Charlene Lowe Kemp
Mary Hart, who, according to urban legend, haunts Evergreen Cemetery after she was accidentally buried alive in 1872.
Her gravestone reads:
“At high noon just from, and about to renew her daily work, in her full strength of body and mind, Mary E. Hart, having fallen prostrate remained unconscious, until she died at midnight October 15, 1872 — born December 16, 1824.”
The tale goes at 48 years old, Mary E. Hart, as she was known in life, just dropped to the floor one day at midnight. Believing to be dead, her family had her buried at Evergreen Cemetery. However, one night her aunt had a terrible nightmare that Mary was not actually dead.
The aunt eventually convinced the family to exhume the body, and when they open the coffin, they found Mary’s nails bloodied from scratching and a petrified look on her face. It is believed that Hart may have suffered a stroke and when she fell to the floor, her family believed she was dead and So they buried her, not realizing she was still alive.
The epitaph on her gravestone offers a foreboding warning in bold black text: “The people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away.” Some believe anybody caught in the graveyard after midnight or who desecrates her grave would die shortly thereafter. While the quote is from the Book of Job in the Old Testament and, in context, is a statement about being resigned to fate, some locals over the years have interpreted the phrase to mean Hart hated the world enough for burying her alive to curse it with her final epitaph.
Hart’s gravestone is at the back of the cemetery, on the path that parallels the iron fence that separates the graveyard from Winthrop Avenue, with many people coming to visit, leaving coins and wondering whether the myths and tales are true.