Old North Cemetery Looks Like Any Other
A few hundred feet off the side of Route 3 sits Old North Cemetery. Driving north, it’s practically invisible. If you do happen to see it, it looks like a typical New Hampshire cemetery. An iron fence encompasses the border, with an internal fence surrounding the Minot Enclosure. Should you decide to turn onto North State Street and drive through the front gate, you’ll soon learn not everything is as it seems. If you explore long enough, you may even meet some of the ghosts of Old North Cemetery.
I first visited the cemetery in 2009 by random. Fiona Broome and I were having lunch and decided to visit a location with the extra time we had. I pulled out a map, looked for the closest cemetery, and that’s where we headed. Five minutes later, we parked inside and got out to look around.
The Minot Enclosure
Once inside the cemetery, the Minot Enclosure drew my attention for two reasons; the first was the visual draw. There are more trees, and it feels more welcoming than the rest of the cemetery. The second reason is the energy of the area feels charged and overflows into the rest of the cemetery. While the energy isn’t something a meter will pick up, if you are sensitive, it quickly sets off internal bells. Once inside the enclosure, we discovered something that made both of our jaws drop.
A Presidential Resident
Inside the Minot Enclosure, we noticed a large monument noticeably more maintained than the rest. It was only of the only stones with fresh flowers around it, appearing to have been regularly watered and maintained by someone. When we approached the grave and read the name, we had to do a double-take. In front of us was the grave of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States. What also surprised us was the lack of energy around the stone. There was an energy of respect around the plot, but nothing coming from the stone itself. We tried a few live EVPs without any responses and moved on due to time constraints.
The Pierce monument is one the largest in the Minot Enclosure. In the warmer months flowers bloom and are maintained throughout the season.
To this day, the Pierce monument is still one of the oddest things I’ve come across in a cemetery. Not because it was creepy or haunted, but because of the historical relevance. While Pierce wasn’t the highest-rated or memorable president of the United States, he was still a president. Most people probably pass this cemetery having no idea he lays there to rest. That first visit was briefer, but we did want to come back to explore more.
A Second Visit Revealed A Ghost of Old North Cemetery
The second visit took place June of 2013 with Fiona and Lesley Marden. Starting in the Minot Enclosure, Fiona and I noticed an increase of broken stones. Many in that area have tall monuments with either crosses or vases on top. About half were deliberately broken off, the pieces resting against the base. One of the crosses was placed upside down, and while we couldn’t repair the stone, Lesley did turn the cross to the proper alignment. Shortly after a white feather was found on the walkway. We had not noticed it walking around the first time, and it certainly isn’t a large space. There were no nests in the area, nor did we hear any birds chirping or flapping. Could it be a coincidence? Of course; but I believe it could be more.
While inside the Minot Enclosure, we noticed a single stone on the other side of the fence in the northeast portion of the cemetery. It was odd not only because of the location compared to the other headstones, but also the lack of stones around it. After that visit, Fiona researched online and discovered that between 1717 and 1850, Quakers decided that headstones were vain, and they removed the stones from graveyards. As if the Quaker lot wasn’t odd enough, there is also a prison lot with missing graves, all near the Minot Enclosure. To see more of Fiona’s Research, click here.
A memorial stone in the Quaker Lot. There is one stone next to the memorial for the body of Levi Hutchinson’s wife, but the other stones were removed.
Even though the Minot Enclosure and Quaker lots are side by side, and separated by a fence, they feel worlds apart. The grandeur of the stones one on side is a sharp contrast to the simplicity of the other. The Minot side feels as though they wish to pretend the Quaker lot doesn’t exist, while the Quaker’s do everything to avoid being similar in any way to the other side.
A Ghostly Dog
The second visit was when I first saw one of the ghosts of Old North Cemetery. After exploring the northern area, we decided to explore the western half. On that visit, I parked on the road that parallels the west border of The Minot Enclosure. While exploring, I had a clear view of my car as mine was the only one on that road. At one point, I happened to look over towards where I parked and saw a large black dog the size of a german shepherd. I was looking right at them as they walked towards my car along the fence, heading in the direction of the main driveway. It passed behind my car but never came out on either side. Had there not been a fence there, I would have assumed the dog turned left and was blocked from my view.
I knew what I saw; it wasn’t out of the corner of my eye. I told the others what I saw, and we walked over to make sure the dog wasn’t hurt. We moved outwards in a fan to make sure we would know if they moved while approaching. Once there, we couldn’t find any sign a dog has passed through. I have no explanation for it. I never looked away long enough for the dog to have walked, or even run away without me seeing it. Not only is the fence about 6 feet tall with spires along the top, but there would have been no reason for the dog to jump the fence even if it could have. There was no loud noise, or anything approaching that would have given a reason for the dog to change its course on a clear path.
A Google satellite view of the cemetery with locations mentioned in this article marked. The quaker lot is north for reference.
If You Happen to Drive Through Concord, Add Old North Cemetery to Your List!
Because of how many areas are within Old North Cemetery between the different sections and unmarked plots, it creates multiple locations inside the cemetery. The energies change as you walk around, and they all seem to flow together like a current. It isn’t one that we picked up steadily on an EMF meter. Occasionally there were a few spikes, but the current as a whole is sensed on a spiritual level. Old North Cemetery is a location that both history and ghost enthusiasts need to add to their list of places to visit.