks, in order to turn it on.
We both looked at each other. He was an extremely religious man and this event visibly shook him, so he left not long after the incident. I shut the radio off, as I typically used my phone to listen to music while embalming. When I’d finished the procedure and was attempting to move her from the embalming table to a dressing table, I heard that click from that old radio and it turned on full volume yet again.
At that point, I was fairly freaked out and made my exit not long after. My partner and I never spoke of it again, and nothing like that ever occurred to my knowledge before or after.”
He Learned His Lesson!
“I had an uncle who tried ‘working’ (as in selling and doing narcotics) in the graveyards between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM. He only lasted a few nights in that area, then he never went back. What was it that scared him so badly that he felt his soul rattle in his bones, as his blood froze cold?
Prairie dogs. Actual prairie dogs.
What’s so frightening about simple ground squirrels you might ask? Those cute little fuzz balls that scavenge whatever they can? Well, apparently, they like to randomly come out their holes in the middle of the night and scream loudly. Creepy, but that doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, imagine being surrounded by dozens of little rodents you can’t see, in the pitch black of night, surrounded by the dead, tweaked out of your mind, unbelievably paranoid, and then suddenly hearing piercing, blood-curdling screaming all around you.
His little group scattered like roaches and I think someone fell into a ditch, but he was convinced it was an empty grave. He never did that again.”
“I’m Not Alone”
“I spend lots of time in a local cemetery. The weirdest thing there to me is this small section located a little off to the side that’s filled with many very old graves marked only by numbers. I’m not sure how many there are exactly, but I’ve seen the numbers go up past 300. Some of them have little flags by them, indicating that they’re a veteran, but no name or dates accompany the number. I never really figured out why they were just numbered and had no identity.
In the same area, there’s a grave that has no number but does have a name, dates of birth and death, and birthplace. But it’s entirely in Greek. Reading it reveals that they were born in Lagkadia, Greece, and they share a last name and birthplace with another entirely Greek grave located all the way across the cemetery. Not necessarily creepy, but I thought it was interesting. I wonder why they weren’t buried closer together if they’re related.
There was also a grave in one of the newer sections that had a note posted next to it, from the wife of the man buried there. She was angry that some low life had stolen the flowers she had left by his grave. Seeing this made me angry as well, so I picked some flowers from my yard and left them there with my own note, explaining that the idea of stealing flowers from a grave broke my heart, and I’m sorry that someone would do such a thing. I wonder if she ever saw it. I hope it wasn’t out of line for me to do that.
Also, I have seen things and felt things in my presence while I walked alone between graves. Nothing too serious, just movement out of the corner of my eyes and feeling like I’m not alone when truly I’m the only one around in that area. I’m not entirely sure if I believe in ghosts or not, but if they are ghosts, I hope they don’t mind me hanging around so often. I really enjoy the peace and quiet of the cemetery, as well as the beautiful monuments and interesting history you can find there.”
We Better Leave
“My boyfriend is a gravedigger/caretaker of an old cemetery right by us. The way he got that job is amazing. Before working at the cemetery, my boyfriend quit his farming job of nearly 25 years. That left him unemployed for a few months and kind of lost as a person. Anyway, one night I decide we should go to that cemetery with a recorder and ask a spirit if there is life after death. The aim was to get a recording of a voice or a sign in some way. My boyfriend seemed pretty cool with it, until about five minutes after we started walking through the cemetery.
First thing I noticed was my boyfriend had taken his hat off and was holding it over his heart with a worried look on his face, while I was holding the recorder and giving our initial greetings to any potential spirits listening. I said to the spirits, ‘I hope we’re not being disrespectful by being here. We don’t mean any harm. I only have one question and then we’ll leave.’
I then ask, while my boyfriend is silent the entire time, if there is life after death. Because I didn’t hear anything, I pushed it a bit, asking repeatedly. I had just decided to ask for a sign– blinking lights. When my boyfriend finally spoke, saying, ‘I think we should have respect and leave now.’
His eyes were watery. I could tell he was having strong feelings about it, so we left. I did review the video later that night and discovered that although I couldn’t see lights blinking while we were there, blinking lights twinkled on the video like stars. And that was that. Until two days later, my boyfriend gets a call (he knows everybody) offering him a job at the cemetery. After our initial surprise I said, ‘You’d honestly be a perfect person to work there. You clearly have respect for the dead.’
It’s been about four years now. My boyfriend is the guy who stands with respect throughout a burial gathering with the family and waits until he thinks everyone is truly ready for the lowering of the casket.”