Sunday, June 14, 2009

Creepy Crum Cemetery

witch
Image from Witch Hunter Robin


Hey, cemeteries are supposed to be spooky places. But Crum Cemetery, in Ogle Township by Windber, takes the spectral cake.

The most popular tale is that of witch Rebecca Crum. She and her family were thought to be local hexes, and she was dragged from her home by the locals and killed. She was buried outside the cemetery proper, and her village of Crum was burned to the ground by the mob. Now, only the remains of three homes from the once thriving lumber community are still there.

With a rude send-off like that, it's no wonder her spirit is restless. It's said that you can hear her wails from the nearby woods, and the spirit of a lady in white can be seen floating through the grounds, thought to be Rebecca.

The urban legend goes on to claim that if you turn your car off on the second bridge of the path that leads to the cemetery, you won't be able to start it again. (although a reader told us that "it's the two trees at the cemetery you don't want to park your car between...") There's also been reports of folk spotting a black carriage that rides through the grounds at midnight.

Other versions say that the phenomena are related to a plague that hit the village of Crum, claiming most of its inhabitants. Their remains were buried in the cemetery, and the local government had the village torched to keep the disease from spreading. (A reader wrote us and said "The town of Crum was abandoned when the lumber mill closed in the early 1900's." Guess it was an economic plague that wiped out the town, and there are still a few buildings left intact.)

And hey, we're not done with local lore quite yet. Nearby is a “dead zone”, an area rumored to be haunted by a man that hung himself after killing his wife and children. It's supposed to be about two miles away along a blocked off back road that leads to their long deserted shack.

A reader by the handle of Hazzyrap wrote in about that area and said "As for the Dead Zone, I got that story from my sister and brother. They used to hang out there all the time. She took me to where it supposedly was, and it had long since been bulldozed down to keep kids from getting hurt. Reports included strange, red-eyed creatures and flying objects." Another reader wrote and said the house still stands, not that we'd be particularly fired up to visit.

Witches, burned-down villages, carriages, the plague, a crazed killer - who needs reality TV when you've got Crum Cemetery? But before remember that first and foremost, the spot is a place of repose for those gone before us. Many locals have told us of the mess and plain disrespect shown by various visitors and party crews.

Here's a little message from owners, victimized and vandalized by graveyard party people acting the fool over the years:
"Crum Cemetery is a privately owned cemetery by my family and trespassing is not permitted. There is no record of a Rebecca Crum. Most of my family, (including) my great grandfather and my parents are buried there, so lets not visit there to get scared or have parties; it causes more work for my uncle and grandparents to clean up your garbage. Leave the dead at rest."
And we say amen to that.

44 comments:

murphy said...

the one with the man who killed his family.. i was there. it may have been windber, but i can't really remember.

Anonymous said...

all of those stories are from the windber crum cemetery, except for the one about the carriage, i live out the road from crum and ive never heard that story

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - thanks for specifying the site. LC and I thought that was where it was, but until we got your local verification, we decided the better part of valor was CYA, lol!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for more information and dircection to Crums Cemetary by Windber,PA I have great-grandparents buried there who were Crum's
email: conicmt@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

i want more info on this "Dead Zone" crazyeric255@aol.com

Ron Ieraci said...

If anyone has any local knowledge of the Crum "dead zone," give Eric a yell at crazyeric255@aol.com.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please tell me where this place is exactly?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Crums village was not burned down. I was just there an hour ago. There is three houses there. Still standing. It's creepy

Ron Ieraci said...

Thanks, Anon. I added that to the post.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - Don't know how much this helps, but it's located off Route 56 on Crum Road. Maybe you can Google it from there.

Anonymous said...

Urban legend.. The town of crumb was abandoned when the lumber mill closed in the early 1900's.

Anonymous said...

Also there is no Rebecca Crum buried in the Crum cemetery.

Ron Ieraci said...

Thanks, anon - I'll add the bit about the lumber town to the post. As for the cemetery, the lore is that she wasn't permitted to be buried in it, so her body's planted somewhere outside the graveyard.

Anonymous said...

I live in New Ashtola about 5 miles from Crum cemetary, been there hundreds of times. Never saw anything strange except beer cans and garbage laying around from idiots who are too lazy to clean up after themselves. I think we should be more concerned about the people who go there to trash the place and knock over the tombstones!!!

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - I can't speak to the spooky lore of the cemetery, having never been there, but I do agree with you 110% about the thoughtless vandalism in graveyards, especially the older, more isolated ones that are so often featured on the blog and attract the teen party crowd.

We second your call for more responsibility, and would like very much to see local police make an effort to at least cruise past the party hot spots. Maybe then the kids would think twice before partying in a place of peace and repose.

Anonymous said...

first off crum cemetary is a privately owned cemetary by my family and tresspassing is not permitted. There is no record of a rebecca crum....also most of my family plus my great grandfather and my parents are buried there so lets not visit there to get scared or have parties it causes more work for my uncle and grandparents to clean up your garbage and shit left everywhere. Leave the dead at rest theres really nothing there at all thankyou=]


if anyone has anything to say you can get ahold of me at horner41777@aim.com

Ron Ieraci said...

Noted and added to the post.

Anonymous said...

Just remember... the "True" Paranormal Investigators do not trash places, vandalize places, or disrespect the dead. After an investigation you'll find no evidence of their being there.

Ron Ieraci said...

Crum Cemetery anon - Amen to that.

Rebecca Crum-Mardis said...

My whole life I've heard nothing but all the crazy stories from above. Every one that I went to school with had a story and felt there desire to share it with me. Truly, it's the cemetery. The people that are buried there are long gone, let them rest. By the way, I'm the only Rebecca Crum that I have every known or heard of.

hazzyrap said...

I grew up in Ogletown and now live in Windber- Crum Cemetery is the oldest legend around. It used to be far creepier then present- a lot of the trees have been cut down and it seems more work has been done to it in general.

I've never heard the Rebecca Crum story- nor the smallpox thing. But one thing that is a fact was the Satanic/Occult rituals that used to take place here. Not sure who the group was or if they were caught- but I do remember reading animal sacrifices took place. I was there a few years ago and found a ring of burned-down candles on a stump. There also used to be quite an assortment of nooses and hung animal skeletons in the trees back in the day.

I've done some paranormal research here- I never get much. I did get an EVP that called itseld "Issac Young", which we later found to be the name on the bottom-most line of the older tombstones at the base of the cemetery. Since then, it hasn't been very active. Though my mother has seen a black dog-like creature loping accross the road, except it vanished not long afterwards.

As for the Dead Zone, I got that story from my sister and brother- they used to hang out there all the time. She took me to where it supposedly was, and it had long since been bulldozed down to keep kids from getting hurt. Reports included strange, red-eyed creatures and flying objects. If somebody knows one of these areas and thinks it still is up, drop me a line!

The abandoned town of Crum- I didn't know it was still standing! If anybody knows where it is exactly, reach me here- hazzyrap@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

I was just at Crum Cemetary, and there is a tomb stone with the name Rebecca Crum, so I'm unsure why there are posts saying that it doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

first off, the town of crum is no longer standing, there is just rubble remaining if you look hard in the woods. as for the cemetary, well i have been there repectfully, during the day...and have had my own experiences. whether a place is haunted or not can also depend on if people truly believe or not or if they are sensitive to such, like I am. I do not believe people should go and be disrespectful to places where people rest, especially children, where upon looking at the older tombstones you can tell there are many there. Seeing this I would only guess that the lore on a plague could be true. But reminder the place is privately owned, so if you do come accross this place be respectful, just because a place is old does not mean it should be trashed.

Anonymous said...

Anon
Ive visited this cemetery there is no tombstone with Rebecca Crum still looking for the village if anyone can help much appreciated. My visit there was peaceful but something has been plaguing my about this rebecca crum for almost two years. I had a dream about a year and half about a little girl running thru a village and people were chasing here with weapons saying Kill and three days later someone I meet tells me this story I had never heard of it before this meeting. If anyone has any insight please contact me at Moonwind22@hotmail.com I am one who truly believes everyone deserves to rest in everlasting peace and someone needs to put rebecca at peace
Moonwind22@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Dont no ware to start exceptI was serching for lost relatives when I came across this,all though It spooks even me ,and Ive been through a lot of very strange things in my life. so now I even practice witchcraft. I just say my name is Bill,or you can call me Balencer my craft name. When I seen this it set off bells. I though there could be a family conection here since it was close to my birth state of N.J. in TRENTON 10/21/57 to BILL CRUM FATHER NOT REGISTERED/MOTHER JANET GILBERT if you could help me with this please reply to balencer@hotmail.com thanks for your time Bill

Anonymous said...

I live right up the road from Crum cemetary in Ogletownn. We road our quads all over this mountain. i have been to Crum Cemetary. I saw nothing but gravestones. As for the dead zone, I believe they are the remnants of the town of Crum. It is on the map. But it is no longer there. Just a few abandoned houses. One day we were riding with neighbors and decided to explore 1 of the houses. I had a creepy feeling there. I had heard the stories of the man that murdered his family there. When we arrived back home, I noticed my daughter had an old childrens book. I asked her where she got it and she said she took it from the house. I said, great, now the ghost of the little girl that owned that book will follow us home to get her book back! My daughter freaked out and we took the book back. I have to laugh every time I think about it. People who live here in Ogletown have a Windber address. We are east of Windber on rt. 56. Turn right onto Mt. Carmel Drive and just keep on driving!

Anonymous said...

I live less than 700 feet from the cemetary in a straight line and have never heard the cries of rebecca, nor seen a black carriage riding around. As for the man who killed his wife and kid, the houses still stand and were never bulldozed.

Anonymous said...

My friends and I went there once because our neighbor said that it was the most haunted cemetery in PA. We went up pretty early and didn't find much because ghost don't come out during the day but as we were leaving we saw the alley that was block off and saw something that looked like gallows. We also crossed the bridge that was said to stop your car if you turned it off so we did turn the car off but it started up again so I guess the ghosts were off duty.While we were looking for it we found a road that looked abandoned so we took it and my friend ,my mom, and I all heard this man yell don't go that way but my sister didn't hear it so we kind of just ignored it. So we were driving down the road and at the end of it was a giant cliff and we couldn't turn or we would fall off and die so we had to back up really slowly so that was probably the coolest thing that happened to me.

Anonymous said...

Trespassing my ass. Theres "posted" signs for the woods miles back from the entrance of the cemetray. There's signs that say "closed to ATVs". But there is nothing psoted around the cemetery. I'll keep going there at my leisure (and continue to be respectful of the cemetery) until signs are posted. After all, its even presented as a public area, with its park bench and such. All I need to be allowed there is the lack of signs though.

And if rednecks try to chase me again I'll have a knife/bat/pistol with me to defend myself as an American citizen who is allowed to have a regulation sized knife, a bat in my car, and a permit to exercise my 2nd amendment right. And when the police talk to me about why theres a cut up/bludgeoned/shot up half dead redneck with an IQ of 19 Ill say "There's no signs saying I can't be here and I was attacked. I had a right to defend myself."

Anonymous said...

Although I don't have any family in the cemetery, myself and my family do live close to crum. As far as your 2nd amendment rights go, us dumb backward rednecks can't read no how, we shoot first and ask questions later. We are pretty good shots and if you happen to get into a shootout wit ur pistol ur not supposed to hold it sideways like the gangbangers in the movies do - Bubba grade 4 Windber pa

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Windber. I've been gone 30 years. When I visit, I try and go see some of the cemeteries to show respect to the people who made the area a great place years ago.
I did notice the party left overs and trash from disrespect vile idiots. The cemetery was very old and I have some pictures. I have never seen ghosts, but I have heard of WICA rituals performed around that area. And Bubba, I seriously doubt you even own a pistol, let alone a CCP.

Anonymous said...

I have been to both Crum and the Murder house on multiple occasions. Contrary to what the authors of all of the spook stories and urban legends surrounding these places would have you believe they are pretty mundane. All I found at Crum was a bunch of beer cans scattered about (which were pretty disgusting to have to pick up) and a vandalized tombstone that looked as though it had been shot. As for the Murder House, its really only creepy because it is collapsing. It looks like it was a gorgeous home at one time...very sad. Unfortunately, neither of these places have produced any sort of hard evidence of the paranormal on any of my visits. Furthermore I have spent countless hours researching all the stories I have heard, and could not find a speck of evidence to support any of them. So unless someone can produce actual proof of "satantic" activity, murder, or the rest, not hearsay accounts or unsubstantiated claims, but dates, times, names, etc, I am pretty comfortable closing out my case files with an "unsubstantiated" label.

Stephen Sowinski said...

can anyone tell me how to get to the murder house from the cemetery?

Anonymous said...

Stephen Sowinski, I do believe if you you're leaving the cemetery, make a left and go down the the hill and then you make another left, keep driving till you can't go any further, the house is back in the woods.

Anonymous said...

To the clown talking about his knife, bat, and pistol - would you just walk up and camp in somebody's back yard if it wasn't posted? Trespassing signs are there to help you be aware, but a lack of them isn't an open invitation to go onto private property. Good luck using your pistol to shoot into the woods at the rednecks who are used to hunting those woods, sometimes at night, and have rifles. Having spent my life around these PA rednecks, my money is on them.

The thing that makes Crum Cemetary spooky is just being there with the right people. Having the right mood makes a bat flying by turn into an eerie specter, or the wind blowing into the trees into the whimper of a child.

Crum Cemetary is just a peaceful place that history seemed to forget. It has an aging cemetery that has fallen victim to passing time (and disrespectful visitors). I've never been to the remnants of the town.

Sadly, Crum is one of the larger backroad party spots, and each passing generation of kids is less and less respectful, so vandalism and littering are a real problem.

Kayla said...

I have been to Crum Cemetery twice - once during the day and once at night. I didnt see or hear anything. I love going to old cemeteries like that to walk around and look at the old tombstones. I have some pictures from there. The oldest tombstone is Lydia Pearl Layton 1881-1881

HazzyRap said...

I have uncovered parts of the town of Crum through some searching in the woods. Also, there may be some mix-up about the Murder House, so I would love some more info if possible. Email me at hazzyrap@verizon.net if you have more info on either or need some about the ruins I found.

Anonymous said...

Hi a have done alot of research in shade township and came across crum and the stories of the kids and found through a government sight that it had a verry serious disease and then quarantined the town and then burned it. Any one can do the research just search it. As far as the which goes I have no records nor could I find any other then a body being removed because of vandalism and also the story of the car shutting off and not starting I have heard that from more then one person and my speculation is that the ghost were telling them to go back and pick up their garbage they left their. I was looking for a tombstone from recent history research and was discusted to see someone took the stone. That is awfull.

Anonymous said...

Just going to say to people who state "I was there once or twice and nothing happened," it's not on-demand. I lived in a house that had the occasional event, but it was not regular or predictable. At least one person never had any experience in years. I think some of it is because of the individual.

Anonymous said...

I've been there time and time again, First off don't ask me how to get there, chances are I won't tell you. Too many 'investigators' either trash the place or are just too stupid to take proper precautions and all they do is stir shit up that doesn't need stirred up. Then people like me have to fix your stupid idiotic mistakes.

Second, I won't tell you how to get to the murder houses either. It's trespassing (yes I have been there, Idk if they have been bulldozed or not it's been a few years) Yes shit has happened there and in and around Crum cemetery.

No there is no grave with for a Rebecca Crum. I've never seen a 'black carriage' and screw the bridge it's the two trees at the cemetery you don't want to park your car between...

As for all you giving out directions, please stop! These people do not need to be going up there wrecking the place!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been to crum all of the stories are true I seen everyone I have done the one with the car to my car wouldn't start for two hours when it did I had to run from 3 guys on bikes and a car as said the man who was ran off the Road and shoot after his wife was burned you can also see were she got pulled from her home and tooken to

Anonymous said...

If you would like to see a little of what one group caught on their investigations of these sites check out:

facebook.com/deadcompanyparanormalresearchunit

Anonymous said...

the> [DEAD ZONE] is located not that far from Crum Cemetsry; i've been there and have pictures...
if anyone wants to know about Crum or the Dead Zone or to see the pics email me at> warlockdude85@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I was just looking for history of area. We took a night navigation course in the area. It was very tranquil and all I heard or saw were owls. Walked Crum and Mount Carmel from 1200am to around 430am.We were told of Crum and that the residents, "wander in the woods". Thank you well mannered people of Crum, I had a wonderful time.