In this installment of Cemetery Gates, we put the Wrangler in four-wheel drive and head out near the backwaters of Monroe Reservoir to visit the historic Friendship Cemetery. Alongside me are my friends Mike Culwell and Gene Caswell. The video is documentation of the trip, plus here are a few of my notes:
• I have no knowledge of there being any haunted folklore associated with this cemetery. I just love the setting.
• Once again I keep getting the name Phillip.
• I was incredibly impressed with the Progeny by Paranologies.
• Mike and Gene are both available for hire for your next wedding, funeral, surgery recovery, or bar mitzvah.
• What’s amazing about this video is what you do not see. We ventured to another historic cemetery after we left Friendship and received no communication. No EVPs – no spirit box replies – nada, zilch, zip. But we get reoccurring messages and names regardless of the device used during other sessions. Why does the place seem to matter when getting communication especially if the replies do not seem to be relevant to the location? The mystery deepens. What are your thoughts?
Friendship Cemetery Burials of Note
• Terrell, James (1851-1905) — Died of internal hemorrhage from gunshot wound suffered in street duel with father of schoolmate’s of daughter. Of Mormon faith; simple prayer offered by family friend. “The casket was then carried to the little cemetery where without form or ceremony it was lowered to the grave, and hands of old neighbors and friends from childhood assisting each other quietly builded over a mound of earth.” (Bloomington Telephone, 4/11/1905); mother Sarah Terrell (1819-1907) died of dysentery/disease complications; among family burials.
• Huntington, John G. (1892-1893) — Parents working outside on farm when heard young child screaming inside. Clothing had caught fire; died that night. (Bloomington Telephone, 11/28/1893); unnamed infant twin siblings (1893) and infant sister Ruth* (1894) among family burials.
• Rayl, Aaron (1841-1885) – soldier in U.S. Civil War.
• Stephens, Maggie (1880-1897) – Teenager who committed suicide by hanging self in father’s barn. (Bloomington World, 7/24/1897); parents Samuel (1843-1923) and Catherin (1849-1912) among family burials.
• Vint, John Thomas (1816-1904) – Farmer considered one of county’s pioneers.
• Family names including Margaret Bales (b. 1808), John Huntington (1833-1905) and Sextons – Among some of pioneer builders/members of early log Friendship Baptist Church and Lampkins School House located near cemetery (also known as Friendship Graveyard); regular baptizing took place in natural pool below the chapel in Salt Creek.
• Butcher, Hannah (1862-1886) – Died of tuberculosis.
• Chesnut, Benjamin (1851-1934) – Retired farmer who died instantly of injuries sustained after stepping into path of car driven by automobile driver taking for test drive. (Bloomington Herald-Telephone, 9/6/1934); daughter Lida Chesnut (1877-1897) died of typhoid fever; among family burials.
• *Several headstones noted as stolen from cemetery.
• Oldest documented burial in 1850.
Sources: findagrave.com; “Monroe County Indiana Family Heritage” (Monroe County Historical Society, 1987); geni.com; Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
* Historical info research by Amy Specter