Urban Legends – The Witches Grave
This is a very popular urban legend made even more confusing by the fact that there are indeed some graves of so-called witches that are haunted. Some of these truly paranormally active sites are listed on this website; however, this article is concerned with the ones that have become urban legends. That is have no truth behind them at all and no paranormal activity can be witnessed or experienced at the locations.
This urban legend is directly related to that of the local haunted house in that almost everyone can name one in their local vicinity. There’s even one in my local town, St Thomas, Ontario, Canada. We are one of the lucky ones (in a matter of speaking) in that ours is real (in that paranormal activity is present) and will be covered on this website in the future. The morale of the story is, though, do your research; can the basis of your witch’s grave be found in historical fact or is it just another story made up to scare the local kids? This is not to say that a made up story that has become an urban legend is worthless. Urban legends have their place in local folklore just as much as actual hauntings.
For the purposes of this article I will focus on one particular legend that has been proven to false but is believed by many people – the best definition of an urban legend I have come across. This legend is that of Rebecca’s Grave on Gorge Road in North Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Rebecca Lute lived in the area in the late 19th Century on a farmstead; much like many other people from that era. She died of natural causes and was buried on the family’s farm – again much like many other people who lived and died in that era. Eventually the farm was sold and another family took over. According to law while the land and buildings can be sold gravesites cannot be and so the family that bought the property laid heavy concrete slabs over Rebecca’s grave to prevent it from being lost and to prevent it from being damaged. Over the years the farm was abandoned and the house on it fell into ruin and a legend was born.
Legend said that Rebecca was a witch who displayed psychic powers and there were reports of unexplained lights, spontaneous fires and such. She has also been labeled as a vampire and as evil incarnate; pretty impressive for a simple farm girl who tragically died at a young age. Legend says she was hung from a tree by the local population late one night after being confirmed as a witch. She was then buried in a concrete lined hole face down so she could not escape the grave and the top of the gravesite was topped with concrete slabs to further stop her from digging her way out.
You can easily see how a series of innocent events over the years can lead to a fantastic legend which has absolutely no truth to it. Rebecca’s grave still exists today and can be easily found. The house eventually fell into such disrepair that it was only used by the local teenagers who came out out to the site to drink and scare each other. In modern times it has been torn down. The concrete slabs over Rebecca’s grave still remain, though, and can be found albeit cracked with grass growing through them. The gravestones built for her and her family have disappeared over the years but the remains of the fence that once surrounded her grave can still be found, albeit heavily weathered and plant covered. If you go please remember these are the remains of simple farm folk; respect them.
It is true that most urban legends have their beginnings in truth but often that truth bears no resemblance to the legend. Always make sure you do your research fully before assuming what you’ve been told is true, because sometimes it is!
And I hope I don’t have to tell you that only a very very small percentage of so-called witches were actually evil. Most of the people (and the majority were girls and women) were simple psychics, healers etc and the only evil act committed in their presence was that of their gruesome executions.