|The Rose Files
True Scary Stories from Life
| The (Possibly?) Haunted Cemetery!
~ Rose Titus ~
A favorite pastime of mine is to read up on (supposedly) true ghost stories. I will often bring home piles
of books from the local library and sit in an old soft chair on a cold winter’s night and absorb these
amusing and intriguing tales of the unknown. I love dusty old books filled with ghosts and alleged
hauntings, plus some Bigfoot, fun and far out conspiracies, and a few UFO’s tossed into the mix to fill my
dark nights with wonder and mystery.
And in many of these books, I keep coming across stories of the legendary Gilson Road Cemetery.
This location in New Hampshire is supposed to be very, very haunted. In fact, it is said to be haunted to
the extreme. So haunted, in fact, it was even written about in the Nashua Telegraph, a decent and
respectable newspaper (not a cheap supermarket tabloid type newspaper where you would expect to find
strange paranormal tales!). In that article dated September 2, 2012, reporter Erin Place told of how she
went out to the location to meet members of a New Hampshire paranormal research group (the Keene
Paranormal Society) and observe while they went about their investigation. Ms. Place tells of how there
are a lot of stories about this cemetery, such as a “dark entity” that is known to frequent the area. There
are said to be several unmarked graves in the cemetery and that a lot of paranormal activity is believed to
be associated with those unmarked graves. The paranormal investigators arrived with all sorts of high
tech equipment such as digital recording devices to hopefully be able to listen in on electronic voice
phenomenon, and other. But their digital cameras malfunctioned, and batteries in the digital recorders
died. (In a past article that I did about a haunted house, the paranormal investigation team that I followed
that night did tell me that ghosts might drain the energy out of batteries.) However, they (the Keene
Paranormal team) got their cameras working again and the reporter stated that in two of the photographs
taken, there appeared to be orbs. (Orbs are thought by some believers in the paranormal to be spiritual
energy of some kind.)
Other sources of information about this cemetery will all tell similar stories of strange mists seen over
the graves, even during clear weather; people report odd variations in temperature, or unusual cold spots.
Strange voices have been heard. It has been said that if you walk through the area with a compass the
needle that is supposed to only point toward north will spin around and point the wrong way, and that cell
phones don’t work in the area… And then there is the hooded wraith that has been seen in the woods
behind the cemetery, wandering silently through, only to vanish!
A search of the Internet for “Gilson Road Cemetery” will reveal that this place is a favorite spot for
paranormal investigators in general. Apparently the place is a routine stop for investigators bringing along
their high tech ghost hunting equipment. Photos of the headstones taken in the dark of night can be seen
But why do all these lost souls remain here?
The history of the area has been filled with tragedy over the centuries. Legend tells of an Indian
massacre centuries ago, and that one of the ghosts is an unsettled Native American spirit. Also during
colonial times a farmhouse that was on the same grounds as where the cemetery is now burned to the
ground with the family trapped inside. They say that the stone walls around the cemetery were the same
stone walls that surrounded the house that burned down, and that the bodies of the people that died in the
fire were buried in the cemetery.
And so the area has seen violence, tragedy, and sadness throughout the centuries.
I kept reading on in both books and on the Internet about this very haunted and supposedly cool spooky
place. All this makes me want to go out and visit and see for myself. But I do not have any fancy high tech
equipment: I do not have any digital recording devices to record electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). I
do not have electromagnetic frequency meters, or “Mel-Meters,” or any of the other fancy stuff that ghost
hunters tend to drag along when they go on these adventures. In my past experience with paranormal
investigators, I saw that they had so much high tech stuff and so many cameras and recording devices that
they would make the NSA jealous. In fact, I checked out the pricing on some of these items and therefore
decided against making any purchases of any such ghost hunting equipment.
But one thing I read caught my attention: that supposedly if you bring a compass into the cemetery the
needle spins around in the wrong direction. So I get myself to the local WalMart and find this handy-dandy
combination pocket compass with thermometer, magnifying glass, and whistle, all in one, for less than four
dollars! Along with that, I do have a simple digital camera and a very cheap cell phone (both are said to
malfunction in the area of the cemetery). Along with that, a notebook to write down my general
impressions, should I get any while there. This probably would make me the most under-equipped
individual to enter into this infamous cemetery. I don’t even have a dog named Scooby to tag along with
Well, I don’t live too far from New Hampshire, and I finally got a chance to check the place out.
It was a dark and murky November day. I got out of my car and saw the black iron gate with a large
letter “G” on the top and went in alone. I wandered around and noticed the place was bigger than I
imagined it would be, with fewer headstones than I thought. Those headstones that were there were quite
old – many from the 1800’s. Some people had put pennies and small stones on top of one of the larger
headstones, and in front of a small headstone for the grave of a small child, aged 3 it said, some people
had put little toy cars. I looked down at the child’s grave and felt sad. Obviously some person passing
through left the toys in pity for the little boy, but the child had passed away well over a century ago and
would not even have known what a car was. I thought also of the sadness of his parents, buried next to
him, and who probably lost their small child through some illness that was fatal then but curable today. I
tried to read what was on the headstones but it was a dark day and the headstones were so old that not all
the wording was clear.
The general atmosphere of the place was peaceful rather than spooky. I heard crows calling from the
trees above and a flock of geese flew overhead. To walk into the cemetery you go from the road and into
this area that is from another century, as if time itself ceases to exist in there. I do confirm that my cell
phone did not work in the area, however it worked fine later when away from the place. I put my compass
down on the grass and the needle pointed toward the forest. I wandered around a bit and looked around
then decided to take out the compass again and looked at the needle… ‘wait a minute,’ I said to
myself… didn’t it point toward the other direction a minute ago? I could swear, a few minutes ago, the
compass pointed to the other direction… it was a bit odd, but it didn’t worry me. Suddenly I heard some
voices echo from the forest that surrounded the stone walls of the cemetery, and so I looked out into the
woods. I did not see anyone there, but it most likely could have been just people off in the woods, talking
loudly enough to be heard over a distance. I don’t know why anyone would have been in the woods behind
the cemetery on a cold, miserable and murky day, however. My digital camera worked okay, but the
pictures I took did not capture anything out of the ordinary.
To conclude, are there ghosts at the Gilson Road Cemetery? Maybe. I cannot know for sure. If they are
there, they didn’t seem to mind my brief visit. Before I left, I looked once again at the small grey
headstone, which said “Aged 3,” and thought of the innocent little one sleeping peacefully forever, in his
eternal bed, surrounded by toys.
If you want to learn more about the mysterious Gilson Road Cemetery, look in your local library for:
Weird Encounters: True Tales of Haunted Places, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, and compiled by
Joanne M. Austin, Sterling Publishing, 2010, and read the chapter by Fionna Broome on the Gilson Road
Cemetery. Or look for the excellent article in the Nashua Telegraph: “Telegraph Reporter, Photographer
Venture into the Dark with Keene Paranormal Society,” September 12, 2012. Several websites, including
“Hollow Hill,” “Ghosts101,” and “Hauntspot” will tell tales of this cemetery and display eerie photographs,