The Beach Times

Haunted Cape Cod: The Story of the Sagamore Cemetery
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 26, 2020

cigar of Issac Keith

There's a ton of history on Cape Cod, and any time you visit, you can't help but immerse yourself in it.

Some history is very easy to find, as the region has a plethora of historic homes and buildings that line the main streets in most towns.

Other history is somewhat hidden but readily available if you're willing to search around for it.

In some cases, you might even have the opportunity to experience some living history, to put it one way, through Cape Cod's supposedly haunted locations.

The Sagamore Cemetery is one such haunted destination that captures the imagination of locals and visitors alike. The cemetery sits where Sandwich Road and Ben Abbey Road meet, in a small residential area near the Sagamore Bridge.

This cemetery isn't sinister in any way, but visitors have reported countless personal experiences with ghosts when wandering through it. If you're into that sort of thing, the Sagamore Cemetery is a must-visit location during your Cape Cod vacation.

Some Background on the Sagamore Cemetery

Although the Sagamore Cemetery wasn't incorporated until 1889, its first recorded burial took place in 1803. The plot is the final resting place for numerous Civil War soldiers and at least 29 former sea captains, making it a historically significant facility, even without the ghost stories.

As you look through the cemetery, you might recognize some of the names, including members of the Bourne family, for whom the town of Bourne is named, the Keith family, and the Ellis family.

However, there is an issue at Sagamore Cemetery that some locals believe is the reason behind the ghost experiences: some of the headstones are in the wrong spots.

In 1909, when the Cape Cod Canal was still under construction, 17 bodies from the Collins Farm Cemetery and 45 bodies from the Ellis Cemetery were moved to Sagamore to make room for the project. Officials marked the caskets with chalk, but a storm washed the names away before a reburial could proceed.

As a result, officials had to guess at some identities, and there's a non-trivial chance that some caskets are under the wrong headstones.

The thought is that the spirits that continue to roam the cemetery can't rest until the proper names are attached to the gravesites. Their restlessness is driving the ghost sightings.

Personal Experiences at the Cemetery

So, the question remains: Who is haunting the Sagamore Cemetery?

The property's caretaker, Donald Ellis, believes much of the supernatural activity is actually Isaac Keith

In fact, Ellis believes he has personally interacted with Keith and has a story to back it up.

Isaac Keith was the founder of the Keith Car Company, a business that once employed 1,400 people in the Bourne area. The company is no longer in operation but lasted until 1928. 

When Keith died in 1900, he was buried at the Sagamore Cemetery but has never truly rested because of the misplaced headstones on some of the facility's graves. 

In 1998, Ellis was working at the cemetery when he felt someone push on his chest. This feeling was followed by the smell of cigar smoke and the presence of goosebumps on his arms, despite this situation taking place on a hot July afternoon.

Ellis, not knowing what was happening, ran to his truck, and the feeling immediately went away.

It has since been learned that Keith was a heavy cigar smoker, leading Ellis to believe that the activity was Keith trying to send a message from the afterlife. 

At least 11 other people have reported feeling an intense cold or smelling cigar smoke in the cemetery. Psychics have also noted that Keith is the messenger for those whose headstones have been displaced and that he can't rest in peace until the situation has been rectified. 

What the Future Holds

Assuming that Issac Keith is, in fact, haunting the Sagamore Cemetery, can anything be done to assist him and return the headstones to their proper graves?

Unfortunately, short of digging up every grave in the Bournedale section of the cemetery and conducting DNA tests, it's unlikely that officials can rectify this issue in the years to come. Not only does the town not have the resources to complete such a significant job, but there's also no guarantee of its accuracy because so many people in the graveyard are from the same family.

However, the Bourne Historical Commission has provided the Sagamore Cemetery Association with a $30,400 grant to rehabilitate and restore 41 of the facility's most important headstones.

Many markers have been in place for more than 150 years and are deteriorating, so the Cemetery Association will complete some much-needed work in the coming years.

Maybe this restoration will help Issac Keith finally get some rest after haunting the Sagamore Cemetery for the past 120 years.

Visiting the Cemetery

Suppose you'd like to check out one of Sagamore's most historic sites or, potentially, experience some paranormal activity. In that case, you can head to the Sagamore Cemetery at any time on your Cape Cod vacation.

There's no guarantee that you'll witness a haunting while at the cemetery, but it's worth a visit as the final resting place for so many of the Cape's most prominent historical figures.

Haunted Cape Cod Sagamore

2018 Halloween Events on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 22, 2018

jack o lanterns

A visit to Cape Cod in late October means you can participate in the region’s various Halloween events. There is something for everyone on the Cape at Halloween, haunted houses, parades, family-friendly festivals, and adult-orientated parties are abundant throughout the last couple of weeks of the month.

As a result, it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling as a couple, with friends, or are bringing the family along, you can find something to do around Halloween that suits your needs. Have a look at 2018’s Halloween events on Cape Cod and figure out exactly what you want to do during the spookiest time of the year.

Haunted Outings

A Halloween staple in most parts of the country is the haunted house. On Cape Cod, in addition to haunted houses, there are some unique haunted outings that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. A slightly different take on the traditional haunted house takes place between October 25 and 30 from 6:00 until 8:30 PM at the Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennisport. This event is called Captain Lazarus' Haunted Harbor, and it puts a nautical spin on the haunted house. The Haunted Harbor uses special effects and actors to create perhaps the scariest event on Cape Cod during the Halloween season. It's $10 to visit, but keep in mind that younger children might find it too frightening and, therefore, organizers recommend it for kids older than eight and adults.

Another unique event taking place this Halloween is the Haunted Forest at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. On October 26 between 5:15 and 8:00 PM, there will be walking tours of the forest, which volunteers will decorate for the occasion, along with face-painting and a game room. You'll have to preregister for the event, as each time slot can only accommodate 20 people, and keep in mind that at least one adult must accompany every visitor under the age of 18.

Halloween Parades

Halloween parades are great because they encourage participation and provide an excellent chance to view some costumes. If you're interested in checking out or participating in a Halloween parade, you'll have a few different options from which to choose. Every year, the Brewster Ladies' Library hosts a Halloween Parade along Main Street between the library and The Brewster Store. The parade gets started on October 26 at 10:00 AM, and if you show up in your costume with your kids, you are more than welcome to participate. After the parade, feel free to head on over to Kinlin Grover Real Estate's Brewster office for some snacks.

The next day, on October 27, the Barnstable Village Halloween Parade takes place between 4:00 and 6:00 PM. You can join the parade by heading to the County Courthouse Complex. After the completion of the march, your kids can participate in a costume contest and dance party, take a hayride, and try some ice cream. The highlight of the event is the trunk or treating, where kids can get treats from the trunks of the various decorated cars that participated in the parade.

Family-Friendly Parties

When visiting the Cape with the kids near Halloween, it makes sense to track down some family-friendly events to attend. Luckily, Cape Cod has you covered in this regard, as there are numerous festivals and parties for children. The Halloween Family Festival takes place on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM, at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. This festival included free activities like a craft table, rides on a vintage carousel, a spooky Model T, a dance party, and entertainment around the fire, in addition to paid events like a haunted house, dunk tank, carnival games, and face-painting. It's $5 to get into the venue, and family passes are available for a discounted rate. While parking is limited on-site at the museum, additional spaces are on offer at Henry T. Wing School, and there is a free shuttle operating throughout the event.

Adult Halloween Events

If you're visiting the Cape without the kids, you might be interested in some of the adult-orientated parties taking place throughout the Halloween season. These events vary in their scope, as some are scary, some are unique, and others involve alcohol, so choose based on the type of night out you’re seeking.

Jake Rooney's, which is a restaurant in Harwichport, will host Jake's Halloween Seance on October 30 at 6:30 PM. This event costs $55 per person and includes a buffet dinner, along with a seance experience where a medium will attempt to make contact with the dead. This event is for 18+ only.

Of course, if you want to do something different for Halloween this year, you can visit Provincetown at any point during the week, as there is sure to be something going on. P-Town really gets into the Halloween spirit, as most of the bars and clubs have special events and also parties, concerts, performances, and even a haunted hotel. There are ghost tours on October 26 and 27, and a ghost hunt on the 27th, as well.

Heading Out in the Halloween Season

This list barely scratches the surface of the Halloween happenings on Cape Cod this year, as there are even more parties, performances, festivals, and events for you to check out this October. For example, many bars, businesses, churches, and organizations will have something going on around Halloween, so have a look around to see what you can find while you’re here. Numerous towns and villages, including Hyannis, Harwich, Pocasset, and Yarmouth, organize safe trick or treating events, so you can be sure that your children are out of danger while they're out collecting candy.

Consider a Cape Cod vacation rental this October and throughout the fall because there is always something to do on the Cape, even after the summer has ended.

Halloween On Cape Cod Halloween Parades Haunted Cape Cod Heritage Halloween Family Festival Jake Rooneys Provincetown Ghost Tours

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