11-Shawnee Cemetery

At their request, we joined "The Friends of Shawnee Cemetery" for an evening of spirit searching. Although we did not encounter any concrete paranormal activity that night, it was a great lesson in local history. Our guides at the cemetery were very informative about the lives and deaths of the souls now interred in Shawnee. You could hear the passion in their voices as they spoke of their research into the people buried there. If you would like to join them on a "walking tour" of the cemetery next fall, contact them and I'm sure they would love to share their experiences and knowledge of the cemetery.

The Investigation;

We arrived at dark with five of our investigators. Shortly after, the police arrived and inquired about our intent at being in the cemetery after dark. Surely and understandably so,  a neighbor had called and was concerned at seeing people in the cemetery at nightfall. We explained to the officer that we tried to reach them beforehand and stopped short of dialing "911" in a non-emergency situation. We gave him our identity and our purpose for being there and he let us proceed. I'm sure he had a story for the water cooler the next morning.

We wanted to get a feel for the cemetery, so we listened intently to "The Friends of Shawnee Cemetery" retell some ghostly, tragic and often heart rendering stories. We split up into two groups and made our way through the cemetery. Thanks to some volunteers, a good portion of the cemetery was cleaned up and well manicured.

There are many interesting gravesites at Shawnee. One in particular is from the Powell Squib Factory explosion. This factory produced explosives that were used in the mines. Unfortunately, one February day in 1889,  11  young girls between the ages of 12 and 20 and one adult male worker were killed in a series of explosions at the factory. 9 of the girls are buried in this plot along with their male co-worker.

Here also lies the Gaylord GAR Post 109 plot. Veterans from the Civil War, WWII and the Spanish American War are buried here and appropriately surrounded by canons that were donated to the cemetery.

One of the most talked about and mysterious tombstones in the cemetery is a mesmerizing piece of art. It is an artist's interpretation of a young boy, school books in hand, leaning against a tree. Local folklore would suggest that , Robert J. Jones was struck by lightning on his way home from school. The only problem with this tale, is that Robert was only two years old at the time of his passing. The mystery remains surrounding poor Robert's death, since he would be too young to be walking home from school.

Conclusion: We enjoyed our trip to Shawnee and first and foremost we would like to thank our gracious hosts for inviting us and for sharing their knowledge of this historic burial ground. Although we didn't encounter paranormal occurrences on this particular night, be conscious of the flags adorning the gravesites. Our guides  who spend a lot of time researching cemeteries pointed out, that even on still days and nights...when you pass a grave with a flag, it will start waving and acknowledge your presence.

                     In parting here is a group shot of our team, and our guides for the night.