Updated: Sep 25
Yesterday I had the opportunity to check out a local legend in the cemetery world. It’s name: Old Settlers Cemetery.
The old cemetery is a pioneer cemetery for the first settlers who pushed into Jasper County, Indiana way back in the early 1800's. This particular cemetery is in the city of Rensselaer named after the son of famed General Van Rensselaer who played an important role in the American Revolution and also for which Rensselaer, New York is named. His son, James Van Rensselaer moved from New York to Indiana and established the city that is now named after him.
Getting to Old Settlers Cemetery is not an easy task. It‘s on a road that has no name and it's two miles off the nearest paved road. I had to use coordinates to find it since it doesn't have an address.
The cemetery's first burial occurred in 1837, as far as I can tell. All but one burial within the cemetery took place with in the Victorian era. The lone, newer grave? It's from 1986 and attributed to a John Doe who died a few years earlier but was sadly identified just last year as 19-year-old William Lewis, a victim of the I-65 killer Larry Eyler.
Many of the members of the cemetery appear to have died even before the Civil War, making it the oldest cemetery that I have visited in the state of Indiana. One gravestone in particular was very interesting to me. It was that of a husband and wife who died at 104 (in 1856) and 108 (in 1872) respectfully.
The hauntings of the cemetery are quite prevalent so says local legends. Full-bodied apparitions in period clothing have been seen by visitors. Feelings of cold spots, being watched, and touched have all been reported inside the old cemetery. Bright balls of unexplainable lights (orbs) have been seen not only in pictures, but with the naked eye as well. A few local ghost hunters have even claimed to see mists forming and disappearing within a matter of seconds.
Check out the pictures below to get a glimpse of the classic old cemetery. Besides routine grass cutting, it doesn't appear that many visit this classic old cemetery. The grave stones have clearly been touched by time, and are mostly unreadable.