Illinois January 27, 2018
The Story Behind This Ghost Town Cemetery In Illinois Will Chill You To The Bone
In a remote part of the state, there is an abandoned town where all that remains is an ancient graveyard. Local lore about a witch’s grave has stirred up fear and intrigue for ghost hunters and spiritualists alike. Learn the complete background of St. Omer’s ghost town cemetery right here.
Like any scary story, there is controversy as to how events went down and whether any of it is true. Read on and decide for yourself.
Situated in the east central region of Illinois, the ghost town of St. Omer was a small town in the 1800s that was abandoned for nearby Ashmore due to the new train line.
In its prominence, only about 50 or so families inhabited the town. By the end of the 1880s, though, it only had about six houses left as well as a store, a post office, and a blacksmith.
What's left behind is an old cemetery filled with grave markers from centuries ago. The village of St. Omer was located just south of this plot of land, which is surrounded by creeks, forestry, and miles of cornfields.
Though decrepit, this ghost town cemetery has been kept up in part due to a strange plot believed to be a witch grave. Rumor has it that Caroline Barnes was accused of being a witch in the 1880s and when she wouldn't die by hanging, they buried her alive.
There are actually four people buried here. Caroline's husband and his parents were placed here before her, but we'll get to more of that later.
The gravestone is shaped like an orb atop a pyre, and it lists an impossible date of death for Caroline: February 31. The legend says it was made that way so that her spirit could not rise again (as folklore told that witches would rise on the day of their death).
The witch grave in this ghost town cemetery faces north and south while almost every other grave in the world faces east and west. Film photographers claim to be unable to take photos of it, and it is believed to glow on moonless nights. Candle wax, coins, and other remains that suggest cult activity are also often found.
Of course, every story has two sides, and unfortunately, the alternative is equally as tragic. Caroline's husband, Marcus died in a sawmill accident in December 1881, and she passed two months later from pneumonia at the age of 23. Historians believe her death actually happened around February 28, 1882.
So, why did they mess up the date of her death on the stone? Skeptics speculate that it was a production error that was too expensive to correct. It seems that the town died out with the passing of this family, so there was probably no one willing to fix it.
But what about it facing north and south? Typical Christian burials dictate the feet should be facing east. It's likely, though, that vandalism caused this. The grave has been found knocked over several times, and it is possible that it was not always set back in the proper direction.
What do you think? Was Caroline a witch or is this just folklore taken too far? You can visit the St. Omer Cemetery located at the end of St Omer Road in Ashmore. Keep up to date with fellow ghost hunters and graveyard trackers through the cemetery’s
For more creepy places around the state, check out these
13 haunted landmarks in Illinois.
Have you ever been to this ghost town cemetery? Share your unique experiences with us in the comments below!