Weatherly Cemetery: BU student recounts frightening encounter

The local legend of the Weatherly Cemetery is based upon tales that have been passed down from generation to generation in towns and villages throughout Schuylkill County, and each time the tale is told, it seems to become very different and indeed, strange.

The following account is one I heard in Mahanoy City.

Weatherly cemetery, originally known as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church cemetery, is about 20 miles from Mahanoy City. The cemetery lies beside a long and dark road excluded from the town and the people. The church and the cemetery were still going strong until 1875 when the congregation moved a couple miles down the road. The people abandoned the church and cemetery, and years later they started hearing rumors of paranormal activity. In 1966, a fire, possibly arson, destroyed the old church, but police say they’ll never know for sure what caused the inferno.

Over the years, the old cemetery has been visited by many people.  Some say the see unexplained shadows and mysterious lights, but others say there is nothing there but tombstones of the dead. I have been there many times over the years but still have yet to see anything. In my quest to find out if anyone knew anything or saw anything, I interviewed many people from Mahanoy City, including Slippery Rock University graduate Jason Fritz.


“Yeah I know about it, it’s a local legend,” Fritz said., “I was there many times, but one night I went there with a couple of my friends for three hours to see if the legends were true about the ghost. I didn’t see anything but my friends said they saw something on the video camera.”

Like many others I talked to they said they never saw any paranormal activity but friends did. I thought I was sunk until I talked to Gianna Evancho who went to Mahanoy Area School District and is now a junior at Bloomsburg University.

“Yes, I have been to the cemetery on more than one occasion,” she said. “But I thought I saw something the first time I went there.”

When asked what she thought she saw that night, Evancho responded, “Well it’s really hard to explain. I felt something touch my shoulder and when I turned around, there was nothing there but a tombstone was knocked over.”

We can’t always believe what people say about what they see or what they don’t see, and there will always be rumors of paranormal activity. If you don’t believe what people are saying, go out and make sure the rumors are not true. I still believe there is paranormal activity in the Weatherly Cemetery. If you don’t believe in ghost or paranormal activity, check out the ancient graveyard for yourself … if you dare.