By: Mitchell Shapiro
For the past nine years, I have spent a majority of my summer weekends at our lake house in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Green Lake is my home away from home, my escape, a slice of heaven and my favorite place on earth. It was a safe haven that no one could take away from me, but one summer night, that feeling of safety was obliterated, when my sister, brother and I visited The Green Lake Cemetery.
Our first summer at the lake in 2004, our neighbors can down to greet us, and told us a horrifying story about the history of Green Lake Cemetery. The legend follows: Green Lake was created in 1847 and built on an Indian Reserve. It was rumored that the land was unable to be fairly bought from the Indian Tribe, so the new settlers unfairly traded with Indians, trading 50 square miles for a couple bags of guns. The Indians realized their mistake, but could not trade back for their land. Because of this, the Indian Chief’s spirit still roams around the cemetery, protecting their land.
The second horrifying part of the cemetery is the spirits of children. In Green Lake, tragedy occurred when a school bus full of children was stuck on the railroad tracks, and hit by a train about 20 years ago. The town pooled money together to donate a monument in the cemetery for the 45 children who passed away. Supposedly, these spirits haunt the cemetery and when you sit on top of the monument, the spirits of the children will push you off.
So being young and adventurous kids, my siblings and I wanted to see if this story was true. My sister, little brother and I jumped in the car, and drove to the cemetery. We parked around the corner, and began to walk to the cemetery. Three mischievous kids were about to walk into a cemetery at midnight, a voice stops us right in our tracks. “Hey! What are you kids doing?” I will not lie, my stomach dropped to my toes when I heard that voice and shrieked like I’ve never shrieked before. We sprinted back to the car. Was it the Chief? No, it wasn’t. It was a lady in her 40s walking her dogs with her husband. We couldn’t go back to the cemetery for weeks, although we wanted to so bad. It wasn’t until the last day of summer that we mustered the strength to go back.
On the night we went back, we took three laps around the cemetery to make sure no one was there, and once again, parked the car a block away. We began to walk to the cemetery, and my little brother got tripped by a branch. Was this the chief? We couldn’t think about it, and just continued on. We tip toed into the cemetery and saw the children’s monument. I was the first to climb it. I sat on the ledge, and suddenly, began to slide down. I hadn’t moved an inch on my own.
As time has evolved, so has the story of how the chief and children’s spirits have arrived. This story is the recounting of the story my neighbor told us nine years ago. Here are some links that tell the story of the spirits that haunt Dartford Cemetery a different way: