St. Omer Cemetery is home to an unusual family monument that some say looks like a crystal ball on top a pyre. According to local lore, Caroline Barnes, one of four people buried under the massive stone, was put to death for practicing witchcraft. It is said that no pictures can be taken of her monument, and that it glows on moonless nights. The only evidence for the legend seems to be the gravestone’s dramatic design, the way local citizens grow nervous whenever the story is mentioned, and most strikingly, Caroline’s impossible date of death chiseled in the granite: February 31. The monument also faces north and south, while most headstones are oriented east-west. There is no historical or documentary evidence supporting the notion that Caroline Barnes was accused of witchcraft, but never-the-less, the legend has persisted.
Our spotlight this month is a special one – an issue from the old Legends and Lore of Coles County! Download the entire issue for free, with more details about St. Omer Cemetery, the legend of the witch’s grave, and the nearby ghost town: Legends and Lore of Coles County Issue Vol 1 Issue 3