HAUNTED OR NOT: CAMP CHASE CONFEDERATE CEMETERY
Camp Chase started as a military staging and training camp in 1861, shortly after, it became a large Union prison camp. There were approximately 2000 prisoners who died of malnutrition, disease and harsh treatment.
During the Civil War, Camp Chase served as a Confederate prison camp. Conditions were extremely poor, and there were over 2,000 deaths at the camp as a result of disease and malnutrition. The majority of these men were buried in the prison cemetery, Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery. Given the history of the area, it is not surprising to hear stories of it being haunted – however, the spirit said to haunt the cemetery is not that of a soldier. Instead, it is a mysterious woman in gray who often leaves flowers at two of the graves.
The “Woman in Gray” has been seen walking among the graves in the cemetery. She appears to be a young woman dressed in what is most often described as a gray Civil War-era traveling suit. Witnesses say that the woman always has her head bowed, as though weeping, and that they were overcome with sadness upon seeing her.
The young woman has been observed walking among the graves, as well as through the trees (literally) and out of the iron cemetery gates, which are closed and locked at night. She is also often seen standing over two graves in particular: that of the Unknown Soldier and the one belonging to Benjamin F. Allen, a member of the 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Company D. There is very little known about Benjamin Allen’s time at Camp Chase or how he died. Occasionally, after the woman is spotted at these graves, flowers appear lying next to the tombstones.
During a Civil War reenactment that took place near the cemetery in 1988, many people reported hearing the mournful weeping of a woman. The sound continued for a minute or so, but no source for it was ever found. It is believed that the sobbing came from the mysterious “Woman in Gray”.
There are no clues that point to the identity of the “Woman in Gray”, and it is unknown why she mourns over these two particular graves.
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