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Van Fossen Cemetery - Real Adel Haunted Place

  • 22050 Old Highway 6
  • Adel, IA
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"This cemetery dates back to the 1850s and has gone by a bunch of different names, including the Van Fossen cemeter, Rodenbaugh Cemetery, the Old Adel Cemetery, and the “official” name recorded by the state, the Gibson Cemetery. Along old highway 6, the cemetery is sometimes just called the Bilderback Cemetery, after the massive headstones that mark the graves of two of the town’s founders.

The cemetery has no gravel path marking access and is pretty hidden. The sign has also been covered by overgrown trees, making it difficult to see. But away from the road and behind the brush, with an honest to goodness large pumpkin patch growing on the farm next to the cemetery; you’ll find the graves are well manicured and clean, even if most are long forgotten. A handful of the stones may show a solitary flag marking a veteran, or slowly decaying flowers left after a quick visit for a long dead ancestor.

The graveyard had become a hangout spot for local teens and they damaged some stones and committed acts that should never take place among graves. The police began patrolling and trying to chase the teens off, but the teens would run to the woods and would come back once the police left.

As remembered by some of the residents of Adel, the carousing among the graves ended after May 11, 1983. A group of teens including an Iowa State astronomy freshman had gone to the park to watch comet IRAS make it’s closest approach to the Earth. After carousing in the dark for a few hours, they began to notice the night was unusually quiet. No crickets, no owls, no noise. Then under the stars and the glow of that strange, cloud-like comet, they noticed tiny sparks of blue light dancing on top of the two massive Bilderback graves. At first they thought it was a trick of the starlight, but the flecks became bigger and brighter until they looked like dim flashlights jumping around on top and between the stones. After that the teens simply took off. Whether the lights were ball-lighting on a clear night, will-o-wisps, or just a bad case of too much Thunderbird, the cemetery got a reputation that kept the teens away after that night."
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Last edit to this listing: 1/28/2016 (3009 days ago)

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