Alabama’s Dead Children Playground
If you are in the mood to see something creepy one night, drive-by Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama. It is one of the most haunted cemeteries; well, the playground next to it is. Witnesses have reported seeing swings moving by themselves. Passerby’s had heard the laughter of children when there were no children.
Visitors have seen orbs on the playground and even spectral figures playing. So, is the playground haunted by children, and why?
In 1918, Spanish Influenza killed over 50 million people worldwide. The flu hit Alabama hard as well, especially their children. Huntsville especially was hit hard by the arrival of the flu. It arrived on September 25th, 1918, and ten days later, only two people were unaffected.
The Birmingham News reported that a pharmacist and a doctor were the two people in Huntsville who were not affected by the flu. Although the exact number isn’t known, experts think the deaths numbered in the hundreds—many of those children buried in Maple Hill Cemetery.
Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest cemetery built in 1822 and the biggest. It was built on two acres and encompassed another 100 acres. The playground is surrounded on three sides by limestone formed in caves nearby. It was once a limestone quarry, and paranormal investigators state that limestone is conducive to paranormal activity.
Unfortunately, an abandoned limestone quarry is also a perfect place to hide a crime. In the 1960s, there was an influx of child abductions in Huntsville. Authorities never found the person responsible or the children. Investigators did find skeletons and tiny corpses buried in the area.
In the investigation, forensics examined the bodies and determined a murderer killed the children. The perpetrator kept them prisoners first and starved them. Evidence of malnourishment and partly healed wounds on their bodies. Eerily the abductions stopped once the authorities discovered the bodies.
The murderer was never found or arrested for his horrific crimes. It would make sense the children dying from influenza or murder would be restless. These innocents died way too soon – they never got to live.
Maple Hill Park, built-in 1985 from the quarries and surrounding land, is the Dead Children’s playground. These lonely spirits leave their graves and play with each other in the adjoining playground. They don’t mind sharing either, as human kids play there too. Pictures show swings moving on their own and the sounds of children laughing.
Not convinced by the reports and sightings, skeptics don’t believe in the haunted playground. However, Huntsville locals don’t care what outsiders think. The locals are protective of their haunted playground. In 2007, Huntsville cemetery officials tore it down to make more room for burials. There was such a public uproar about that; the officials installed the original play equipment back.
Dead Children’s Playground is a regular attraction from people hoping to see the children. Paranormal investigators also visit to capture photos and EVP’s. Unusual things happened and were reported that continue providing the location its reputation as one of the most haunted cemeteries.
If you are not afraid of ghosts, the best time to visit is between 10 PM and 3 AM. Researchers and witnesses say that is when the children are most active. Witnesses claim to see dust rise as someone jumped out of the swing. There are reports of numerous sightings of ghost lights bobbing along the ground—misty apparitions of children playing and peals of laughter echoing in the night.
Yes, both the cemetery and playground have an eerie feeling, but these ghosts are just children. They only want to play – you aren’t afraid of a few children, are you?
Wow. There are so many areas around the U.S. with similar paranormal activity. The more I watch on TV, the more I am intrigued by it all—great article–very informative.
I know right? That’s why I never get tired learning about them :))