What people have witnessed at these locations is enough to make anyone’s hair stand on end. These haunted cemeteries are ripe with paranormal activity for those curious and daring enough to explore them. Just be prepared to be terrified. 

1. The Old Smithville Burying Ground, Southport

The haunted Old Smithville Burying Ground
Location: Old Smithville Burying Ground, 401 E Moore St, Southport, NC 28461 [Photo: Gerry Dincher]
This cemetery is the oldest burial ground in all of Southport. In fact, when the town, then called Smithville, was first officially recognized in 1756, the cemetery was already a few years old.

Several important people are buried within this cemetery, such as Colonel Benjamin Smith, who fought under George Washington’s leadership. It also includes a memorial, dedicated to five local sailors who disappeared off the coast in a terrible storm. Old Smithville also has a lot of confederate soldiers buried on the property.

Those who visit this historic burial ground have reported both seeing, and hearing a vivacious ghost. In 1882, an Italian man named Tony Caseletta boarded a ship to take to work. During its voyage, something went terribly awry, and the ship sank. Tony was the only casualty.

The spirit of Tony frequently haunts the cemetery, as well as the nearby inn. His apparition has been seen, weaving between the tombstones during the night. He can often be heard singing as he wanders. 

2. Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern

Haunted Cedar Grove Cemetery New Bern NC
Location: Cedar Grove Cemetery, 808 George St, New Bern, NC 28560

During the early 1800s, yellow fever spread like wildfire throughout the south. The town of New Bern lost several townsfolk to the epidemic. The local church, called Christ Church, ran out of space to bury people on their property. Thus, the Cedar Grove Cemetery was established. 

Several congressmen are buried at this particular cemetery, as well as the inventor of Pepsi, Caleb Bradham. A confederate general is also buried on the grounds. 

Most of the paranormal activity is centered around what is called the Weeping Arch. The structure is made out of shell stone and was built in 1854. The arch got its eerie name because it often emits a rusty red-colored liquid, like blood dripping down its grooves. 

Locals claim that the arch will usually drip this strange substance when a funeral is taking place on the grounds. Those who venture close to the arch during that time best watch out, as it is believed that whoever gets dripped on first will be the next person to die. 

3. Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte

Haunted Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte NC
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, 700 W 6th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Covering one hundred acres of land, Elmwood Cemetery was built in 1853. During the time of its creation, cemeteries were still often segregated, and Pine Cemetery was opened adjacent to Elmwood, for the burial of African Americans. 

During the 1960s, the cemetery began the subject of much controversy. The Civil Rights Movement had begun, and a local councilman by the name of Fred Alexander insisted that a chain-link fence be built to separate Pine from Elmwood. 

See also: NC’s Most Haunted Hotels

Charlotte, however, has been a very progressive city for a long time. The city was part of a movement encouraged to diversify its citizens.

The Elmwood Cemetery has strange intense energy about it that lingers to this day. Those who visit this historically intense area claim to hear disembodied voices, and phantom yells in the air. 

See more haunted places in Charlotte NC.

4. Riverside Cemetery, Asheville

Historic Riverside Cemetery in Asheville NC
Location: Riverside Cemetery, 53 Birch St, Asheville, NC 28801

Built in 1885, this Asheville cemetery is the permanent resting place for over 13,000 individuals. Some of the most notable people buried here include former North Carolina governor Zebulon Baird Vance and the author Thomas Wolfe. 

Riverside has several veterans buried on the property, including eighteen German soldiers from World War I. Interestingly enough, the cemetery is within walking distance of where the Battle of Asheville took place in 1865. 

The cemetery comes alive with activity soon after the sun goes down. The sound of phantom gunfire is often heard echoing off the gravestones. People often also report hearing the various sounds of soldiers, yelling out orders, and commands in disembodied voices.

Some visitors have even sworn they have seen several full-bodied apparitions while in the cemetery. The ghostly specters were that of WWI soldiers, marching their way past the tombstones as if on their way to a bloody battle, long since over. 

See more haunted places in Asheville NC.

5. St. James Episcopal Church, Wilmington

Haunted St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington NC
Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 25 S 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401

This Wilmington cemetery has earned the reputation of being one of the most haunted cemeteries in the entire state. Its frequent, and longstanding paranormal activity has made the cemetery a permanent talking point on local Wilmington ghost tours.

It was first built in 1739. In 1810, a young man named Samuel Joselyn got into a quarrel with his wife during a dark, wintery night. Samuel got so angry with his wife, that he stormed out of their house and took his horse for a ride.

The following morning the wife asked for local townsfolk to try to find him. Samuel was found frozen, half lying in a puddle of frozen water. Everyone believed he had experienced some kind of accident on the road, and his horse had abandoned him. He had slowly froze to death in the cold. Samuel was buried shortly after he was discovered.

In the days that followed Samuel’s friends began to experience very strange dreams about their deceased friend. He would appear in the middle of their dreams, pleading for them to dig up his body immediately.

Eventually, they realized the dreams would not cease unless they gave into his request. They dug up his body and were shocked at what they found. Samuel’s corpse was covered in a puddle of dried blood. His fingernails were nothing but raw, bloody stumps from trying to claw his way out of the coffin. He had not been dead when the town had buried him.

Today, Samuel is said to haunt the cemetery quite often. His ghost has been seen lounging by his tombstone, never far from the spot where he died.

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