Cemeteries mean different things to different people.
Lori moved back home to live with her parents after a bitter divorce. She didn’t want to burden her parents with her sadness and bitterness, so everyday she went to the cemetery and just poured her heart out on the grave of someone she didn’t know.
She would go to the oldest session, knowing it was the quietest and least visited. There was the headstone of Rosemary who was born in 1823 and died in 1848 at the young age of 25.
Lori forgot about her sadness when she read the dates on the headstone.
“Excuse me Rosemary, but why was your life cut short?” she asked as she sat down. Then she apologized. “I’m sorry, where are my manners. I’m Lori and I’m 25. My husband divorced me and I’m now living with my parents.”
Lori didn’t expect an answer, but she was hoping for one. She imagined how great it would be for a ghost to come out of her grave and have a heart-to-heart talk with her.
She heard a whispered “Divorce?”
It did sound like a question, so Lori answered. “I married too young as my parents kept telling me. Ray’s parents said the same thing to him. We just graduated from high school. It seemed to be the right thing to do.”
Lori explained how she worked full-time in a little boutique owned by a woman who became ill and needed someone to manage the shop. “I loved my job and took some night classes to learn about managing a dress shop and about keeping the books and ordering merchandise.”
Ray was able to quit his part-time job and attend college full-time since Lori was working and making good money to support them.
The owner of the boutique passed and left the store to Lori.
“I was both scared and excited, but the stress of owning a store got to me.”
She worked night and day at the boutique. Ray was understanding at first. He’d bring take-out and they’d eat together and talk.
“Ray insisted I sell the boutique. He wanted to buy a house and begin a family after he graduated from college. He had a job waiting for him.”
Lori agreed to sell the boutique and to use the money to buy a house. The extra money was to get them through until Ray’s graduation and his employment. Things, unfortunately, didn’t go as planned.
She found out that she couldn’t have children and this was the deal breaker for Ray. He wanted a divorce.
Lori heard “No children.”
It was a statement. She felt Rosemary was interacting with her, but she didn’t know if it was just a response to what she had said or if Rosemary was trying to tell her something.
“Rosemary, were you married?”
“Almost,” was the reply.
Communicating with the dead was not at all how Lori imagined it to be. She needed to ask the right questions or do some research in the newspaper archives.
Lori decided to stay and try to get answers from Rosemary.
“Did you die on your wedding day?”
“Can you give me more than one word answers, Rosemary?” Lori asked frustrated.
This was getting interesting, but Lori was impatient.
Fortunately, someone passed by and asked, “Are you related to Rosemary?”
“No, I was just sitting here. Are you a relative?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Rosemary had a tragic life. She was planning to get married, but she died before the wedding.”
“No one knows.”
“Was she murdered?”
“What made you ask that!” The woman was so indignant that she walked away in a huff. Lori knew she had to solve this mystery. She knew it would take a long time trying to get at the truth with Rosemary, but she was determined to try.
Everyday Lori visited Rosemary’s gravesite. She’d ask questions, some days she’d receive cryptic responses and other days receive nothing at all.
After a month, Lori decided to consult a psychic.
She learned that the man Rosemary was planning to marry was named Jonathan Westlake. He had a wife and four children in another state. That was during the time he was courting Rosemary and asked her to marry him.
According to the psychic, Mrs. Westlake, Jonathan’s mother, came to put a stop to Jonathan’s adulterous affair by arranging the disappearance of Rosemary.
“But Rosemary told me she was murdered,” insisted Lori.
After several more sessions, Rosemary was able to communicate the actual facts of her death.
Yes, she did meet with Mrs. Westlake and learned of Jonathan’s wife and family. Rosemary was devastated by the news. She walked home to her parent’s house after the meeting.
Rosemary’s parents lived on a farm outside of town. She walked that lonely deserted road hundreds of times while growing up there to go to school and to visit with friends. It never bothered her. She enjoyed the exercise, but her mind focused on the betrayal. She plotted in her mind how she would ruin Jonathan Westlake. He sold farm equipment to the various farmers. That was his reason for being there. Her parents were well-known and influential in the town. It was because of her parents and the announcement of her marriage that persuaded other farmers to buy from Jonathan.
Evidently, the elder Mrs. Westlake and her son knew Rosemary could cause trouble for him. Rosemary had to die before she reached the farmhouse. And that was exactly what happened.
“I knew I was being followed,” Rosemary told the psychic. “I heard my name being called by Jonathan. I wasn’t about to stop. I never wanted to see him again. There was nothing he could say that would make this right. He used me!”
“I heard a loud buzzing in my head. It sounded like a swarm of hornets,” Rosemary said sadly.
Lori concluded that Jonathan shot Rosemary in the head. It was confirmed by the psychic.
Jonathan and his mother left that night never to return.
Lori still visits Rosemary’s gravesite. She still finds comfort at the cemetery. She no longer dwells on her failed marriage with Ray and all she gave up for him. She goes to learn what she can about the lives of the men, women and children buried in the old section of the cemetery.
I found this real ghost story interesting — not only to learn about Rosemary, but to learn how Lori’s life turned around. She began volunteering at the Historical Society and writing stories about the lives of those who lived, died and were buried in the local cemetery.
Thanks for stopping by!