Ridge Cemetery

Download this issue!Ridge Cemetery – Tower Hill, 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

As far as I can tell, Troy Taylor was the first person to write extensively on Ridge Cemetery and Williamsburg Hill (not to be confused with Tower Hill, the closest town).  He devotes sections to the area in a number of his books, including Haunted Illinois (2001, pg.111-12), Haunted Decatur Revisited (2000, pg.172-175), and Beyond the Grave (2001, pg.211-13).

Williamsburg Hill is the highest point in Shelby County and is accessible by 1100 E, a road that horseshoes around the tiny community of Cold Spring.  Visitors can pick up 1100 E just west of Tower Hill on Rt 16, and it will lead them straight to the hill and the cemetery.

As Troy Taylor explains, the hill that Ridge Cemetery occupies once also sheltered a town, one of the many that sprung up and disappeared during the nineteenth century in central Illinois.  Williamsburg, as it was known, was platted in 1839 by two men, Thomas Williams and William Horsman.  Many Horsmans can be found buried in Ridge Cemetery to this very day.  The village disappeared in the 1880s as the railroad bypassed its inconvenient location.

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  1. Steve says:

    I know this is an old post but just ran across it. Oh the stories I could tell you about this place. I grew up there. My folks own the property around it. The family Plots are in this cemetary. The gate out the back leads to my folks house. I witnessed all kinds of weird stuff around there growing up. I have witnessed the temperature drops. I used to play there as a kid. Would walk through there to go to a friends house who lived on top the hill day and night. Did do my share of partying there as well. Can’t say I ever saw any “ghosts” but I did see and hear a lot of spooky stuff that I couldn’t explain. I have witnessed quite a few of the animal rituals aftermaths as well. I stumbled on one in progress once but got out of there fast as I could as I didn’t know what type of Nuts were doing this.


    • my grandkids lived at tower hill for a couple years. the ridge was the place of action. i used to take them there just to walk around. one time we went ,the road to the cenetary got real dark,but down at the cemetary it was all sun shiney and bright as could be. i wanted to turn aroud but didnt. we went on to the cemetaryand when we left i never have taken those kids there by myself again. did you ever see the old sea captains grave? we saw it once and never could find it anymore. my grandmother and uncle lived at cowden in the country . i grew up hearing things about the ridge.


  2. Michael says:

    I had an experience there with my ex wife, step brother, and best friend about a year ago when I got out of the Air Force that will haunt us for the rest of our lives neither of us has gone back since. I have audio of the event. I could barely breath when i left that night and shook for about and hour and a half. Couldn’t sleep for the next 24 hours because of what had happened out there. To this day it still gives me chills listening to the audio.


    • hey michael my father is buried up the he isin the back right corner could you send me the audio u have? my email is if any of u guys go back there you can find my fathers grave in the back right corner his name is james “corky” musser


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