Chesterville is a small Amish and Mennonite community that consists of no more than a few dozen houses located a couple of miles away from Rockome gardens. If you are traveling from the direction of Arcola, you will have to cross the Kaskaskia River twice to get to the Chesterville cemetery, once on Rout 133 and once over an old one-lane bridge just north of town.
Within the neatly trimmed grounds of Chesterville Cemetery, an old oak tree stands at the edge of the woods that separates the graveyard from the river. The peculiar thing about this tree is the iron fence that surrounds it, and the old stone marker that no longer bears a name.
According to Troy Taylor, our Central Illinois ghost expert, this is the grave of a woman who turned up dead after being accused of witchcraft in the early 1900s after she challenged the conservative views of the local Amish church elders. The town planted a tree over her grave to trap her spirit inside and prevent her from taking revenge. (Picture something like the opening scene of Ernest Scared Stupid… “and here ye shall be buried…”) Her ghost can still be seen from time to time hanging around the area.
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Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 1 Digital Edition
Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2007 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 1: Bachelor’s Grove, Greenwood Cemetery, Devil’s Gate, Chesterville Cemetery, Dug Hill Road, Resurrection Cemetery, “Cemetery X,” Shoe Factory Road, Ridge Cemetery, Cuba Road, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, and St. James-Sag! Plus, read bonus “personal experiences” and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.
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