Updated: Apr 12
Last week I visited W. M. Seymour Cemetery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It's about an hour and a half from my house, and I was interested in it because it's supposed to be haunted. So I thought I'd check it out.
The cemetery is more commonly known as 'Rock n Roll Graveyard." I've heard a couple different theories as to how it got its nickname. The main one is that teenagers used to go out to the cemetery to party. Once I got there, I understood why they'd want to do that, because the cemetery is pretty isolated. I had to drive about a mile down a creepy back road to get there. The cemetery was at the end of the road, and the only roads leading out from it were private property. I was kind of afraid someone would come out of the woods and shoot me for trespassing or something. But obviously that didn't happen.
The first time I went down this road, the GPS named it differently than what was on the street sign. So after going about halfway down the road, I turned back, thinking I was in the wrong place. I was meeting a friend there, but had a couple of hours before she was supposed to arrive. So I left, got some stuff done in town, and then came back, using a different app for directions. But, once again, I was led down this road with the wrong name. So I decided I would give it one more shot anyway. I drove to the end of the road and the cemetery was there.
There was a sign posted by the entrance that said it was a family cemetery. Apparently it's still being used, because I saw several graves from 2010 and onward. The most recent one I saw was for a person who died a month before I went.
Now let's get to the legends. The main story I've heard about the cemetery is the other theory as to how it got its nickname: The ghostly figure of an old woman in a rocking chair. I never saw anything like that while I was there. My friend who met up with me there said she heard stories about an angel statue with its head knocked off. We did find a statue that fit that description by a tree near the center of the cemetery. But she said once we found it, it was sort of anticlimactic because the statue was really small. Plus the head was right behind it. It easily could have been knocked off accidentally and have nothing to do with the paranormal. I didn't even get a picture of it.
Another legend I read about was the front gate closing behind people on its own as they tried to leave, but we tried that and nothing happened. Well, the gate did open on its own once, but we had already unlatched it and it was on a slight incline.
The day after our visit, I talked to a friend who grew up in Ocean Springs, the same town as the cemetery. I'm not sure why I didn't think to talk to him before we went. I already knew about the front gate closing behind people as they tried to leave. But he told me that there was also a legend that if you parked your car by the front gate, you could see it open and close on its own. He also told me about a witch that supposedly lived in the area and roamed the cemetery at night.
But what do I think? Did I see any evidence of the paranormal here? Well, it complicated.
I do believe in ghosts, but I'm pretty skeptical about any claims of paranormal activity, since it's so easy to either a.) fake it or b.) give a logical explanation. Even though I've been to lots of haunted places, I've never seen anything in these locations that could be paranormal. So didn't expect to experience anything strange here, but this trip was a little different.
When I pulled up to the cemetery, I left my car running for a minute, but turned my music off. After I turned the music off, I still heard music playing. It was really faint, like it was coming from headphones that were turned up too loud. I was playing music through my phone, which was connected to the car speakers via bluetooth. There were no other music players in the car, or anywhere close enough that I could have heard it. Maybe it was really loud music coming from far away and that's why it sounded faint. But once I turned my car off, the music stopped.
Once I got outside and started walking around, I heard what sounded like a cell phone ringing. My friend hadn't arrive yet, and my phone wasn't ringing. When the cemetery got its nickname, there must not have been many people living in the area. But now I guess there are, since there were 'no trespassing' signs on roads around the cemetery, and there was clearly another big road not too far away because we heard trucks. But it was still strange to hear a phone that sounded like it was only coming from a few hundred yards away. If there were people living in the area, wouldn't they be in their houses, making it almost impossible to hear their phones from where we were? It's not like there were tons of other people wandering around outside -- while we were there, we only saw one other car, and they turned around immediately. So they were probably just lost.
When my friend and I had been there for about an hour, talking and catching up the whole time, we decided to stop and be quiet so we could listen for any weird noises. We sat on the edge of an empty plot and, after a few silent moments, I felt a chill go through me. This is October in Mississippi, so it was pleasant outside -- probably in the 70's -- and I had already taken my jacket off because I got warm walking around. So feeling random cold was kind of strange. If you know anything about the paranormal, you know a cold spell is supposed to mean there's a ghost nearby. So did a ghost walk through me without me knowing? Or was it just random or had some other explanation? Maybe I just got a chill because I was having fun and excited about being there.
So those were my potentially paranormal experiences at a haunted cemetery. They might seem pretty meaningless, and there might be a logical explanation for all of them. But it's a lot more than I've experienced at any other haunted place.
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you think there were ghosts at this cemetery? Do you like going to haunted places? Let me know below.