Temperature: 65 degrees at arrival
51 degrees ambient temperature at start of investigation
RISEUP investigators present: Kenneth DeCosta
Geographic and Historical Data
“Cemetery X” is a pseudonym for the actual name of this cemetery, said to be one of the most haunted
on Cape Cod. The location and real name are being withheld to discourage any excessive visitation by
thrill-seekers or irresponsible parties who might otherwise engage in activities both damaging and
disrespectful to those souls buried there or violate any ordinance governing visitation that may be in
The oldest gravesite (below) at “X” dates back to 1676.
In 1643 all towns on Cape Cod were alerted that hostilities between non-local settlers and the Native
American population were escalating. All townships were strongly urged to construct strongholds in their
respective towns, so this was done on this site with a fort built adjacent to the town’s first meeting house,
which was located at the center of the cemetery. Despite the existing tensions, records indicate no acts of
The property covers over 21 acres and is considered a “garden-style” cemetery. These types were
constructed as a means of disarming one’s natural tendency to feel that cemeteries were something to be
dreaded or forbidding. In fact, the manicured landscape and neat, well-trimmed hedges were designed to
encourage people to stroll or picnic on the grounds in a peaceful, attractive setting. Burials continue here
to the present day and the property still remains a serene, lovely place to visit and is well-maintained by
A woman described in “old hag” terms is said to wander specific areas of the cemetery - at times
keeping pace with visitors who walk the grounds - sometimes appearing next to them. The bulk of the
sightings - including shadow figures - are said to occur on the main path of the cemetery (below).
Lights are said to materialize and dart around the cemetery.
Apparitions are reported to have appeared at a certain location within the grounds – near a certain
cluster of gravestones at the southeastern area.
An inhuman entity or “elemental” has been sensed in a wooded area in the southwest section of the
cemetery by renowned demonologist John Zaffis. Foul smells have accompanied its perceived presence
and he has surmised there may be “unfinished business” between this entity and someone buried on the
grounds. A member of CAIPRS was said to have experienced the feeling of being “pulled toward” the
woods during an investigation and had to be restrained by fellow members. The negative feelings in some
are so great that the area is avoided at all times.
RISEUP had visited the location previously with local paranormal group CAIPRS (Cape and Islands
Paranormal Research Society). Our hosts were CAIPRS Founder Derek Bartlett and their Director of Ghosts
and Hauntings Deborah Ahern.
On this night we joined Ms. Ahern and some of her investigators who were at the cemetery on a
training exercise with a new member of the group. While a large part of our reason for coming was to
renew acquaintances with our affiliate group and good friends, we stated our intent to keep a wide berth
from their business to allow as much control over our preliminary investigation as possible and to allow
their training session to go on without our interference.
On our initial walk-through to re-familiarize ourselves with the layout, we approached the wooded
area and decided to venture into it while the CAIPRS team set up their cameras for their vigil to be held
later that night. Ken and Chris entered on one side with Dave and Ryan taking the other, with about 40-50
yards between groups.
The wooded area begins on the edge of the cemetery on the other side of a gravel road (below)
and we continued in about 100 yards until we came out the other side in a housing development. In fact,
Chris and Ken stumbled upon a neighbor’s backyard as they came out the other side. We noted that voices
from adjacent houses seemed to carry quite well through the woods and could be a cause of
misidentification, especially in summer months, when people are more prone to be outdoors later in the
evening. EMF readings were completely flat in the area with no power lines present. There were also a
couple of fairly long and deep man-made drainage trenches dug no doubt to relieve any runoff of water
from the gravel road.
We noticed that there were fairly large piles of grass clippings that were dumped at the edge of the
woods by town maintenance crews. The rotting clippings will give off a strong odor as they began the
degradation process, particularly in warmer weather. We took some photos and returned to our vehicle to
gear up for the rest of the evening vigil.
At 7:00 p.m. Ken and Chris set a stationary camera on the intersection of the main path (below) where
the old woman has been seen and set off on a night time tour of the cemetery roads and paths paying
particular attention to the spot where the shadowy figure has appeared. After approximately 1 hr. they
returned to check on the camera and returned to their walking journey around the cemetery. The vigil
ended back at the camera for a brief EVP session. Nothing out of the ordinary is spotted during this
extended walk-around either visually or on the EMF meter.
It is noted that despite the relative lateness of the hour, there are people seen taking leisurely walks
through the cemetery. Being October and a very nice Fall evening, it is not hard to imagine many more
residents engaging in this activity in the Summer months.
Dave and Ryan began a vigil at the site of the tombstones where much activity has been reported at
7:11 p.m. (below). They focused their attention on a wrought-iron enclosed family plot at the southeast
part of the cemetery. An unexplained light was noticed in the distance, but a quick check of the area
revealed a flashlight belonging to a CAIPRS member was the cause. Temperature readings are taken – 51
At 7:15 a shadow was spotted momentarily blocking out the light of a neighboring home. It is noted
that no definitive cause for this was found but the distinct probability exists that someone in the yard
itself might have walked past the light. The property was approximately 200 yards from the experiment.
The distance of the shadow in relation to the investigators was difficult to determine.
At 7:21 Ryan experiences a cold spot on the left side of his body. Temperature readings indicate that it
is at this point 57 degrees (up 6 degrees in 10 minutes) in his immediate area. Despite the slight rise in
temperature, Ryan maintains the cold spot remains. While this is noted, there is no conclusion of anything
anomalous. The temperature eventually returns to 50-51 degrees and holds there.
While doing an EVP session in that area, Dave and Ryan simultaneously hear what sounds like a little
girl laughing northwest of their location. They are quite certain at this point that no other investigators
from either group or any resident foot traffic is in the area. The time is 7:30.
At 7:38, after ending their vigil and returning to the vehicle, Dave and Ryan hear something like
scuffling footsteps near a tombstone they have passed. Stopping to check, they find nothing and continue
heading toward the car. It is then they distinctly hear what sounds like footsteps following them. A
decision is made to stagger their steps in short bursts to determine if they are indeed being followed. The
sounds did not repeat at that point.
Ken and Chris have taken up the vigil at the family plot at 7:51 p.m. The KII meter and digital recorder
are used simultaneously to detect any fluctuations in magnetic fields or record any anomalous voices. For
some reason, there are now fireworks going off in the distance disrupting the session and as nothing
unusual occurs during the abbreviated session held there, the vigil is terminated. Dave and Ryan return to
the area for another short EVP session as noise diminishes, and while nothing noteworthy occurs, the
sounds of dogs howling nearby commences.
The team gathers to do a group walk-through of the entire grounds at 8:45. It is noted by all at this
time that the atmosphere seems to be one of peace and serenity and the cemetery, at least on this night,
accomplishes what its designers intended.
RISEUP and CAIPRS members then meet up and have a chance to catch up and exchange pleasantries.
It is always nice to see Deb Ahern whenever we can and we appreciate her inviting us down. A few
pictures are taken before we return to the most notorious of places in the cemetery – the wooded area –
for our final collective session.
Chris, David and Ryan at crypt Justin Smith of CAIPRS
The group finishes the evening at the wooded area. Discretion is used in terms of entering the area
this time as the combination of extreme darkness and uneven terrain limits the group’s ability to navigate
inside. An EMF/EVP session is conducted and a more forceful questioning technique is used in an attempt
to elicit some audible or visual response.
Again the sound of dogs howling from nearby homes fills the area, possibly disturbed by our voices
and presence there. There are certain canine sounds mixed in with the more domestic-sounding that might
signal the presence of coyotes as well. Some in the CAIPRS group confirm this later on.
The investigation ends at 9:45 and we embark for the long ride home.
There were not any anomalous activities caught either on film or digital recorder. The only personal
experiences of note were those of David and Ryan at the site of the family plot. While these were
noteworthy at the time of occurrence, there is no lack of rational explanations for the voices, temperature
fluctuations or perceived footsteps.
Much of the phenomena that has occurred in this location has been witnessed by the trained,
seasoned investigators of CAIPRS who are not prone to misidentification or flights of fancy. Therefore,
despite the lack of experiences and evidence gathered by RISEUP, the claims of paranormal activity must
be taken with some merit. It is also noted that our stay was relatively brief and therefore any observations
made cannot be taken as the final word on the location.
Based on their own experiences and the many hours they have spent there, the investigators from
CAIPRS maintain a certain reverence and healthy respect for the location.
The wooded area in particular is interesting. While we have suggested some reasonable alternatives
for what has been experienced there, the fact remains that until that time comes when someone actually
enters the wooded area at night with the proper lighting and caution in order to make a definitive
statement, the reports will remain compelling. Especially those coming from the aforementioned
demonologist, who made the most vivid of claims to date.
We were somewhat surprised in light of the claims we received that our night there evolved into one
of calm and peace on a beautiful Fall evening. It is easy to imagine however, that thrill-seekers listening to
the many claims of paranormal activity would tend to become a bit jumpy when entering the cemetery at
night. It is a rather good-sized area with many dark corners that can stimulate the imagination of anyone
intent on "seeing" something.
As we cannot ever make a definitive statement based on a short investigative sample, it remains
without saying that we look forward to our next trip – and a longer stay - at Cemetery X.