Traffic-stopping Blonde of Ganong Cemetery Sept 26, 2014 0:12:52 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Sept 26, 2014 0:12:52 GMT -5
Traffic-stopping Blonde of Ganong Cemetery
The William Ganong Cemetery (aka “Butler Cemetery”) located in Westland, Michigan, is probably the most written-about burial ground in the state. Land for the graveyard was donated by a local farmer in 1832 from a portion of his property. It later became inactive, but not before 350 people were interred there, including 17 members of the Ganong family and several veterans of World Wars I and II.
Situated on Henry Ruff Road, the once isolated and forgotten cemetery came to the attention of paranormal investigators and those who just like a good ghost story in 1980 when Marion Kuclo, a well-known psychic, visited the graveyard while gathering information for her book, Michigan Haunts and Hauntings. Kuclo, also known by her Wiccan name “Gundella,” claimed to be a descendant of the Green Witches of Scotland, and decided to visit the old graveyard after hearing reports that an attractive female specter, clad in a flowing white gown, was fond of standing in the middle of a curve in the road outside the cemetery spooking motorists. In her book, she wrote that as she strolled about the vine-entangled gravestones one day, she saw what she believed to be a blonde wig lying on the ground, but as she came nearer, discovered it was a human scalp with long tresses of strawberry blonde hair. There was a human bone sticking up through the earth and nearby were boards from an old coffin neatly stacked in piles. Bits of what may have been either a white satin dress or coffin lining also were scattered about along with the remains of a crumbled grave marker. The only complete word she could make out on the several pieces of stone was the name “Alice.”
The police were notified and chalked up the disinterment to heavy rains having washed the coffin from its grave after which animals “got at” the remains. But Kuclo did not believe them because, for one thing, animals do not neatly stack boards. Many were convinced witches, or possibly Satanists, dug up the corpse to use in some obscure dark ritual.
Whatever happened, the disturbance of Alice’s remains set off another series of sightings of a blonde lady in the road and not long after the grisly discovery, a driver was killed when he veered off the highway on what is now called the “Bad Curve,” fueling rumors of the ghost. Over the years, several drivers have reported swerving to miss a blonde young woman dressed in white near Ganong Cemetery.
As the legend expanded, more and more people visited the cemetery, driving slowly along Henry Ruff Road in hopes of catching a glimpse of the ghost. In the year 2000, the Detroit News ran an article concerning ritualistic activity in the cemetery after a kettle with bones, feathers and charms was discovered within the confines of the graveyard, where pentagrams had been painted on several tombstones. In the summer of 2002, a paranormal investigator visited the location and although he didn’t see or hear any ghosts, he was appalled by the condition of the old graveyard itself. Many tombstones had been vandalized, which is often the case at reportedly haunted cemeteries.
Tony Pointer, who lives in the area, claims to have seen ghosts at Ganong Cemetery on two different occasions. The first time was late at night when he saw the figure of a woman dressed in white crossing the road in front of the graveyard. He swerved to avoid hitting her and she vanished before his eyes. A year later, when passing the cemetery at dusk on a foggy evening in late October, he slowed in case the lady in white made another appearance and as he looked toward the cemetery, allegedly saw a woman in white standing beside a large monument. Nearby was the apparition of a man wearing what appeared to be a grey uniform. Pointer stopped to make sure he wasn’t seeing things and as he watched, both figures dissolved into a sort of mist. There were no vehicles parked near the cemetery that evening and he was certain the man and woman he saw weren’t family members visiting the graves of loved ones. “No sir,” he insists, “those were ghosts. I saw them, and nobody is going to convince me otherwise!”
No longer isolated, Ganong Cemetery is now surrounded by the growing city of Westland. Directly across the street is a preschool and there are new housing developments to the south and west. Wayne County now owns the graveyard, which is maintained by the Westland Historical Society. To this day, people still report encounters with the woman in white on the curve just south of Ganong Cemetery and it continues to be one of the most-visited haunted spots in the area.
Sources: HauntedMichigan and Save-a-Grave.