Riverside Cemetery

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It is said that in the older part of the cemetery there was a chair that looked as if it had been made of wood, although it was concrete. Urban legend said that those who sat in the chair would die within a year. There are contradicting reports as to whether the chair still stands.

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Geographic Information

611 N Center St
Marshalltown, IA 50158
United States

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42.0577266, -92.91398079999999
Marshall County, Iowa
Nearest Towns:
Marshalltown, IA (0.7 mi.)
Albion, IA (5.4 mi.)
Green Mountain, IA (5.7 mi.)
Le Grand, IA (7.9 mi.)
Haverhill, IA (8.2 mi.)
Ferguson, IA (8.7 mi.)
Liscomb, IA (10.2 mi.)
Montour, IA (11.5 mi.)
Conrad, IA (11.7 mi.)
Laurel, IA (12.0 mi.)


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Comments (18)

  1. it is not the chair (which is still there as of 4/12/14) that you need to worry about.

    the cemetery is closed at night for good reason. some friends and i were dodging curfew cops years back, jumped the fence and were hiding in the back part when we saw something.

    i want to tell myself it was a big dog, but dogs don’t make those noises, or have red eyes.

    • I have a question was it also black after we walked through after the gates were down from them redoing them after tornado my son seen a huge black wolf like creature upstairs in our home with red eyes I have also heard babies crying in back part were it’s older I think I was told that young children. And babies are buried there.

  2. You can find the chairs – there were two – near the mausoleum built into the hill. Jack is right about the haunting. Also the ghost o Jean Seberg has been seen – she is buried there.

  3. A few friends and I in 2004 heard about the chair rumors. So all of us sat in the chair. Idk if it was the chair but we are all still alive.

  4. Sure the chairs are real. They also were made from some form of concrete or cement or carved like a tombstone. And did resemble wooden logs if I recall correctly. As teens we cut through the cemetery often – which usually was at night. And found the chairs. I personally sat on one. Decades later..still here. However..there are a few things people dont know about the place. There are real hauntings there. – For instance…when I was probably 19 or 20. I cut through the cemetery on a nice warm sunny afternoon. Oblivious to anything I just strolled along. As I was nearing the pond…walking along the side road nearby..i recall a sweet little old woman arranging flowers on a grave. She smiled and I smiled back. Nice day I said. She replied., “I just wanted to see the pretty flowers my daughter left”. I smiled and didnt say anything really just kept walking. Then something she said clicked and i quick turned around and looked back at her. She was gone. I walked back to where she had been just moments before. No sign of her any where..and no flowers.
    The Mausoleum toward the back of the cemetery… the one that looks like it was built during the civil war. Used to have a big crack in it. And it was always believed that if you listened up close to it you would be able to hear voices coming through the crack. Late one evening some friends and I gave it a try. However we were interrupted by a shambling figure of an old man coming up a hill toward us…his eyes glowing red..his mannerisms menacing…he just emitted fear… he said leave my home alone! and we were so far gone running away by the time he finished that i swear we left a cloud of dust behind us all the way.
    One more thing to be warned about..stay away from the lye pit. The lye monster will crawl out and pull you in.

    Uncle Stoney

    • My girlfriend & I recently just went there if you could give directions to which Mausoleum or where it’s located at in the cemetery.

  5. i need to know more about his place because im thinking about going there with 3 of my friends tomorrow to get these things on camera. send me a message on facebook my names leroy easton

  6. I sat in the chair about 9yrs ago. And my health has gotten bad but I’m still alive. As far as seeing ms. Seaberg yes she does walk around the cemetery. And red eyes will watch you walk around the cemetery

  7. Heard stories about a weird sort of demon dubbed the “monkeywolf”. Never saw it myself or thought much of it until a guest of ours took our dog for a walk out there (outside the cemetery)late at night and returned asking us if there were any large wild animals around here. We replied “no. Maybe once in five years or so the odd black bear or cougar will be sighted, but never smack dab in town.” He replied that as they past a huge old oak, close to the river and the old dam and water works, they heard a strange scream or howl, (they couldn’t decide, said it sounded like a little bit of both)and then saw two red eyes peer out at them from behind the tree some ten feet off the ground. They said it was not a raccoon, even after I told them about the horrid squallering those nasty little creatures make when they are fighting. I dont know what it could have been but local superstition has always supported the existence of some kind if demon. The boys also said that whatever it was scared the dog pretty good…she shied away (unusual for her) and wanted nothing to do with it.

    • Rumor has it, you sit in the chair at the stroke of midnight and wish you were dead, and if you were genuine in your thoughts, then you would be dead by midnight the next day. I have seen paranormal investigators do this firsthand and nothing happened. But there are some strange and unusual things that happen here.

  8. There are two chairs, yes they look like logs, yes they are made of concrete/cement. As I was growing up (two blocks from the cemetery), the legend was that if you sat in the chair(s) at midnight, and repeated a chant that I don’t recall at the moment, you would die before your next birthday- though none of us did. They were known as the death chairs. There was a mausoleum that also was rumored to hold ill will to anyone who entered, though creepy as it was, we all were just fine. Freaked out, but fine. A friend and I did discover an unexpected chill, though, when in the height of the day we wondered back to the very back of the cemetery where vaults and we thought (at the time) the crematorium was. There was a timber back there flanking the river and the cemetery itself. For whatever obnoxious reason, (craziness and youth invincibility?) we followed the path to a clearing in the timber to find a pentagram, candles, bones and other scary things. We took our findings to my mother and our pastor, and I never went back in that timber again.

  9. Used to work here. Nice place. Beautiful landscaping, fountains, waterfalls, statues, well tended, gorgeous trees. I loved taking care of that place. I felt honored caring for the dead in their eternal rest.
    Nothing terrible or evil here, at least not during the day, and I was rarely there past 5 pm. Local wildlife includes TONS of raccoons and coyote. Deer, foxes, badgers, skunks, possum, rabbit, hawks, owls, turkey vultures, kestrels, eagles, herons, cranes, trumpeter swans. Any one of these could reflect red eyes. I have heard tale of the Monkeywolf. My own son had a run in with it, also with my dog. It was halfway up a tree and scared the dog to a standstill. Normally, she would be hot on the trail of any animal.
    Though not personally witnessed, there have been instances of human bones being exposed on the bluff area, right above the groundskeepers building. These are where the remains dating back to the origins of the cemetery are buried.
    They do not store vaults here anymore, and they never had a crematorium on site, but there are are old pits on the bottomland next to the river where the power plant would dump coal ashes. I wouldnt recommend walking back there without knowing where not to step. There are some cool stories of peoples’ lives and deaths…the office knows most of them. I know one about a young black man who saved two young girls from being violated and possibly murdered by a group of hobos along Lynn Creek. This man fought the mob, enabling the girls to escape. He was shot in the gut and later died from his injuries. I know the town cracked down on the hobo population after that, and that the city paid for this man’s headstone. I think they helped the family out too.

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