Introduction to Nebraska
Nebraska became the 37th state in 1867. The name Nebraska comes for the Omaha Indians’ words Ní Btháska, meaning flat water, which refers to the Platte River. The population in 2014 was 1.9 million. The state covers 77,421 square miles and has 2,893 documented cemeteries. That is only one cemetery in every 27 square miles.
Boot Hill Cemetery
Boot Hill Cemetery is located on Parkhill Drive in Ogallala in Keith County. It sits on a hill overlooking the South Platte River valley. The cemetery was abandoned in 1885 and the records for it are far from complete. There are 51 marked interments. Many of these have names and death dates but many do not. There are several mass graves containing the bodies of Civil War soldiers and the victims of epidemics.
This cemetery has no named ghosts, but it is reported to be very active. Cowboys, Native Americans, and pioneers are all seen roaming the cemetery late at night.
Boot Hill Cemetery
Alexandria Cemetery is west of Hebron in Thayer County. There are around 1,500 interments here. The oldest is from 1872, but there are many unmarked graves here.
There are no reported hauntings in this cemetery, but there is one on the outside. The graveyard is at the corner of West 6th Street and Road 7100. There have been many reports from drivers going by the cemetery at night and noticing a ghostly covered wagon in their rear view mirror. The wagon follows for a while and then disappears into thin air.
Spring Ranch Cemetery
Spring Ranch Cemetery is at the end of Road 305 off Road C near the ghost town of Spring Ranch in Clay County. Spring Ranch was all but destroyed by a tornado in the early 1900s. There are 134 interments going back to the 1870s.
There are brother and sister ghosts here that split their haunting time between this cemetery where they are buried and the bridge over the Little Blue River near where they were hung.
In 1885 Tom Jones lived with his sister Elizabeth Taylor, who was a widow. They were feuding with their neighbors because their cattle kept eating the neighbors’ crops. On March 15 Elizabeth saw some men cutting down trees on her property. She shot one of the men in the head with a shotgun she had recently purchased. Elizabeth tried to flee, but the angry townspeople hunted both Tom and Elizabeth and hung them from a tree next to the river.
Aurora Cemetery is at the corner of Highway 14 and West 14 Road in Aurora in Hamilton County. There are around 7,500 interments here. There are two Congressmen and a Civil War Union Brigadier General buried here. The dates go back to the 1870s, but there are many, many graves with no dates.
This cemetery is supposedly haunted by a woman who was hung as a witch. There are conflicting stories about this woman and her grave. There is one grave that is set far away from any of the other graves. It has a fence around it with heavy chains.
This grave belongs to Susan Gavan and she died on November 26, 1882. Her obituary states that she died after a short illness and she is buried with her 7-month-old daughter May.
The cemetery is definitely haunted, but the real source of the hauntings may never be known.
Gilbert Cemetery is at the end of Highway 1000 on Highway G in the small town of Friend in Saline County. It has 54 interments dating back to the early 1870s.
This cemetery is haunted by the five members of the Gilbert family buried here. They died between 1873 and 1922. The most common occurrences here are strange noises, but the weirdest thing is that some of the tombstones appear to move.
Oakwood Cemetery can be found on East F Street in the little town of Weeping Water in Cass County. There are a little over 2,000 interments here, which is about twice the population of Weeping Water. The oldest graves are from the 1830s.
Apparently most of this cemetery is haunted and visitors who have gone there at night say they will never do it again. Reports of apparitions actually rising from the graves and chasing visitors at night are rather common.
Ball Cemetery is located on South 180th Street in Springfield in Sarpy County. There are around 160 interments going back to the late 1860s.
This seems to be a very haunted cemetery with several ghosts. One was a man known as “Rattlesnake Pete” who didn’t have a very good reputation when he was alive. He is known to have a short temper and has actually been known to push visitors in the cemetery.
There is also a female ghost here that is thought to be Mary Munford who died in 1885. She is often heard singing or talking softly. Sometimes she will actually touch visitors lightly or pull a ribbon or barrette from their hair. She always laughs afterward and does not seem to be malicious, just playful.
There are several paranormal things that happen here that are generally associated with hauntings. Strange mists are seen floating about and unexplained noises such as leaves rustling and footsteps are often heard. Several investigators have made videos and voice recordings with compelling evidence of hauntings.
Prospect Hill Cemetery
Prospect Hill Cemetery is on Park Street in North Omaha in Douglas County. There are over 6,000 interments here dating back to the 1850s. Officially founded in 1858, there are several Congressmen and Senators buried here.
This cemetery has a “woman in white” ghost that has been sighted in the graveyard since July of 1874. During her visits she wanders around demanding to know where her children are.
Schuyler Cemetery has nearly 7,000 interments and is located at the end of West 5th Street in Colfax County. Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient William Haliday Williams was buried here in 1916. The earliest graves are from the 1860s.
This cemetery has a mausoleum where strange lights and voices have been seen and heard coming from inside.
Taylor Cemetery is on South Bluff Road in Homer in Dakota County. There are around 500 interments dating back to the 1860s.
The story here is about the Legend of Lottie. Lottie Edwards died in 1955 at the age of 77. There are many stories of what sparked the Legend of Lottie. She was said to have been murdered, run over by a car, or was a witch. In reality she died in a hospital of heart degeneration.
One story is that after she died three teenage boys dug up her body to steal her jewelry. She came alive just long enough to curse them and they all died or disappeared within a year.
The hows and whats of this story vary so much that this is probably just a tale teenagers tell themselves to scare each other. But . . . you never know.