As Halloween approach, large crowds began to visit the Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville, Illinois in October 1913. They returned night after night in hopes of capturing the appearance of a mysterious woman dress in black who had been haunting the vicinity of the graveyard for a long time.
Oak Grove Cemetery was established in January 1856. It is located in Jerseyville, in the northeastern portion of the city. Originally ten acres were purchased for the cemetery’s use, and now the burial grounds cover forty-seven acres. The first person buried in the cemetery was a young woman 45 years old named Clarisse Steele on August 14, 1856.
At one point a third of the population of Jerseyville kept watch at Oak Grove Cemetery into the wee hours of the night. The visits of the woman, which mystified the entire town, were ghoulish. She walked among the graves, crooning softly to herself. She did not give her attention to any one grave in particular, but strolled aimlessly about for nearly thirty minutes and departed without speaking to anybody. Her face was always heavily veiled on her visits, and it seemed impossible to learn her identity.
Members of the cemetery board issued orders to the sexton to close the gates of the cemetery at sundown and to allow no person except city officials inside the cemetery at night. Some residents avoided the cemetery by a margin of at least three blocks.
It would be an interesting investigation for those in the Jerseyville area to learn if the Lady in Black still returns to Oak Grove Cemetery in the chilly autumn months.
Oak Grove Cemetery
801 E Spruce Street
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning email@example.com