Mystic, CT draws hundreds of tourists each year to experience its many attractions. The town is rich in history. It’s home to Mystic Seaport, one of the best maritime museums in the country, Mystic Aquarium, and numerous marinas and restaurants. As in most early settlement locations, Mystic has its share of old cemeteries. Two of them are quite interesting each in its own way.
Elm Grove on Greenmanville Avenue, (Rt. 27), was established in the mid-1800s by a board of leading families from the area. Their Victorian influence created a resting place that looks like a park bordering the Mystic River. Streets were laid, plots were planned out, trees and flowers were planted, and benches dotted the area for people to relax during their walks around the grounds – a common weekend activity.
One of the last times we were there, we were on the west side of the cemetery. The land slopes down to the water and you can look out and get a picturesque view of the Seaport Museum. There are many boats traveling up and down the river, too. As I was turning around I saw a woman dressed in a flowing white dress. She seemed to come from somewhere near the middle of the area. She floated to a spot on the shore and just stared out to the sea as if waiting for someone. She remained visible for two or three minutes before fading away.
The woman looked to be in her mid-thirties. She had long dark brown hair. She looked like a living person and if she hadn’t floated I probably wouldn’t have watched her. I tried talking to her, but her gaze stayed riveted on what she was looking for. She could have been residual energy, or just very focused on perhaps finding what she had lost.
Whitehall Burying Ground on Whitehall Avenue, close to the Whitehall Mansion Inn, is quite stark in comparison to the gracious Elm Grove environment with its artistic monuments. It dates back to the 1600s. The stone markers are mostly rectangular and domed and seem to be made of sandstone, limestone, and/or slate. Decorations run from willows, angels of death, scrollwork, skulls, and other earlier types of art generally reflecting the solemnity of death.
Whitehall seems to host early settlers, sea captains, veterans of wars gone by including the Revolutionary and I think, Civil Wars. It’s a rather small spot, but larger than the older, widely used family burial plot usually established on the person’s property who once lived there.
You don’t seem to ever feel like you’re alone when walking around Whitehall. Shadows can even be seen in broad daylight. Shadows are apparent at night, too, as well as orbs. Orbs are commonly thought to be circles of energy visible to the naked eye. Some skeptics call them ‘dust’ or ‘bugs’ and this could be true in some instances, but I find it difficult to believe that in a place as dark as Whitehall is at night, you’ll be watching illuminated, dancing dust particles. And if you happen to visit in the autumn when dried leaves have fallen, sometimes you can hear what sounds like footfalls crunching them behind you as you walk through that spot of eternal rest — or unrest as the case may be.
So maybe next time you’re in Mystic you can add a couple of more places to your ‘have to see’ list. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to experience even more.