Alabama is home to many significant landmarks from the American Civil Rights Movement. It is also home to the FAME studios, where many artists have recorded their songs. Also, it was where the Saturn V rocket was built, which was responsible for sending the first Americans to explore the moon.
A scenic spot in Alabama. (https://journalistontherun.com/2018/03/16/places-to-visit-in-alabama/)
Alabama is also where you can find one of the creepiest places in the United States – the Maple Hill Cemetery. Cemeteries are always creepy but this one takes the cake!
A photo showing an area of Maple Hill Cemetery. (Link: https://www.huntsville.org/listing/maple-hill-cemetery-tours/1240/)
The History Of Maple Hill Cemetery
The Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery located in Huntsville, Alabama. It was founded in the year 1822 and is around 100 acres wide. More than 80,000 bodies are buried here and is added to the Alabama Historical Commission’s Historic Cemetery Register as well as to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a pretty important place because in total, five governors of Alabama are buried there plus five United States senators. Also, military figures, United States representatives, and confederate leaders are buried here.
A sign at the Maple Hill Cemetery. (Link: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1PH3_Maple_Hill_Cemetery)
It is believed that the earliest body buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery is that of an infant female, who is the daughter of a certain William and Martha Caroline Atwood. The baby died on September 17, 1820. However, others believe that the other headstones present in the area that have already decayed over time signify that there were earlier bodies buried in the area.
During the Civil War, the Maple Hill Cemetery became the burial site of a total of 187 Confederate soldiers. Their graves were unmarked because they were not identified. Some Union soldiers were also reportedly buried there but as to the number, records show no certainty. Some of the Union graves were moved to Chattanooga National Cemetery but some were reportedly left behind because they were missed.
By 1873, the Maple Hill Cemetery was expanded. A Hebrew and Catholic burial grounds were added as different sections in the cemetery. More expansions were added until the year 1987.
In 2007, the city owned part of the cemetery wanted to expand more. They wanted to remove the playground equipment as well as the adjacent picnic tables to use it as new burial plots. However, citizens protested and the expansion was never put into reality.
The Ghost Of A Governor At The Maple Hill Cemetery
As earlier stated, there are a lot of political figures buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery. One of which is former governor Thomas Bibb. He was the second governor of the State and many claim to have seen his ghost in the cemetery.
A sign showing the former governors of Alabama buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery. (Link: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1PH3_Maple_Hill_Cemetery)
Some say that if a person stands near Bibb’s grave at dusk on warm evening, a carriage drawn by four black horses will drive by. The governor is seen seated in the carriage.
Governor Thomas Bibb as seen in a portrait. (Link: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7418818/thomas-bibb)
The Dead Children’s Playground
Another eerie story that keeps tourists coming back for more is the adjacent playground that was supposed to be replaced with burial plots. The playground is called Maple Hill Park but locals have grown accustomed to calling it the Dead Children’s Playground because of the alleged hauntings here.
A photo of the Dead Children’s playground. (Link: https://www.buzznick.com/dead-childrens-playground/)
Some claim that around 196, several children in the area were abducted. These children were murdered and their bodies were found in the area of the playground. They were then buried there. After that, the paranormal activities already started. Allegedly, swings move on their own, children’s laughter could be heard, children playing could be seen, and children calling out to those who can hear them.
Orbs of light are also reported to be frequently seen at the Dead Children’s Playground. These orbs usually go down the slide so it is believed that these are the souls of children playing.
The Angel At The Businessman’s Mausoleum At Maple Hill Cemetery
Another story that supposedly makes the Maple Hill Cemetery a tourist attraction is that of a former businessman in the area. Albert Russel Erskine was a prominent figure in Alabama because he dropped out of school at 15 years old but became an industrial magnate. He became the president of the Studebaker Automobile Industry in Indiana but when the company went into receivership due to the depression in the country, he shot himself.
The mausoleum where Albert Russel Erskine is buried together with his wife and parents at the Maple Hill Cemetery. (Link: https://fanniesyouraunt.wordpress.com/tag/albert-russel-erskine/)
Years before, he built a mausoleum for his parents and his wife. When he died in 1933, this was also where he was buried. Allegedly, an apparition of an angel appears at night on the portal of the mausoleum of the businessman.
A statue in Maple Hill Cemetery. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/505880970614532330/?lp=true)