We were invited by our friend Alex Amalfitano to join him at one of his favorite places and to investigate
deeper his claims of paranormal activity witnessed there.
RISEUP Investigators Present: Ken DeCosta
Geographical and Historical Data
Pocasset Cemetery was incorporated in 1874 and the first burial was January 2, 1877. Three hundred-ninety
stones in this cemetery predate that, indicating many cemeteries moved into this cemetery. There are some
25,000 burials with 15, 041 inscriptions from 1887-1999
James Arnold recorded a cemetery Nov. 13, 1892 at Dyer's nursery. It was a large cemetery known under
the incorporation act as 'Pocasset', which started out as the family lot of Charles Dyer. The lot has been enlarged
several times but is enclosed now by a suitable fence.
For all intents and purposes, the land on which Pocasset Cemetery sits resembles a small island. It is accessed
by a road that runs over a bridge and has water on all sides including the fairly sizable Dyer Pond and Print
Works Pond (named no doubt for the Cranston Print Works that lies on its shores - once owned by the Sprague
family). It is a "garden-style" cemetery complete with majestic oak trees throughout the property. It is actually
quite a serene setting with many graves on land that slopes down toward the pond.
Among the more distinguished people interred here is Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient John
Edwards (above). He served as a Captain of the Top in the Union Navy. His citation reads "As second captain of a
gun on board the USS Lackawanna during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram
Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Wounded when an enemy shell struck, Edwards refused to go below for
aid and, as heavy return fire continued to strike his vessel, took the place of the first captain and carried out his
duties during the prolonged action which resulted in the capture of the prize ram Tennessee and in the damaging
and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan."
The cemetery borders that of St. Ann's Catholic Cemetery and there is a piece of property there on the banks
of Dyer Pond that was the site of Amasa Sprague's murder and where his body was discovered.
There is also a "pauper's plot" (below) where people who could not be identified and were merely assigned a
number on their stone were buried, as well as those who perhaps could not afford a more appropriate burial or
had no immediate family to assume the responsibility.
We would be bringing a very small group of people on this night and we arrived just before dark so we do a
walk through and check our map of the cemetery before we lost light. Our guide, Alex had already arrived and
was anxious to begin. As we began our tour he shared his experiences and some of the claims surrounding
Our visit tonight would be equal parts investigation and tour of the historic cemetery where some of the more
prominent members of early Cranston, R.I. families are buried. Windsor, Dyer and Waterman to name but three.
The reported phenomena mainly deals with figures moving about the cemetery after hours, some physical
contact and hearing footsteps around you with no one else present.
As previously stated this was partly an investigation setting, but also a walking tour of a highly interesting
historical setting. The graves a great many Civil and World War veterans dot the landscape and tell a fascinating
and tragic story of their lives and deaths.
Ken broke off from the group and examined many of the family plots in Pocasset. As is usually the case, the
headstones tell a story of the makeup of the family and the times they lived in. Especially telling were the deaths
of some adults and children at early ages. This sometimes signals the presence of some sort of pathogen that
swept the local community, claiming its victims too early in life.
While this cemetery, like any under the cover of night, gives off a typically spooky aura, the atmosphere
becomes quite serene once you become acclimated to it. EVP sessions were conducted at various spots along the
way which yielded no results. At one point however, he saw what appear to be something with form that crossed
his line of vision. This appeared to be something luminous and went by in the blink of an eye. With nothing to
corroborate this visual experience, it was chalked up to "corner of the eye" phenomena and could have merely
been a reflection of a nearby light off Ken's eyeglasses.
During this time Julie was joined by our host Alex who took her on the various walking paths throughout the
cemetery. Julie documented all of this on video and there were at least a couple of occasions where they were
certain the sounds they were hearing were not of a natural variety. Some of this obviously can be attributed to
the setting and the possibility that there is some credence to the paranormal legends that accompany it.
Still, they were both quite certain that they were not alone on their journey through the cemetery and the
sounds of footsteps and breaking branches on the ground behind them were enough to convince them something
was not quite right here.
After a few moments more, both were in agreement that they felt the sensation of physical contact. The
interesting thing is that our host Alex broaches the subject while Julie, who also discloses she has been touched
has said nothing to that point - as an experienced investigator should do to avoid the catalyst of suggestion.
While the video below does not in any way display any apparent confirmation of what they felt, it does provide a
documentation of a personal and shared experience.
Later in the evening, Ken and Tom went down to the banks of Dyer Pond where the remains of Amasa
Sprague were found on New Year's Eve, 1843. This was of particular interest based on our investigations of the
notorious Sprague Mansion and a recent lecture given there by Ken to the Cranston Historical Society
surrounding the rise and fall of the Sprague family.
An EVP session was conducted in the very spot where the discovery triggered a sensational trial and the
resulting execution of the man who, most likely falsely, was convicted of the murder - John Gordon. This was a
unique opportunity to perhaps record the voice of Amasa Sprague and get some insight into the events that took
place that fateful night.
The rather lengthy session provided no audible phenomena and a thorough review of the recording yielded no
positive result. Despite the lack of tangible evidence, we left with the feeling that we had been given a rare
opportunity to visit a place where a tragic event had changed the fortunes of a renowned family and perhaps an
We closed our visit with a reverential trip through the pauper's plot, which as stated holds the remains of
those who could not be positively identified, died without next of kin or could not afford the type of burial
afforded to others. While there were a few stones that identified its occupant by name, most were marked with
nothing but a number. Some were victims of murder or disease.
Since our visit to Pocasset, we have come across publicly posted videos of one particular paranormal
group who have used the cemetery as a backdrop in their quest for fleeting fame and attention. While not
especially concerned with these fantasy-laden attempts to gain attention, the choice of location, approach and
vile language and subject matter appalls us. The cemetery is the final resting place of a great number of war
veterans and their families, many of which died at an obscenely young age. Any group suggesting there is a
malevolent presence here does so merely to enhance their own stature.
While we readily admit that many of the places we travel to have legends and claims surrounding tragic
figures and events, we do not approach them with anything but reverence and respect and then only to discern
fact from fiction or embellishment. Our goal is to document anything unusual or compelling through the lens of
the paranormal or seek a viable and rational explanation for these occurrences. We were not formed to entertain
the masses or gratify our egos.
We recorded no evidence that supports claims of a haunting at Pocasset Cemetery and frankly, did not expect
to. Cemeteries in general do not hold a great deal of interest for us in the paranormal realm, but more as a
window into our past and those who lived in those times. They can be a source of discovery not readily available
in written or narrative form. This can more easily be done with a walk in broad daylight than an atmospheric trip
at night that can easily heighten one's sense of foreboding and mystery.
Still, the claims of activity continue to mount and perhaps there is something strange and wondrous about
this place. Maybe the voices of the dead do speak here and the souls of the departed wander the grounds for
reasons known only to them. If that be the case, we leave it to them as they are the true stewards of this locale.
Cranston police have identified the body that was found on fire in Pocasset Cemetery Wednesday night.
Investigators are treating the murder of 22-year-old Gandy "Shad" Kaydea as a gang-related incident.
Kaydea was an aspiring rapper who went by the name Young Shad. He posted rap videos on You Tube.
Kaydea's last known address was on Progress Avenue in Providence, where his ex-girlfriend and their child live.
Kaydea was taking GED classes at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence.