St. Patrick's Cemetery - Glowing Graveyard

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The cemetery, a.k.a. the Glowing Graveyard, is the center of several local ghost stories. For one, the headstones, as you may guess, are said to glow at night by the light of a full moon. Skeptics say this is because of the reflective limestone in the headstones. Another local legend tells of an accident on the adjacent bridge in which a bus full of children overturned, killing everyone. The legend goes on to say those who cover their car with talcum powder and drive over the bridge will see small handprints all over the car.

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Geographic Information

St. Patrick's Cemetery
Shell Creek, NE
United States

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41.5032954, -97.4452344
Platte County, Nebraska
Nearest Towns:
Platte Center, NE (3.3 mi.)
Columbus, NE (6.5 mi.)
Monroe, NE (8.2 mi.)
Duncan, NE (8.3 mi.)
Tarnov, NE (8.3 mi.)
Richland, NE (12.9 mi.)
Humphrey, NE (13.2 mi.)
Cornlea, NE (13.7 mi.)
Creston, NE (14.7 mi.)
Genoa, NE (15.2 mi.)


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Comments (9)

  1. The “glowing grave” had marcasite in the stone, it reflected light. It was a blacksmiths grave that a grouo of morons desectared in the 1990’s. Last I heard the stone was gone because moron thrill seakers destroyed it. There was never a bus accident on the bridge. That is a story that was borrowed from another ghost story in PA in the late 90’s. If you as locals they will tell you all the stories about the glowing graveyard is just that, stories. The only thrill you will get if you go out there would de be if the sheriff’s department catches you or one of the locals who had family buried there catches you. Either way you thrilling investigation will end with tresspassing charges. This cemetary is not abandonded, please respect the families of the people buried there by just leaving it alone.

    • Sorry for the typing errors. It is not haunted, it is just a bunch of stories. Stories that expanded since I was in high school. The bus story has been added since 1990. Many of people from the area have family buried in this cemetary, we know it only as a sad place, not a haunted one.

  2. There is also a guy buried there that Murdered tons of people in his basement. He would tie them up put gas on them then burn them alive or stab them to death. He was buried outside of the cemetery once but they needed more room for other people so they added the gates around him. If you go there today you can see a tombstone in the left back of the cemetery that is all by itself. That would be his tombstone. The bridge is still there though. I have seen it a couple of days ago.

  3. When I was a sophomore in high school, a group of my friends and I went up to the glowing graveyard on a night of a full moon. Since I am Catholic, I was very skeptical about paranormal activity and ghosts. I had a feeling that nothing was going to happen, but my friends wanted to test the waters and see if anything scary would actually occur. Growing up, yes, we heard stories about an ax murderer who was buried on the outside of the fence, but since the graveyard needed to expand, they had to include him into the cemetery. Now, I can confirm from personal experience that the tombstone was indeed glowing. I don’t know if it was because of the moon light or whatever “mumbo-jumbo” y’all say it was but it was definitely glowing! I thought that was odd, but I was still skeptical at this point. My friends said that if you touch the tombstone, you’ll be cursed. I obviously didn’t believe it so I touched it, and of course all my friends ran back to the car and locked me outside. I wasn’t too happy about that. Once they finally gave in and let me in the car, we decided to drive to the old bridge north of the cemetery to do that whole powder thing and see if kid’s hand prints would end up on the car. There was also a part to that story saying something like, you had to walk across the bridge all the way to the other side and back in order for the kids handprints to appear…So my friends decided to walk across the bridge and back. I, on the other hand, only made it half way across the bridge and stopped…Now this is where it got creepy and even to this day, gives me the chills. Once I stopped and waited for my friends to get back, I leaned over the edge of the bridge just to look at the water. It was dead silent until I heard movement. Not from the bridge or my friends, because they were at such a distance that couldn’t compare to what I heard. It literally sounded like someone was swimming or doing “strokes” in the water. Now, call me crazy, but I am one that never got freaked out or remotely creeped out about that stuff until that night. Once my friends returned they didn’t believe me and said I was just messing with them. Great. It has probably been at least five to six years since I was in high school when this night happened- haven’t been back since.
    I have also been to the haunted house south of Duncan, NE the next summer after this incident. Now let me tell you, THAT is a story that can’t even be put into words, but it is a good one!

  4. I’ve been to the graveyard several times, including at night, scariest thing was when it had been defaced and the locals were upset and paranoid, I visited near sunrise and had a pickup come roaring down the road to check i wasn’t doing anything.
    The bridge to the north is gone, though sometimes still pops up on Google Maps, which can make finding the place difficult if trying to come from the north.
    There is a lone grave to the north, but it’s well within the curve of the roadway around the place. I don’t know it’s history.
    I didn’t hear any rumors of the site until well after highschool and well after I’d visited several times. Was when talking about the defacement mentioned earlier that people mentioned the ‘haunted’ aspect.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.