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Ghost of Old Clove Baptist Cemetery on Stanton Island

A few old tombstones remain in the Old Clove Baptist Cemetery
A few old tombstones remain in the Old Clove Baptist Cemetery
Courtesy of Flickr

There have been many reports of ghosts at the Old Clove Baptist Cemetery located on the NW Corner of Clove and Richmond in Stanton Island. Motorists rush past the hidden location daily as they commute back and forth from home to work.

By August 1921 over fifty people had profess to have seen the ghostly visitor who arose from his grave at 3:00 in the morning. They describe him as a long, gaunt figure in gray. He raised his arms like a semaphore and spread his trailing garments like a picture of one of the prophets of old.

Special excursions were made from Manhattan and New Jersey to get a peek at the ghost. The long line of vehicles kept a steady procession all night and into the wee hours of the morning near the little graveyard on Clove Road.

An extra detail of police had to be called in to keep the crowds back for there were many curious ghost seekers who desired to wander in the wooded cemetery in late in the evening to wait for the ghostly phenomena. Police escorted them out of the burial ground so the men, women, and children waited on the corners near the cemetery. They walked along the sidewalks with craned necks trying to see the tombstones inside.

One of the eye witnesses noted he did not see the ghost at first. On his second glance he saw a tall fellow and he lifted his arms and made a spread which revealed a white robe. Fire came from his eyes. He admitted he ran away as fast as he could and would not come near Clove Road again.

Some of the folks who lived near the old tumbledown cemetery did not see the ghost, but many a night they heard ghostly sounds that sort of echoed through the hills and valleys. Many strangers traveling down the road did not even know there was a cemetery on the side of Clove. Across the street was a quaint little church set in a picturesque garden. In the back of the cemetery was Emerson’s Hill scattered with mansions and broad estates of the wealthy.

One ghost investigator described crossing the road through the maze of ghostly joy riders and was led to a pathway of faltering steps that were cut into the side of Emerson’s Hill in the early years. He stumbled into the weird and uncanny blackness of the centuries old cemetery. Not a breath of air was stirring. The trees and moss made it a most inviting scene of a ghostly visit.

He tripped over a fallen tombstone lying on the ground. It was nearly covered with grass and tangled weeds. They continued down the cemetery pathways and stumbled over tombstones and fallen crosses. Suddenly a chill filled the air and an unearthly moan filled the cemetery.

The group of investigators stopped in their tracks. Something gray loomed in front of them. The unseen creatures spread out its arms just as everyone else had described it. The head gleamed two balls of fire where the eyes should have been. Instead of a BOO, they heard a HOO. The ghost had been laid. The ghostly owl had fled.

Historic Old Clove Baptist Cemetery was established in 1802 and once held as many as 35 gravestones on the hillside. It is a historical site and no longer in use. It is located on the NW corner of Clove and Richmond on Emerson Hill in Stanton Island, New York.

Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning

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