Greenwood Cemetery

Download this issue!Greenwood Cemetery – Decatur, IL
By Michael Kleen

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Greenwood Cemetery is rumored to be one of the most haunted locations in central Illinois.  According to Troy Taylor, a popular author on haunted locations in the Midwest, the land that would become Greenwood was originally an Amerindian burial ground, and then was later used by the first white settlers to bury their dead until the late 1830s.  These graves have since disappeared.  The oldest visible marker on the grounds dates back to 1840, and Greenwood Cemetery was officially established in 1857.  Between 1900 and 1926, the cemetery was the premier location to be buried in Decatur, but by the end of the ‘30s the cemetery association ran out of money and the grounds were barely maintained.

In 1957 the city of Decatur took over ownership of the cemetery in an effort to save it, but they estimated that repairs would cost around $100,000.  Volunteers gathered, and after much effort, the cemetery was restored.  However, vandals plagued the grounds, and rumors circulated regarding ghost lights and eerie sounds that emanated from the old public mausoleum.  In an effort to control who went in and out of the cemetery, the city sealed two of the three entrances and closed a road that ran through the woods west of the cemetery…

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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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  1. I used to live in the neighborhood that USED to be greenwood. The cemetary actually backed up into our backyard. Apparently when they moved the stones, some of the bodies were left, but definatly the souls of those who were disturbed. We had all types of things going on in that house. Anything from EVP’s to poltergiest activity, possessions, our daughter being harmed, feelings of not being wanted there. The former owner of the house also haunted it as well. If you would like to learn more about it, let me know and you can email me off page.


    • I still live in Decatur, when I was in my teens my “steady” and I used to walk around Greenwood Cemetary and look at the old graves, it was fascinating. I have heard so much about it being haunted, never did back then. We did discover how large and deteriorated it was but never felt a sense of spookiness about it. How long ago was it that you lived in the house you described?


  2. Being a Native from Decatur, I’d always heard the “spooky stories” of Greenwood Cemetary.
    I attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School and we used the park adjacent to the Cemetary to Practice Cross Country and Track in. We’d run up a road that ran from the NorthWest corner of the Cemetary to the old Post Mansion. It was Sometimes Very Terrifying.
    There’d be a Couple Dozen Boys and Girls, plus several Adult Coaches. Things would Move on the Side of the Road and from around the Gravestones. Shadowy apparitions would dart about just on the edge of our Siteline. Most terrifying of all were the Actual Screams and Loud Moans that seemed to come out of theThin Air right next to us.
    The Phys Ed Director made fun of the Coaches when they requested a change in the area we practiced. One evening after school, he went with us to Prove there was Nothing Scary, He was the first one to Bolt and Run back to the School.
    I went to school with many kids would lived in that immediate area, including my 2 best friends. That was NOT a Place to be at Night!!!


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