Ramsey Cemetery

Download this issue!Ramsey Cemetery – Effingham, 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

Southern Illinois has a far more diverse topography than the rest of the state. Situated at the gateway to Little Egypt, Ramsey Cemetery in Effingham County is no exception. Its claim to fame are the “caves” (really more like rock shelters) that lay nearby. Formed by thousands of years of erosion, generations of local residents have carved their names, alongside proclamations of love, into the sandstone walls.

Back in 2002, the Shadowlands Index of Haunted Places mislabeled this place “Kazbar Cemetery.” The entry described it as an “old cemetery that has haunted caves.” Eschewing details, it added, “a were wolf and a man in a black coat with red eyes is said to be seen there. Many weird things have happened there.” Luckily for us, Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk rode to the rescue with a thorough background investigation in their book The Illinois Road Guide to Haunted Locations (2007).

One story they uncovered that wasn’t in the Shadowlands Index was the tale of a young man who allegedly committed suicide in Ramsey Cemetery. According to Lewis and Fisk, a small chapel existed on the cemetery grounds for the benefit of mourners from the 1920s until the 1960s when it was torn down due to vandalism.

What happened next? Click here to download the entire issue (.pdf) and find out!


Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 3 Digital Edition

Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2009 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 3 include Lebanon Road’s 7 Gates to Hell, Ramsey Cemetery, Elmwood Cemetery’s Violin Annie, Manteno State Hospital, the Hatchet Lady of Moon Point Cemetery, Chanute Air Force Base, Ashmore Estates, Aux Sable Cemetery, Ax Man’s Bridge, and more. Plus, read letters from our readers, adventurer’s logs, Paranormal 101, and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues.

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  1. John E. Hollinshead says:

    My Grandfather, who died in 1975, told me about the Casbar when I was 10 or 12 years old. He said that in the 1920’s there was an altar of rock north of the cemetary, ‘ a fairly long walk’ , that was well known for being used to make sacrafices on. So, in the late 70’s a friend and I visited the cemetary and hiked the woods north and along the river without finding the ‘altar’. It was the middle of summer and early afternoon when we sort of gave up the search and headed back. At this point we both noticed what seemed to be an abrupt change in the air and a chill went down my spine, I could feel the hair on the back of neck ‘standing up’ and it felt like electricity in the air. Well, at the same time, without saying anything we bolted for the car, scared out of our wits. When we got back to my almost new Chevy we jumped in and it wouldn’t start. Then, it started raining and poured down for two or three minutes, without a cloud in the sky. I tried the car again and it fired right up, so we got the hell out of there! Now, I know about what is called ‘ heatrain’ but I drove that car for three years after and it never failed to start again. We both had such a wierd feeling that day that I never went back to Ramsey Cemetary again even when our senior class had a major beer party there. Something happened there that made us realize we was not welcome.


  2. Katie S says:

    I was told about Casbar once or twice, and then one night me at my friend Lexi were with two boys and we were driving around wanting to ‘adventure’ to places in Effingham that we’ve never been to before, so one of the boys suggested Ramsey Cemetary,”It’s haunted and you girls will love it.” When we got there, Lexi wouldn’t get out of the car.. she felt like she was seriously scared.. eventually I convinced her to get out and we’d hold hands the whole time.. well, we got to this tree where supposedly a girl hung herself and she would NOT stand underneath it or even THAT close to it. She looked around and gave me a weird look and said..”I don’t think we should be here, something seriously doesn’t feel right Katie.” I felt the same way but not as freaked out as her. We told the boys we wanted to go, and when we were heading back to the car, I felt a cold breeze. Maybe it was just the wind, or it was something paranormal, I’m not sure.. but, too this day I still haven’t decided if I’ll go back.


  3. I adore Ramsey cemetery.

    Wow, this makes me sound like a freak or something, but hear me out.

    I find it the most peaceful place in the world. When I was in high school, my friends and I used to love going to older cemeteries and take pictures of the graves, try to figure out what the names were, and pick up debris if there was any. We even explored around the bottom of the hill, where the creek runs and you can find those caves winding with the water. (They are more just indents in the rock, but they really are quite lovely.)

    One night, I was cruising with those same friends, with a few extra faces thrown in that I didn’t really know; the new people wanted to check out “that old haunted cemetery. Kasbar!” (They called it that, not I.) I was against the idea; it was disrespectful, I told them.

    Still, we went. However, as we got out of the car, I did not enter the fence. It was mid-summer, and there were fireflies dancing among the graves. But an odd thing occurred to me; they were only inside the bounds of the cemetery, flying over the consecrated ground. There was not one firefly outside the fence.

    “We should go,” I told the others. They booed me away and crossed into the fence. I stayed outside out of respect.

    I watched as they all hooted and hollered about “daring to go into the Kasbar” and I witnessed the sense of daring leave every one of their faces. They didn’t complain they were suddenly cold or that they felt something weird, but I knew they were sensing that they needed to leave. They didn’t run or anything, but I could see the sudden urgency to vacate on their faces. I let them move past me, and then followed them back into the car.

    The day we all graduated, I had a party that nobody came to; I had invited much of my family, but nobody came, and that depressed me. I drove around Effingham after, being all “Woe is me” and such, which is odd because I am usually a very bright, happy person, when suddenly I found myself on the narrow old road winding up the hill and there I was.

    It was a perfectly sunny spring day, not a cloud in the sky, and as I got out of my car, tears drying on my face, I just felt… at peace. I walked amongst the graves until I found myself at one of the taller ones and sat in the grass beside it, just thinking, and breathing, and being. Never once did I get a cold chill, or the feeling I wasn’t wanted. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and there was peace amongst the dead.

    When I left, almost two hours later, I could breathe again.

    Think of me what you will, but do not judge that place of rest. It really can be a beautiful place if you only treat it with respect.


  4. Melinda says:

    my uncle told me about casbar ( ramsey cemetary) when i was about ten years old. well then i asked my grandpa wat it was so one day him and my uncle took me out there. i have heard the legened of the headless horseman and the story of the two lovers who were parking. when we went out there i kinda of had a strange feeling. i wanted to get out and explore but my uncle made me stay in the car. He told me about the couple who parked there. they did what every other normal couple did when parking well then the man got out to go to the bathroom. the girl waited and waited and the man never returned so she finally started to worry so she reached over and turned on the head lights and found her lover hanging from the tree. everyone says it was the headless horseman who hung the guy. and that he lurks down in the caves to this day.


  5. scott says:

    i se that people r tellin story thay theay heard well in 99 00 me and a couple of friend went there in the day time and it wasnt scarey but win we weny=t at night we seen a man in the black coat and the wolfman but that didnt bother me as much as seen a lil black girl hangin from a tree when we seen that we headed to the car when we got back to the car it wouldnt start and in the day time it dont look like ur goin up a hill but at night it looks like ur climen a mountin thanks for lettin mr share my story


  6. my aunt told me about ramsey cemetery, october 28th 2011. she told me about the werewolf and the reds eyes and her friends having some experiences. we went out there that night and we didn’t get out of the car but we just looked around. I would lik to learn more bout the lil girl who hung herself n the headless horseman. if anyone has any heads up or ideas to where i might find some info. email me ..


  7. i am looking for alot of my kin buiried in ramsey cemetary,grandfather,grandmother and other family members,the name is bartimus,thank you terrance bartimus


    • amberkink says:

      There is a large headstone with Bartimus on… I took a photo of it today! Some vandals carved out the birthdate, but just walk straight back, its the last headstone on the 2nd row from the east


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