For people looking to explore some of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States, there is absolutely no question that they look to the city of New Orleans to fill this need. Unexplained as it may be, New Orleans is a city of heart, soul, voodoo, and magic that over time has created some of the most haunted places known to man. While cemeteries such as St. Louis Cemetery No 1 or St. Roch Cemetery of New Orleans are confirmed paranormal hits, for those willing to take a little bit of a drive the Big Woods Cemetery of Edgerly, Louisiana is a definite can’t miss where a ghostly gatekeeper looks to keep the living out permanently.
Is the Big Woods Cemetery Haunted?
Big Woods Cemetery was officially consecrated as a cemetery all the way back in 1827 when a wealthy Louisiana resident named James Bryan donated a dozen acres of land for the cemetery’s construction. It would take another decade or so before the plots began to gradually fill in with the graves of the deceased. Overcast with enormous oak trees, the cemetery remained an Edgerly mainstay for burials over the years even with the nearby adjoining Antioch Cemetery being added at a later date. To this day, the deceased are still interred inside Big Woods, but it’s the many ghost sightings over the years that have had some visitors to the cemetery on quite a paranormal edge.
Unofficially dubbed “the Gatekeeper”, many believe that there is a singular chief entity that roams about the grounds of the Big Woods. Oral legends from area locals claim that the stories began with people witnessing a brightly lit mist that would float about the cemetery in the dead of night. Nobody has ever been known to approach it, as those (un)fortunate enough to see it have explained that there is a sense of dread or uneasiness that seems to be attached to it that makes the living want to stay away. It’s possible that his misty manifestation may be from the Gatekeeper who is said to prowl about the cemetery.
The most commonly reported encounter is seeing a dark shadow in the loose form of a man pacing somewhere near the main cemetery gate. One unlucky visitor claimed that upon approaching the gate near sunset, they were chased off the property by someone in a dark-colored antique-looking truck that was rather hellbent on them not entering the cemetery. Similar to the automotive troubles of the Smith Anderson Cemetery of Maine, visitors to Big Woods have claimed that upon coming across the shadow of the Gatekeeper, they immediately look to leave the cemetery only to find that their car engines fail to start preventing a hasty escape.
Some visitors believe that female spirits are responsible as the sightings of a young girl spirit walking and crying before disappearing might be responsible for some of the paranormal activity here. One visitor, in particular, claimed to come across a woman in a black robe with bright red hair smiling a devilish smile before walking past a large headstone and seemingly disappearing. Other times, visitors have seen streaking orbs blitz between rows of worn tombstones before being absorbed into the air itself with claims of ectoplasm being left behind on the tops of tombstones.
Big Woods Cemetery may be a three-hour drive due west of New Orleans, but with all the paranormal activity going on there, it’s hard not to mention the haunts of this so-called eternal resting place.