The Story Behind This Haunted Cemetery in West Virginia is Terrifying

West Virginia is a state rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. But it also has a darker side, one that is filled with ghost stories, legends, and mysteries. Among the many haunted places in the Mountain State, there is one that stands out for its eerie atmosphere and terrifying tales: the Highland Cemetery in Mannington.

The Witch of Highland

The Highland Cemetery is the final resting place of a woman who was rumored to be a witch. Her name was Serilda Jane Whetzel, but she was also known as Zelda, Sarah Jane, or simply the Witch of Highland. She died in 1909, and her grave is marked by a peculiar tombstone that faces away from the direction of every other grave in the cemetery.

The tombstone features a staircase that seems to descend downward into a demon’s mouth, symbolizing her descent into hell. Legend has it that she and a male companion, possibly a warlock, are often seen dancing around her grave at night. Some say that they can hear her laughter and curses, or that they feel a cold breeze or a touch on their shoulder when they pass by her grave.

The Ghost of Joseph Hamilton

Another haunted grave in the Highland Cemetery belongs to Joseph Hamilton, a young boy who was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in 1875. His father found him lying dead in the woods, and buried him in the spot where he discovered him. Since then, more than 10,000 people have joined Hamilton in the cemetery, but his grave remains isolated and surrounded by a fence.

Some visitors claim that they have seen the ghost of Joseph Hamilton wandering around the cemetery, looking for his killer. Others say that they have heard his cries or felt his presence near his grave. Some even report that they have seen blood stains on his tombstone, or that the fence around his grave has moved by itself.

The Other Spirits of Highland

The Highland Cemetery is not only haunted by the witch and the boy, but also by many other spirits that have their own stories and secrets. Some of these include:

The Weeping Woman: A statue of a woman in a long dress and a veil, located near the graves of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson’s family. According to legend, she is the ghost of a woman who lost her husband and son in the Civil War, and she weeps over their graves during a full moon. She is also said to leave small gifts and flowers at the statue.

The Headless Horseman: A phantom rider who roams the cemetery at night, carrying a lantern and a sword. He is believed to be the ghost of a Union soldier who was decapitated by a Confederate ambush during the war. He is said to chase anyone who dares to enter the cemetery after dark.

The Screaming Woman: A female spirit who haunts the cemetery with her loud and piercing screams. She is thought to be the ghost of a woman who was murdered by her husband in a fit of jealousy. She is said to scream whenever someone walks over her grave, or when she sees a couple in love.


The Highland Cemetery in Mannington, West Virginia, is one of the most haunted cemeteries in the state, if not the country. It is home to many restless souls who have met tragic and violent ends, and who continue to haunt the living with their presence and their voices. The cemetery is a place of mystery and horror, but also of history and beauty. It is a place that attracts the curious and the brave, but also warns them to beware of the dangers that lurk within. The story behind this haunted cemetery is terrifying, but also fascinating. It is a story that will make you think twice before visiting a graveyard at night.

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