BETHANY, W.Va. (KDKA) — God’s Acre Cemetery in Bethany, W. Va., has an eerie beauty, and a reputation that is eerier still.
“Whew! No, it’s not for the faint-hearted,” says Dr. Larry Grimes, a retired Bethany College English professor.
The nearly 200-year-old graveyard, was first hallowed by Alexander Campbell, who founded nearby Bethany College.
“Ghost hunters say there’s ectoplasm all over this place,” says Dr. Grimes.
A grand mausoleum promises that “Beyond This Door Is Rest,” or maybe not.
“A wonderful ghost story that goes with that, about students, [a] bullet hole in the front door… [It’s a] scary place up there,” said Dr. Grimes.
The cemetery is just across the way from Campbell’s stately mansion, which is also thought to be haunted.
Alexander is buried here along with his two wives, Margaret and Selina, and 13 of his children, as well as more than 260 other souls.
Some folks theorize that the reason for so many reported ghostly sightings is because of the unbroken, hand-hewn stone wall completely surrounding the cemetery. There’s not even a gate.
Erected in 1866, the wall is 2½-feet thick, four-feet high, and oddly, extends three-feet below the ground.
“We have to carry coffins over the wall, pall bearers get a workout,” says Dr. Grimes.
You can get in, but not out.
Screaming, whining and whimpering ghosts have been heard inside the walls.
Dr. Grimes believes that in this spirited season there’s always a mix of the holy and the horrible.
“I think when we come to the world of the dead we shouldn’t be surprised, if on occasion, that there’s something horrible we encounter,” he said.
On Wednesday night, Bethany College students will gather for a traditional telling of ghost stories.