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Haunted Ithaca City Cemetery: New York

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Ithaca City Cemetery is an expansive cemetery located adjacent to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. If you're like me, you can appreciate the beauty in cemeteries, and I have to say, this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries that I have ever seen.


Before becoming the cemetery it is today, it was the burial grounds of the Native American tribe known as the Cayuga. I'm not sure when their first burial was as they did not keep records, but I do know that the first documented burial occurred in 1790. It started off as a small cemetery, though by the Victorian era, the size grew immensely to the sprawling 16 acres it is today.

The first person to be buried here (that there is a record of) was a young girl named Rachel Allen who passed away and was buried in an unmarked grave back in 1790 or 1791 (the exact year is unknown).

The Supposed Hauntings:

An interesting thing about the cemetery is the family plots throughout the cemetery. In a lot of locations there is one large headstone with many names on it, and then the family buried in the area around some cases in unmarked plots now that the footstones marking their locations have sadly disappeared over the years.

One of these family plots belongs to the Heggie family. Mary Elizabeth Heggie, daughter of James and Elizabeth Heggie, passed away in 1863 after a sudden illness at the age of 18. What is really strange is that just a few short months later, in 1864, her sister Charlotte "Lottie" passed away in the exact same manner. This led to suspicion amongst family members of the mother, Elizabeth, who had a supply of arsenic in her possession. After an autopsy was conducted, it was determined that Lottie had in fact been poisoned and Elizabeth was arrested and subsequently convicted of her death. She died in 1874 still incarcerated. Visitors have reported seeing the spirit of a younger Victorian lady near the Heggie family plot on numerous occasions. Is she Mary, or Lottie, or someone else entirely?

Another interesting spirit said to often be seen in the cemetery is that of Montgomery Cornell, a

relative of the university's founder. Montgomery, who went by Monty, died by drowning himself after he shot an killed his girlfriend back in 1861.

Other paranormal experiences said to occur in the cemetery include orbs, disembodied voices and footsteps, shadowed figures, and a few apparitions.

My Experiences:

When I first arrived at the cemetery it felt pretty peaceful, very calm. I walked around and saw all of the beautiful memorials for a bit including one to the fallen firefighters from the September 11th attacks. It was a sweet, touching memorial in the center of other memorials dedicated to firefighters from the years gone by.

One family plot I stumbled upon caught my attention more than others for whatever reason.

It's the plot pictured to the right. The sad thing about this one, like the others I mentioned earlier, was that the footstones were all missing, while others were completely overgrown. The plot consisted of several generations of this family including a young man, a Cornell student, who passed away at the age of 19 while attempting to save a girl who had fallen through the ice while skating. They both tragically did not make it. While I was over near his family plot I decided to do a Deadwave session on my phone. I immediately got quite a few voices all talking to me saying a range of things that went from welcoming to...less than welcoming. I turned off the Deadwave app and then tried my spiritbox to compare. As soon as I turned it on I heard the exact same voices saying the exact same thing. I've been investigating for 20 years and I have never had that many spirits try and talk to me all at once. It was incredible.

When I got home I decided to do something I hadn't done before by posting a couple of pictures

of the family plot on my Instagram account and asked those who were mediums or sensitive to spirits to send me a dm with what they could pick up from the picture. I got some really incredible responses that make a lot of sense with what I was hearing in the voice sessions. The oddest thing of all...everyone that's responded has said essentially the same thing. If you pick up anything, feel free to send me a message because I am really intrigued by all of the responses I'm getting.

I loved this cemetery it was gorgeous and intriguing at the same time. This was my first time in Ithaca and have to say, it is a beautiful town with lots of history to explore. If you ever are in town, be sure to stop into this cemetery and take a walk through all of the beautiful monuments.


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