I was first introduced to Robinson Cemetery by my good friend, author David E. Harkins, who wrote about it in his excellent book, Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks. Harkins put a lot of effort into the research and documentation of the cemetery and the deceased entombed there, chronicling their history and the stories of the area as well as shedding light on the vandalism and neglect that haunts the old graveyard.
On Harkins first visit to the cemetery one of the team members who accompanied him, Shane Wade Corkren, was taking photographs of Captain Albert Smith’s gravestone when he stepped backwards a few steps and plunged down through the grave up to his left knee; even walking and standing in the neglected old cemetery has its hazards. Harkins also repeatedly experienced what could only be described as a female voice whispering in his ear several times during his first visit as well as catching glimpses of movement, like that of a person among the trees, although no one was present except for him and two team members.
I was fortunate to check out Robinson Cemetery with David Harkins and Shane Wade Corkren on our way back from Mississippi after attending the Delta Paranormal Project and a book signing and lecture at Barnes and Noble in Tupelo. I was shocked and dismayed at the amount of vandalism and neglect the old cemetery had been subjected to. ATV trails cut through the graveyard running right over tombstones and graves, trash littered the graves and a road that had been cut through the cemetery back in the 1950’s was eroding badly causing some of the graves to be exposed. The area was apparently used as a paintball course as well with paint splatter marking the trees and tombstones and CO2 cartridges littered the ground; it was very disheartening to witness firsthand the casual disrespect with which the old cemetery and those entombed there were subject to. My hope is that through books such as Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks and articles such as this one that people’s awareness of the importance of preserving and caring for historical locations such as Robinson Cemetery will be heightened and perhaps the necessary steps to reverse the neglect and vandalism might be taken before it’s too late; when we lose a piece of our history we lose a piece of ourselves, a piece that we can ill afford to lose as a society.