Dead Children’s Playground
Founded in 1822 and reaching over one hundred acres of land, Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in Alabama. Within the cemetery limits, tucked away in a peaceful cove surrounded by a rock cliff on three sides and picturesque paths leading through the woods, is the Dead Children’s Playground. Admittedly beautiful during the day, when dusk falls, the atmosphere changes into something quite sinister.
Some say that the spirits of the dead children come to the playground to play. Another legend has it that Huntsville suffered a rash of child abductions in the 1960’s, and sadly, the bodies of the children were found in the area of the playground. Since that time, there have been reports of swings moving on their own, children calling out, giggling, and when photos are taken, orbs of light believed to be the spirits of the children are captured. Much of this phenomenon occurs between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., far too late for any live child to be out playing.
The most eerie of reports is the common occurrence of swings moving rhythmically and in sync by themselves, even when the swings have just been brought to a complete stop. Some have seen dust from the sand that covers the area rise as if someone had jumped off a swing. Others who have taken photographs see circles of light show up on their photos, some of which are the same height as a child.
In fall of 2007, the City of Huntsville tried to take the playground over in order to further increase the area of the cemetery for graves and tombs. This was done literally overnight, one morning the playground was there and the next day all of the equipment was torn away and the area destroyed. The public outcry that resulted caused the City to pull the work order for the cemetery and new playground equipment was installed. This disturbance has not stopped the mysterious occurrences at the playground, however.
In January of 2008, The Alabama Paranormal Society investigated the area known locally as DCP. One of the investigators heard a voice of either a woman or female child. She quickly snapped a photo of the area and when it was developed, a misty figure of a woman can be made out. Many of the photos taken that night are littered with orbs.
Thanks to the citizens of Huntsville Alabama, children, dead and alive, will still have a place to play in Maple Hill Cemetery.