Wildwood Cemetery and Crematorium – Williamsport, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Wildwood Cemetery and Crematorium

According to local myth this cemetery is half evil spirits, half good—split down the middle. 


Located in historic Williamsport Pennsylvania, Wildwood Cemetery is steeped in both historical significance and local folklore. The cemetery is split down the middle by a road, creating a unique (and uphill!) hike that allows viewers to appreciate the history of the area. The mythology surrounding the cemetery is also rooted in its split set up, with the west side of the cemetery being the “haunted” side of the cemetery and the east side being the “good” side.

This is perhaps because the west side tends to have the older plots (and more history,) while the East side of the cemetery tends to have more recent plots.  The “good side” of the cemetery is rumored to have fairy occupants who appear on clear nights, while the bad side has malign spirits (specifically a howling banshee.)  The cemetery is also rumored to be the final resting place of a local fireman, who was petrified of the idea of being buried alive. His phobia led to his mausoleum being designed to that it was locked on the outside, but able to be open from the inside  It is rumored that if you listen through the walls of the fireman final resting place, you can hear him shuffling around, waiting for the right time to leave his mausoleum at night and stroll the the cemetery.            

Incorporated in 1863 by a group of prominent Williamsport citizens, Wildwood Cemetery was designed to incorporate native fauna, so much so that the thick underbrush and towering trees located in the west corner of the cemetery led to the cemeteries name. Visitors will be greeted my a unique mix of nature, coupled with human monuments to the deceased, which creates a surreal experience.

Know Before You Go

The West Side of the cemetery is a fairly easy walk; however, if you walk to the outskirts there is some heavily wooded areas that would require good walking shoes. The wooded part of the cemetery can be dense, and tick spray is recommended. The East side of the Cemetery is a steep hike, so be prepared for that. At the top of the East side of the cemetery is a scenic overlook, that also provides a good place for star-gazing. Parking is available during the cemeteries office hours, which is located on their website.

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August 21, 2016

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