Midnight Mary, as she came to be called, of New Haven, Connecticut, lived a quiet life where she was nothing of consequence. It was her death that made her infamous.
In the Evergreen Cemetery of New Haven, there is a huge granite block, standing out over all the others. While beautiful, it is the deep, black inscription that catches the eye of those brave enough to wander past it.
“The People Shall Be Troubled At Midnight And Pass Away.” This is how the troubling tribute to Mary begins. In 1872, she was interned at Evergreen Cemetery. The inscription goes on to read, “At high noon just from, and about to renew her daily work, in her full strength of body and mind Mary E. Hart having fallen prostrate: remained unconscious until she died at midnight, October 15, 1872 born December 16, 1824.”
Locals and families who have carried on the story of Midnight Mary report that she died of a stroke at midnight. She was pronounced dead. Her family quickly had her buried. While that seems normal enough, it was the events that took place after her death that cause Midnight Mary’s final moments a mystery.
Mary’s aunt was afflicted with the most vicious of nightmares the evening of Mary’s death. She described feeling as though she was being violently awaken by Mary herself. Mary was crying out to her for help. The aunt was so disturbed by the dreams that she pleaded with the family to help her get Mary’s coffin unearthed.
After much insistence, their cries for help were answered and Mary’s coffin was dug up from the freshly dug earth. What they found sent Mary’s aunt and family into the deepest distress. Mary’s fingernails were bloody and there were even a few missing. Additionally, the interior of the coffin was absolutely shredded, as if Mary had spent her last breaths trying to claw her way out.
This time, before reburying Mary’s grave, a doctor performed a more thorough examination, determining that Mary was finally dead. Her family destroyed, they attempted to carry out their normal lives, mourning the loss of their dear Mary and guilt ridden at the thought of having pushed her to the end of her life before her time.
Local residents, including Mary’s family, hadn’t heard the last from Mary, however. Mary is rumored to continue to haunt the Evergreen Cemetery graveyard. She is said to curse anyone who stops at her grave. Some have said the graveyard is not able to contain Mary as reports have been made that many an unknowing traveler have picked up a hitchhiker that later matched Mary’s description. As they pulled up to Mary’s withering Winthrop Avenue home, the woman disappeared.
Even darker rumors suggest that Mary was a witch whose grave was cursed. Anyone standing near her grave at midnight is witness to her gruesome resurrection and meets their own terrible end. The rumors circulated even more heavily when a local college student scoffed at the stories and stayed at Mary’s grave. Unfortunately, when the student’s friends came to retrieve him in the morning he was found dead.