Sunday, November 16, 2014

Central City Masonic Cemetery

John Cameron, by Ron West
The Central City Masonic Cemetery in Gilpin County, Colorado was established in the early 1860s, immediately following the establishment of the small mining community.  Today it is maintained by the county and has become a popular spot on the local historical society's annual ghost walk!

Like many cemeteries, Central City Masonic boasts the claim light anomalies and orbs being photographed by night-time visitors.  Also reported are sightings of a little boy who will follow behind visitors, but will run and hide if anyone tries to approach him.  It is the Lady in Black, however, that has firmly cemented this burial ground's haunted reputation.  Her story begins all the way back in 1887...

On November 1, 1887 a local man named John Edward Cameron passed away after a brief illness---paralysis of the heart was given as the official cause of death.  Cameron had moved to the area with his family when he was just seven years old and grew up to be a loved and respected citizen, even serving with the town's fire and rescue squad.  At the time of his death, at age 28, he was unmarried, but it was rumored that he had been courting a woman who lived near Bald Mountain.

The town mourned his death, but a mysterious woman in black seemed to take his passing very hard.  Every day from November 1, 1887 to late June of 1888 the young woman would visit the grave.  On one occasion, she planted a yellow flower on the grave.  Suddenly, however, the visits stopped and the young woman wasn't seen for several years.

But on November 1, 1890, the young woman returned and laid a bouquet of blue columbines on John's grave before mysteriously gliding out of the cemetery.  This yearly vigil continued in the same manner until 1899, when a group of a dozen or so men, acting on the rumor that the young lady was actually a ghost, staked out the cemetery on November 1 in an effort to uncover the woman's identity.

They were not disappointed.  That evening, the woman came into the cemetery and laid her flowers upon John's grave.  The men noted that she appeared to be very beautiful, but her silk mourning clothes were of an outdated fashion.  They were so mesmerized that it wasn't until she exited the cemetery and started up the hill toward Bald Mountain that they decided to go after her.  As they crested the hill, they found the woman was no where in sight.

Since then, the Lady in Black still walks the cemetery every November 1st, visiting the grave of John Cameron, who many believe had been her suitor in life.  She has also been seen roaming the cemetery on April 5th, following the same pattern of her November visits.  After all these years, her identity is still unknown.

Legendary Ghost Walk of Masonic Cemetery
Colorado Cemeteries

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