Monday, February 11, 2013

Woodlawn Cemetery, Mercer County

Woodlawn Cemetery is located along Route 52 in Bluewell, Mercer County.  This is another one of those locations that have long been passed around the net as being haunted.  Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for finding anything of substance for this location, but a little bit of research quickly made me re-think my position on that...

Photo by Flyp Hylton
Woodlawn Cemetery was established in the early 1930s.  Over the years, the site has expanded to nearly 30 developed acres including at least 23 "garden sections" including a miners' section and a veterans' section, as well as several mausoleums.  The Waterfall Mausoleum was built in the 1960s, and there is also a newer Chapel Mausoleum, featuring three chapels.  In addition, there are several "estate" plots, including one for the Bowen family of the Bramwell Millionaires fame.  And as an interesting side note, Justus Collins, founder of the very haunted Whipple Company Store that HPIR investigated last year, is also among the cemetery's 16,000+ internments.

Photo from Bramwellwv
According to the listings on such places as WVGhosts.com and Shadowlands.net, Woodlawn Cemetery's older section is said to be haunted.  It is said that visitors to this section will hear disembodied voices telling them to "leave."  However, a little further digging (and with the help of a Topix thread on the subject) I was able to find out that this section may not necessarily be the most haunted place in the cemetery!

Several contributors to the Topix thread stated that they've had eerie experiences with the mausoleum, but didn't describe which one.  As an educated guess, I'm going to say its the Waterfall Mausoleum that is the main focus of these hauntings.  One person saw an apparition of what appeared to be a living person.  Another heard pecking noises coming from the mausoleum late at night.  Several others claimed that the mausoleum was plagued with a terrible, unidentifiable smell. 

More interestingly, several people claimed to have gotten locked inside the mausoleum for some unknown reason.  The first person to share the story was bringing flowers to a loved one's crypt and became locked inside for no apparent reason.  Luckily, a cell phone call placed to a brother alerted the office staff at the cemetery that someone was locked in...a fact that this same office staff claimed had never happened before.  Except, according to others...it had.  One person was trapped in the mausoleum for over three hours in a time before cell phones were a staple for everyone.

And while it probably has nothing to do with the hauntings, just last year a very strange incident occurred at the cemetery that should be noted.  On Sunday, January 29th, 2012 police got a call that a man was in the cemetery with a gun.  The gentleman was a 34 year old man from Colorado named Jackie Spalding, Jr.  Spalding was described as mentally unstable, and when police arrived around 6:15pm, he fled.  He was found shortly thereafter in a vehicle parked on the service road running behind the mausoleum.  State troopers fired a fatal shot at Spalding when it was claimed that he raised his rifle at them.

Shooting

Find-a-Grave

2 comments:

  1. me and my friend was there one evening around 6pm and we both felt like someone was watching us I am not too sure which mausoleum we were at she has a friend that is buried there but, she got locked in the mausoleum and we had to contact the owners to get her out. I only been there once and it is not a place I will ever return to - also the smell mentioned I remember complaining about a funky smell but, she did not see to notice it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences! They sound like they're on par with what others have experienced at this location.

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