Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Haunting of 13 Stairs Cemetery



Pleasant Ridge Cemetery (aka 13 Stairs Cemetery), located a few miles north of Palo, Iowa (42.061ºN, 91.789ºW, see map, overlooking Lewis Bottoms) is a well-known local site of paranormal investigation. And it keeps on growing in ghost hunting lore.

Published stories about the site have several themes. One theme is that the hill top cemetery is a source of EVP ghostly voices. Another theme is that of nighttime sightings of a red-eye growling dog. Still others concern floating orbs of light.

Evidence of past paranormal investigations sometimes litter the property with spent batteries and melted candle stumps. Years ago authorities restricted access to the road directly in front of the cemetery. Reports of patrols near Halloween also help preserve the intended nature of the graveyard from the curious. Web traffic to this blog post also increases each year near the end of October. Investigate the site yourself to determine if these haunting claims are true.

One unique headstone in the cemetery is that of Thankful Blackburn (some say she was a self-proclaimed witch) who died in 1862. Her now flat laying marker provides a folksy warning to the rest of us:


"Remember friends as you pass by
What you are now so once was I
What I am now so you must be
Prepare in life to follow me."

Hmm, how haunting. Check it out for yourself. Know that.

15 comments:

  1. u stole mine, Arthur!

    evp stands for...

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  2. One evening a friend and I visited the stairs @ approx. 11pm. There was a warm wind blowing and no matter which direction I turned the wind was always straight into my face. Also one headstone seemed to light up for 30 seconds or so. I watched and no headlight from the road below could reach it. My friend tried to take pictures hopeing to catch an orb but every time she turned on the camera it went right back off. Before you ask- the batteries were not dead as she used the camera later and it worked fine. Does any one know anything about the young girl Lucey Lewis buried there?

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  3. There is a book at the Cedar Rapids, IA library titled something like Memories from Lewis Bottoms. Its about the pioneer family that settled the river bottom land. There is much information about the Lewis' in the book. Last June, the Cedar River destroyed the CR library's adult collection. There is a chance that the book was out on loan at the time and may be found at the Westdale Mall library location. Perhaps the book has some information on Lucey.

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  4. whats up.. Iowa man just was looking up a cult out by jefferson where guys were brown cloaks and carry ak47's..I have not been to 13 stairs but I have heard if you do not walk backwards down the stairs you will have a curse.. death, bad luck, ect..I say bring it on I can't be any more cursed them I am..oh by the way Iowa has a lot of cults.. crazy huh

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  5. What is the address to the cemetery or how do you get there from Cedar Rapids, Iowa?

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  6. The cemetery can be found at this map link: http://mappoint.msn.com/(zxkolojhpskgm545g1smfh55)/map.aspx?L=USA&C=42.131,-91.815&A=64.50000&P=|42.131,-91.815|1|Pleasant Ridge Cemetery|L1|

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  7. i lived in palo. moved there nov 99. moved out may 09. my family used to be really close to the old police officer. my father and i were even out there on friday the 13ths, halloweens, etc...for security with rus (old cop) you guys don't even know all the tales. we even ran out the group that had burned the pentagram in the (parking lot). it's repaved now but yea. if you make it out there sometime try to read all the stones. and if you see a white suburban start running. it's my father and he carries.

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  8. oh there also is another old cemetery near palo that is interesting. it's on some back road and i always have a hard time trying to find it again. but the stones actually say how they became deceased.

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  9. I used to live in Toddville, not too far from there. It was about ten years ago to this day that I remember the old woman with gray/brown hair strolling through the cemetery. I don't know who she was, but she wasn't anyone from our time. (1800-1900) She didn't respond when I said hello, and she walked till sure enough she dissapeared right when the sun started to set. I was so scared but amazed at the same time..I was only nine then. There is only one entity that I would be afraid of and he made his presence known. A horrid laugh-sounds like he was trying to scare the life out of people who came up there. Believe me if you will, but those who have been there know what I am talking about:)

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  10. I have been there and Its scary. If you go, in the back there is a tombstone with the name Randy Allen Scott. We got 2 pictures of a figure there, one standing next to it, and on another picture, a shadow on the tombstone. My friend had her hair pulled out of her ponytail. Lots of children laughter. I also had the feeling of being run up on and having someone standing in your face. Also if you ask, they will knock on stuff. We got there by following the trails from the campground. Its very scary but Its a must do! Very enjoyable if you are interested in Spirits!! Highly recommended! But be nice to the spirits. My friends hair was yanked after she told them to stop hiding and do something. But be careful also. There's a grave in the rightback that has caved in.

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  11. I have visited this graveyard several times, mostly because the Lewis' are my relation. I have to admit, it is a little creepy. The thing that seems to interest people the most is that flashing lights have been seen from the road and other areas around the graveyard. Ive also heard that people are somethimes pushed around. As for the stairs, my friend and her family took a hike to the graveyard at night, and she says that the legend is true. Whenever I vist the graveyard, I can hear children laughing, and I also seem to be pushed around, like in a playful way, I also have expeirenced gentle grabbing and pulling on my hands and arms, as if someone wants me to follow them, and when i sit on the ground, I usually feel someone playing with my ponytail (there is no wind) and my hair is doing all kind of funny things, being seperated into peices, attempted being braided...its all very strange, if there are spirits (and I do belive there is) they seem to take a likeing to their cousin

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  12. i am in awe by these breath taking experiences... may the power of the ghostly spirits be with ya'll always and forever... sincerely in the beyond...

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  13. I went to there to 13 steps. Abousulty nothing happend. I even had a little fun a skipped around the graves just to freak my friends out. I defiantly think the place is a little creepy but there was 13 steps during the day and at night. I think have of the stories are just made up by teenagers that go out there are just drunk or high. Nothing happend.

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  14. wrote about this for kirkwoods paper i was there in fall of 76 and saw the ghost house just heard of some kids being chased out of this site by a black ghost dog and yes a witch is burried there who some people have talked too and saw looking as soild as anyone. something very evil lives in the woods behind this site and if i were you and you see a big white cat sitting on a very pretty women in this house who tells you" come in and set a spell ,have some fresh cider and homemade cookies ,well dont say i never warned you. ps this story is listed on kirwoods paper on line copy as the vanishing house.

    nivek squires staff reporter kirkwood communiqe.

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  15. Very cool. I am going soon. i don't really believe in the whole stair thing but maybe I will be able to get some evps

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