Just outside Huntsville, Alabama lies the Maple Hill Cemetery, one of the oldest and largest graveyards in the city. Burrowed behind the cemetery is an interesting lot; a playground, complete with swingsets and slides. Owned by the cemetery, the park is a place for children to play while parents attend funerals or visiting loved ones. However, over the years, there have been reports of paranormal activity taking place in a spot also known as the “Dead Children’s Playground”.
Founded in 1822 and reaching over one hundred acres of land, the cemetery is surrounded by a rock cliff on three sides and a scenic path leading through the woods. There have been many stories circling the playground with some believing the spirits of buried children find their way to the park and play but another story, rather legend. One that involved a horrific string of child abductions in the late 1960s, where many children’s bodies were later found at the location. Investigators of the case had found a skull that belonged to one of the abducted children at the playground and discovered other bodies of the other missing children. Further investigation had then shown the murders were comitted sacrificially by satanists.
While there has been no confirmation as to whether or not that this is true, the locals stand by the stories with many visiting the graveyard and playground area in the evening hours and at night, reporting many unusual events. Some have stated they’ve seen full-blown apparitions of children while others have heard children screaming, calling out, whispering and giggling, swings moving on their own and when photographs are taken, orbs of light, believed to be the spirits of children are captured. The most eerie of reports are the common occurence of swings moving rhythmically and in sync by themselves, even when the swings have been brought to a complete stop. Some have seen dust from the sand below the swings to rise, as if someone had jumped off a swing. However, it’s been reported by some now though that the sand has been replaced with wood chips. Others who have taken photographs see circles of light show up on their photos, some of which are the same height as a child.
The photo above is of the playground taken at night and you can see a few orbs circling around the slide and one actually appears to be going down the slide. To see this photo and others taken at the Maple Hill cemetery, check out this user’s album over at Flickr. For more photographs like the one above, also check out the Haunted Alabama Ghost Investigations.
Last week, CBS42 visited the playground to investigate further into the hauntings that take place, speaking to Huntsville resident, Rashad Deyampert who had a bit of a spook.
“We walked down here and we get on the swing, and out of nowhere, you hear someone scream. When I say I ran like the fastest ever in my whole life, it was terrifying,” he says. “I heard some kids fell off a slide, or someone died, a couple kids died in here, and they never leave. At night they’ll come out, or whatever.”
See the video from CBS42 below:
In January of 2008, The Alabama Paranormal Society investigated the area known locally as DCP. One of the investigators had heard a voice of either a woman or female child, quickly snapping a photo of the area. When it was later developed, a misty figure of a woman was made out. Many of the photos taken that night were littered with orbs.
Huntsville, Alabama is one of the most popular ghost towns in all of the state. To see more pictures of the “Dead Children’s Playground” check out this entry at Livejournal.