The Haunting Tale of Midnight Mary

In Evergreen Cemetery, which sits in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, there is a grave marker that belongs to the grave of Mary E. Hart, who was born in 1824 and died in 1872. There is nothing remarkable about this grave, except for its strange inscription, which reads, “The people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away.” This quote, which is from the Old Testament Book of Job, would seem a curious one to place on a grave. At least it would be if one was not acquainted with the tale of Midnight Mary.

Mary Hart lived a rather ordinary life, though it was doomed to be short. She was living with an aunt in 1872 when she suddenly fell to the floor. She was unconscious, and no attempt to revive her met with any success. She was pronounced dead and was buried the next day in Evergreen Cemetery.

That might have been the end of the story, were it not for a strange dream her aunt had the night of the burial. In this dream, the aunt saw Mary in her coffin, screaming and trying to get out. The nightmare was so vivid that Mary’s aunt believed it to be a message that Mary was still alive. She went to the authorities and begged them to exhume her niece.

The authorities agreed to the exhumation, and what they found was the stuff of true nightmares. It seems that Mary wasn’t really dead when she was buried. Her fingernails and fingertips were shredded and bloodied, and it was evident she had tried desperately to scratch her way out of the coffin. But since she had lain in the ground for over 12 hours by this time, she had suffocated and was now truly dead.

Such tales of premature burial were unnervingly common in the Victorian era. Without the ability to determine brain death, some people who suffered heart attacks or strokes and who became unconscious were presumed dead. They might revive later, but they would already be underground at this point. This is what happened to Mary Hart.

Of course, such a macabre tale has inspired many a ghost story. Some say that the inscription on Mary’s gravestone is a warning that anyone who comes into the cemetery after midnight will die, being cursed by Mary, who is angry at the world for her untimely burial. Others tell tales of seeing a ghostly woman in Victorian clothing walking on the road near the cemetery if you happen to drive by at midnight. Still today, people will leave offerings of coins or candy on her gravestone to placate her angry spirit.

You can still see Mary’s gravestone today at the cemetery. It is located at the back of the graveyard, so you’ll have to walk a long way to reach it and to leave. Just be sure not to visit Evergreen Cemetery after midnight.

Next Article
  • What If You Could Drink Your Book?

    Imagine being stuck on the beach with your favorite book, enjoying the sun and relaxing. When suddenly you realized that you forgot your water bottle. Oh no! The sun begins to scorch you and your mouth becomes parched. Well, what if you were able to drink your book? An amazing...

    Read More
  • Intelligence Comes From Your Mother

    If you are smart and doing well in life, well it may just be one more reason to says thanks to your mom. It seems Mothers have yet another reason to give themselves a well-earned pat on the back. New research published by Psychology Spot shows that a child’s intelligence generally comes from their mother....

    Read More
  • Can You Actually Sneeze While Sleeping?

    If you have ever woken yourself up by a loud sneeze during your sleep. Then you probably were not actually sleeping. Sleep researchers actually believe it is literally impossible to sneeze while you sleep. Though, at the time of writing this article, there has not actually been any recognized medical...

    Read More
  • World War I Created A Fashion Icon

    One of the most interesting things that happened during world wars throughout history is actually the innovation in technology that they caused. Some researchers even estimate that if the world had not gone through World War I and World War II then we could even be 20 years behind in terms of scientific discovery. [caption...

    Read More
  • Does Yawning Have Anything To Do With Being Tired?

    Yawning is one of the most uncontrollable and contagious body actions. Sometimes you may just find yourself thinking about yawning, suddenly to be yawning yourself. You may see your friend yawn or even an animal, again, suddenly you are yawning! And did you know that even today scientist are really not sure why we yawn...

    Read More
  • Most Wasabi Served In Sushi Restaurants Is Fake

    The sad fact is, if you are a sushi lover, then you probably never actually tasted real wasabi. Even if you have gone to dozens of sushi restaurants, you may still never have had the real thing. In America, an enormous amount of wasabi is just a quick mix of...

    Read More