Ringing Up the Dead in Forest Park Cemetery, Brunswick NY

Forest Park Pinewoods Cemetery NYDown the road from Jim’s sister’s house in Troy, lies Forest Park Cemetery, one of the most haunted cemeteries in the U.S. With it being October and all, and us being the ghoul loving, dia de los muertos revelers that we are, we just had to see this place for ourselves.

Cemetery Wasteland

We rode our bikes there early one foggy morning. Located off a rural country road, it’s not hard to miss. We went around what’s left of the front fence and inside the receiving gates, poking around a broken monument entry area. As we checked out the satanic graffiti, we waited for the spirits to greet us.

Forest Park Pinewoods Cemetery NYIt’s incredibly historic, and graves date back to the mid 1880s. But the grounds are overgrown, and haven’t been maintained for many years. Broken graves are everywhere. I kept thinking of all these people who thought their little monuments would live on indefinitely. Really sad to see that a cemetery can look like such a wasteland.

You can look inside a crypt that collapsed (thankfully, it’s empty). The area is thick with forest, and the grounds seem to go on forever. If you keep going past the front of the cemetery and wander out into the deeper woods, you’ll think you’ve left it. But suddenly, a cluster of grave stones will rise up from the ground. Along with a couple of creepy headless statues. Which some say have been known to bleed. Other stories of Forest Park hauntings include crying babies, dangling corpses and a vanishing hitchhiker.

Seeing The Spirits

At one point I rode out ahead of Jim, and out of the corner of my eye, saw a blurry white mist float quickly through the trees. “EEEEK!” I screamed so loud, then duh, I realized it was a herd of deer. At least, I think that’s what it was.

Forest Park Pinewoods Cemetery NYLater, I looked down and found a cell phone on the ground. I opened it up, and immediately thought of that Twilight Zone episode where the elderly woman keeps getting haunted phone calls from her husband’s grave. I set it back down.

Getting Out Fast

Jim found a nickel on a grave. I always pick up coins on the street but this time, I told him to leave it.

We were both kind of speechless as we walked across this post-apocolaptyic looking landscape. This was one of the creepiest places we’ve ever been to. No dancing, happy dead muertos here. We got out in a hurry and left with our hearts in our throats.

37 Responses to “Ringing Up the Dead in Forest Park Cemetery, Brunswick NY”

  1. how does one get there from schenectady

  2. Hey, just last week I drove by Forest Park Cemetery for the first time. I work in Troy, and have wanted to check it out for years. Someone told me to go via route 2, cut through the Troy Country Club, and FP would be next to TCC rear entrance. Well, the funny thing was as soon as I began driving on the country club road, I felt a very ominous and foreboding sense of doom. My heart was racing and as my car cossed a very narrow bridge in a desolate wooded area, I sensed something evil. When I came off the cc road and turned right, the cemetery in all its glory came into view. I took a few glimpses and got the hell out of there—- I felt such bad vibes, I can’t describe it in words. However, I kept asking myself why did I feel the same dark energy on the country club grounds? Research showed me that Forest Park used to encompass a full 200 plus acres, and during financial strife in the 1920’s, the cemetery association sold all but 22 acres to the TCC. Now it all makes sense! Stay safe if you go there again, folks— I don’t think anything good resides in that area.

  3. UpstateGhostMan October 30, 2010 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Remember, if you ever visit one of these places, you should NEVER EVER EVER run out scared. These spirits are feeding on energy and both your fear and the energy your body produces to “run” might invite them to follow you.

    Regardless of how scared you are, SOMEONE in your party should loudly vocalize that “any spirits with us tonight are not welcome to leave with us.”

    I found it interesting that you said your boyfriend was filled with an overwhelming sadness. I’ve heard many reports of this happening. Best I can deduce, a malevolent spirit was actually draining his life energy. This phenomena is not restricted to sadness and crying either; benevolent spirits have been known to inspire feelings of peace and enlightenment. Again, I believe these spirits are inspiring in us these intense emotions so they can feed off of our energy.

    Trust me when I say this….the last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night a week later, and see a shadowy figure standing at the foot of your bed.

    Last but not least I must say NEVER, EVER, EVER bring a Ouija Board or anything similar to one of these places. Never jokingly recite some “spells” you found online in one of these places etc. Now while I doubt any PHYSICAL harm would come to you, the EMOTIONAL harm of having a malevolent spirit attach itself to your life energies can be very traumatic.

    To use a Ouija Board, for example, is to INVITE one of these spirits/energies to enter YOU. (or whoever is using the board) Please be mindful that this is very different than encountering spirits that a free roaming, and is also very dangerous.

    • Thanks for the great comment GhostMan! good timing too, what with All Hallow’s Eve upon us. Boo! 🙂

    • Ghostman, your comment gave me chills! Wow, thanks for that great advice. I do love visiting old graveyards, I’m going to keep this in mind, always.

      And about the Ouija board…I am REALLY glad we got rid of ours. We never actually used it for more than a prop at Halloween, but it still gave me the creeps. Thanks for confirming my suspicions about it.

      Happy Hallow’s Eve!

  4. lets all go to pinewoods halloween night. i love that cemetary. i’ve been in there a few times many years ago and nothing ever happened.

    • Nothing ever will happen. It’s all bogus! I’m sure there are better things you can do with your time than hang out in an old cemetery!

      • I’m sure there are better things you can do with your time

        Like leaving comments on posts about which you obviously have no interest?

        • I would love to go to a cemetery on Halloween night. I have never done that before. I live in Pittsburgh,Pa and the Allegheney Cemetery is about two blocks away from me. But they lock it at night. But there is Quaker Cemetery which is about 45 min. away. I am a liitle bit scared to go in that one. I hear they do some really weird stuff in there. I don’t think I want to go to that one.

          • Evil feeds on fear. Fill yourself with good thoughts and Glenda the good witch will be by your side. 😉 Thanks for the comment!

  5. I used to work summers at the TCC in the 1970’s and drove by the cemetery entrance every day and night. Back then it was accessible but in very poor repair back. There were many legends and claims of ghosts. One legend has a young woman in white walking up and down Pinewoods avenue every month of May looking for a ride. As the legend goes, anyone that picks her up is never found again….never substantiated. Still, having visited Albany Rural, Oakwood, and others, Pinewoods/Forest Park is the most unsettling of them all.

    • We’ll try to remember not to pick up any women in white along Pinewoods Ave.! Thanks for the comment… but how would anybody ever know if someone picked her up or not, if they were never found? 😉

      • missing young men…or so went the legend. They (men, no women allowed) would talk about it in the back bar at the CC. Some of the members were born at the turn of the century and they all had stories. By the 1970’s Troy was on its last legs economically and many other the old-money people retired to golf, cocktails and talking about the cemetery.

  6. I went there with frineds a few nights ago, we walked that whole long road next to it so we didnt have to go in the main enterance and get in trouble.
    Once we got in a couldnt stop shaking and all we had was cell phones.
    Once we got in a little ways this loud sceetching noise freaked us out and then we heard a man mumbling, so we ran right out.
    it was terrifying

  7. all we had was the light on our cellphones…

    Trippy. We found a dead cell phone deep in the woods on a gravestone.

  8. I went there with 2 of my friends and my boyfriend in the beginning of september it was only 9pm but it was dark and all we had was the light on our cellphones, but we went in and the second we passed the gate out front i got dizzy i wasnt really scared though we walked around and looked at soem of the graves and followed the paths really deep in, and my boyfriend stopped walking and he was like, is anyone else really dizzy? and i fainted. i woke right back up though. everyone was pretty scared at that point but we really wanted to see something so we kept walking around and we all kept seeing people in black walking through the woods and across the paths and everything, i thought maybe it was just because it was dark out and my eyes were playing tricks but everytime i saw one eveyone else saw it at the same time because we would all stop walking and more than one of us were like did you see that? so yeah, it was pretty scary but i kinda want to go back. my boyfriend cried while he was there not because he was scared though he said he felt really sad. it was weird.

  9. Jennifer, thanks for commenting and reminding me about that creepy place! 😉

    We went really far back into those woods, and it just kept getting creepier and creepier. Jim and I have camped and hiked in many forests and rural areas where Mother Nature has taken over, and we haven’t come across any that give us the heebies as much as Forest Park Cemetery does.

    Sure, there isn’t any concrete proof that it’s haunted. But when so many people through the years visit that place, and all get the same eerie feeling while in it, how much more evidence is needed?

  10. Ok so I live in Albany which is not far from Brunswick/Troy and the other my friend and I drove by it because I certainly do not have the balls to go in that place and I’m not the superstitious one either but just by going by it I got the weirdest vibes ever and I wanted to leave and there are NO TRESPASSING signs everywhere throughout the whole entrance, I mean about 125 years ago the landscape of this cemetery was beautiful and exquisite but mothernature has reclaimed it and thats why it has that gloomy and scary appearance when you see it. Its a whole 22 acres and no one seems to make past those clutter of gravestones everyone keeps talking about that you think you have left the cemetery but really haven’t. There’s even more but no one sems to make it back to tell whats even more beyond and thats why no one is allowed to go in there, but the thing is, me and my friend can’t seem to find out WHY exactly is it haunted and i really don’t think it was an ancient indian burial ground, I mean making a cemetery on top of another one would be odd, wouldn’t it??

  11. Well I think it takes a lot of nerve to go in there at night! It’s creepy enough in the daytime. Did you see any ghosts?

  12. yeah so i was in there last night and it was really lame the poeple i was with were actually more affriad of getting caught by the cop rather then the “ghosts”

  13. From Congress and Brunswick in Troy, NY just take Pawling Ave (66) and stay left when it turns into Pinewoods (140). The cemetery will be on your left a couple miles out, right before the Country Club of Troy. The entrance sign is gone, but there is a black gate with a crumbling brick crypt behind it.

  14. how do i get there from congress and brunswick

  15. Let me be the first to wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May your bags be filled with Snickers
    May your costumes be extensions of you
    AND may you find the ever elusive 75 cent gallon of Diesel #2

    Happy Dang B-Day!!!

  16. rene, sounds to me like those spirits are unhappy that no one remembers them. perhaps you could go back with some gifts -some candy, some pieces of fruit. a few little sugar calaveras? maybe the spirits will be more obliging.

  17. Eric Auckerman October 24, 2007 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Howdy Brain hope all is well.

    This style of writing got it’s kick in the pants with Mary Shelley (Frankenstein, written in 1818) and Mark Twain, especially Twain because he was very keen on what the dead might be thinking as they were now in a place to be free thinkers. Twain had a way with exaggerating that few people can touch even today, save for maybe Vonnegut, Salinger, Greene and a few others.

    Sorry if the piece was a bit taxing to read, but it was written in the spirit of playfulness and no more.

    Best regards,
    Eric

  18. I don’t get you Eric.

  19. you folks read too much steven king! time to break out the old llorona story,ooooooohh !

  20. Rene, it’s funny that you posted about Forest Park Cemetery; Brenda and I keep saying we want to get back there again. We’ve been there twice; once in the winter and once in late summer. On the winter visit we had a few experiences. Our friend Kris was with us, and she and I took tons of photos. Kris captured one shot that none of us can explain. And I got a shot that clearly shows a man’s face with handlebar mustache and beard and all!

    I’ve heard lots of stories about that place, too. Supposedly, there’s one area that is believed to be a “portal to Hell.” That spot is a little past the open crypt that you mentioned.

    Yes, I think it was wise that you told Jim to leave the nickel. When we went there the first time, I took a bouquet of flowers, and left single stems on several of the stones out of respect. It just felt like the right thing to do.

  21. Eric Auckerman October 23, 2007 at 11:29 am Reply

    Ah, Halloween, the time to pumpkin you up!
    There’s some serious upside to building guiltless relations with those that occupy the nether world, think about it, what’s the carbon footprint of an apparition? Nada I would venture, however, these thin client entities also don’t pay taxes or contribute to the economy at large either. But in a kind of roundabout way they don contribute to our economy: they – in all of their scariness – are in sales.

    How much inventory of candy, costumes, and films come out to haunt our pocket books during this time of the year? At Wal Mart board of director meetings you almost hear their words, “Dang I like Halloween, no matter how weak the last quarter we can always anticipate a spike in activity from all the sticky fingered urchins and their parents during the last calendar quarter, and good thing too because I’m having a yacht being built in Italy whose length limits it’s entry to five commercial harbors on this planet.”

    I can smell the curling smoke from this director’s Monte Christo III as he let’s out a belly laugh and the others pounding their fists in approval.

    Yes, the glossy pageantry of Halloween has been very good to some folks save for those who are supposed to drive it’s soul shuddering spectacle, the dead themselves who have come back for another peek at those of us who have mortgages, tennis lessons, and retirement accounts to chase. I would suspect that the spirits of yesterday who have come to visit today are probably scratching holes through their heads and lamenting, “Whoa, this afterlife thing isn’t so bad after all.

    “Sure the hours are long, hmmm, come to think of it, we don’t have hours do we? And the working conditions are a little odd, you know, foggy with the occasional low moan from the neighboring grave, it gets on you after a while. But what’s the alternative? Where does a “trapped-on-Earth” ghoul go?”

    At this point the deceased’s wife chimes in: “Oh here we go again, as in life so in death. Marty was on the fence about vacations since we’ve been married, thank the food chain they don’t bury couples in the same box or I don’t know what I’d do. First he wants the warm weather then dramatic scenery, then maybe down the Erie (hee, hee) canal.”

    “It wasn’t always that way Sheila. I used to be the kind of man who could make decisions on a whim but then who wanted her mother to move in so as to help with the kids? Who? So time out from the foundry wasn’t time out it was time in with your mother’s relatives. Give me a break Sheila”

    There’s nothing more tiresome than entities who have all the time in the world to lament over missed rye bread, Saturday card games, dinners on Sunday with all of the family in attendance, and what did they serve? Ghoulash of course!

    And so Marty and Sheila still to this day can never agree as to who did what and when and with whom but of one thing they do agree, that it ain’t easy being unseen – muhaa, muuhaaaahhhhh!

    To all good night and may darkness hide nothing.
    Eric Auckerman

    PS: Marty and Sheila are doing well these days as they’ve moved into a new plot down the coast where their kids have been for the past 75 years. They visit the old site when they can but mainly it’s been boche ball and watching re-runs of Tomb Raider. “That Angeline Jolie has such big lips.” “She won’t always will she honey” Ha, ha, haaaaaa we hear in the distance as the mist ebbs and we slowly return to our SUV.

  22. This is so beautiful and cool. Funny thing is – I’m looking for a haunted house here in Florida to scare me for Halloween – and willing to pay for it! But… seasonal artificial fright is much better than real fright, haha. What a strange concept.

  23. Ooohhh creepy. I would not have even gone in! I’m easily spooked 🙂

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