After a year of living in South Carolina, I finally paid a visit to Greenville’s “haunted” Springwood Cemetery.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Springwood is over 200 years old and home to approximately 2,200 family plots. No one knows exactly how many people are buried in Springwood, though some believe more than 10,000 souls rest there. The cemetery is the final home of Confederate soldiers, prominent politicians, and even a NASCAR driver, and like many historic graveyards is rumored to be haunted.
According to Jason Profit, author of Haunted Greenville, photographs taken in the old cemetery show a range of spooky phenomenon, including full-figure apparitions and ghostly faces near the wrought-iron fence. Kids who visit Springwood reportedly see the ghosts of other children. One child asked his mother why a boy standing near a gravestone looked hurt. His mother saw no other children in the cemetery. On another occasion, a girl visiting the cemetery with her mother saw a ghostly figure peering at her from behind a tombstone. Profit believes many children have frightening experiences in Springwood. For what it’s worth, I went there with my five-year-old daughter and four-year-old son, and neither reported anything strange. However, we did see the graves of several children.
One eye-catching statue (below) marks the final resting place of Greenville’s wealthy Heldmann family. In 1889, 25-year-old Fannie Heldman “suddenly became insane” while making wedding arrangements and drowned herself in a nearby river. It seems Fannie’s father arranged for her to wed one of his business partners, but she chose death instead. According to the cemetery brochure, a woman presented the city with a deed to the Heldman’s plot long after the family had died (her father had won the deed in a poker game). However, the city of Greenville refused to honor the document because the Heldman plot was already “occupied.”
Here are a few other photos I took while strolling through the sprawling cemetery.
Is Springwood Cemetery truly haunted or are the stories nothing more than standard ghost lore? If you’re ever in Greenville, SC stop by and see for yourself.