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The Ghosts of Goodleburg

There are few cemeteries in the world with as many legends associated with them as the Goodleburg Cemetery in Wales, New York. The small patch of land sits off of Goodleburg Road, and is the home of centuries-old tombstones, as well as a number of well-documented ghosts.

There is an ominous, abandoned house that stands across from the entrance to Goodleburg Cemetery. Most of the legends about the place relate to activities that supposedly took place here many years ago. At one time, stories say, a doctor lived in this now deserted house. He would perform illegal abortions in secret there. The fetuses he removed would be buried throughout the grounds of the

graveyard. On a number of occasions, the surreptitious surgeries were botched, and the pregnant women would be killed in the process of the abortion. Seeking to avoid the authorities’ interference with his clandestine practices, the doctor would remove the bodies of these young women from his house under the cover of night. He would take them to the pond at the back of Goodleburg Cemetery, where he would dump their bodies. These events are all said to have taken place in the early to mid-1800s. Now, some two hundred years later, rumor has it that Goodleburg is still cursed by the aftermath of these grisly events.

Goodleburg Cemetery these days is often referred to as one of the most haunted spots in America. Hundreds of curious people visit the graveyard each year, hoping to encounter the legendary ghosts that inhabit it. Few leave disappointed. The most common reports involve an ever-present low hanging fog that seems to follow visitors around as they explore the cemetery grounds. Also common are reports that faint music is often heard coming from the far corners of the graveyard.

More specifically, a number of ghosts directly related to the activities of the good doctor of long ago seem to be hanging around Goodleburg Cemetery. Most often seen are the wandering spirits of the unfortunate would-be mothers who were dumped in the pond. Many people have reportedly found bones on the water’s edge, particularly after heavy rains, which seem to unearth them. The spectral mothers are often seen wandering the wooded areas at the edges of the cemetery. In what must truly have been some of the most terrifying sightings ever, ghosts of the aborted babies have been seen crawling among the graves at night. Even the doctor himself, clad in a white doctor’s coat, has been seen walking through the graveyard at night. Others have seen him hanging from a tree where he

supposedly committed suicide by hanging himself in the cemetery. The apparition of the hanging doctor is said to appear on the first Friday of every month. It seems that all of the players in the dark affairs of long ago still hang around the cemetery that came to be the final resting place for so many of them.

Goodleburg’s Lady in White

If you guys plan on checking out Goodleburg Cemetery, make sure you spend some time on the number of desolate roads that surround it, too. This is often the best way to see the ghosts that come from the graveyard. I have seen orbs and strange lights a number of times, and even once saw the famous lady in white. She is supposed to be one of the abortion doctor’s patients—she wanders the whole area in a white dress. My friends and I saw her one late night in 1997—she was off in the distance and hazy, but we definitely believe it to have been the famous specter. –Dustin W.

Every Visit a Thrill at Goodleburg

My friends and I have been to Goodleburg quite a few times within the past two years. Almost every experience was exciting. There are two nights that stick out in my mind every time I hear mention of the place. I do not have the dates that we were there, but I do know that it was about 12:30-2:00 both times on a Friday or Saturday night. 

The first night was unbelievable. We went there to take some pictures and get a feel for the place. All of the pictures that we got had orbs in them; some had a weird fog/smoke like image. None of us were smoking at all while we were at the cemetery. And there is one picture in particular (I call it our ghost picture) that stands out. It looks like a human holding something in its hand. You can make out the outline almost perfectly of a human head, neck, torso, and arms. There were orbs of all different colors. The feeling of that place became too much to bear for one of us and we thought we should leave.

The second night that was very exciting was more feelings than photos. As soon as we walked into the cemetery, the wind started to blow very strong. Then as we were walking through the cemetery, we were taking some pictures and while the flash from the camera went off, a friend and I both saw a black image of a man wearing a top hat standing in front of us. We both saw the same image and described it to a tee to each other and the three others that were with us. As we looked at that picture, there was only a blue orb...no man and no fog/smoke.

About 15 minutes later, we were walking back further into the cemetery and three of the five of us felt a force stopping us from going any further. I know my hair stood up all over my body and it seemed very cold to a friend.  The force was not physical, but more like an energy wall. It is very hard to explain—similar to taking two magnets and trying to put two positive sides together. Then a scream was heard; I am not sure where it came from or who it came from. We left right then and there. We knew once that happened that it was time to go. I have never heard babies or dogs or seen the woman in white. I have been there approximately 12 times in the past two years, and each time is a new experience. One of my friends said that every time we go, she feels as though she is being watched. I feel this also, but I think it is just because we already know something is there.

I do ask that if anyone goes there, be careful. It is a dangerous area. And please be respectful, for it is a place of rest, not a place to hang out. –Jennifer

You can read about all of New York’s other creepy crypts, unusual interments storied tombstones in Weird New York.

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