Stoneking Cemetery

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There is a lot of mystery and talk surrounding this cemetery, a family plot near what was once the abandoned house. Some say there are dangerous trees in the back of the cemetery, and those who walked behind them would catch a glimpse of the Stone King sitting on his grave, and then would soon die. Others say Joseph Stoneking was featured in the original “Children of the Corn” movie, and words on a headstone threaten that the reader will be joining Joseph: “As you are now, I once was. As I am now, you soon will be. So, come face death and follow me.” Rumors say no one can climb the stairs of the abandoned family home located on the property. Those who try are always stopped. There are reports of sightings of apparitions with bad burns and missing hands. Newer reports say there are no longer any remains of the old family house or any graves behind the trees, but the area is still haunted by an unexplained bright light that comes toward you.

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Geographic Information

Stoneking Cemetery
East of Williamson, Iowa
United States

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41.09632896020322, -93.1179164945122
Lucas County, Iowa
Nearest Towns:
Williamson, IA (7.2 mi.)
Russell, IA (8.9 mi.)
Melrose, IA (9.0 mi.)
Marysville, IA (10.5 mi.)
Melcher-Dallas, IA (11.0 mi.)
Chariton, IA (11.4 mi.)
Lovilia, IA (11.5 mi.)
Hamilton, IA (12.3 mi.)
Bussey, IA (14.3 mi.)
Lacona, IA (15.2 mi.)


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Comments (30)

  1. There’s many made up stories about this place, I’ve been there MANY times, mostly just to scare girls! I’ve never seen or felt anything strange there. Seems to just be a cemetery off the beaten path.

  2. Vehicles have been reported to not start when you want to leave. I never believed it until one night we had two cars go out there, we were getting ready to leave when my friends car would not start.

  3. I think this place is haunted I live like 1 mile from there and I go camping no more than a 200 feet from the cemetery and I have seen some pretty strange things at night. And ps this website has the saying on Joseph’s headstone wrong it reads dear children as you pass by as you are now so once was I as I am now so soon you’ll be prepare for death and follow me. And I have walked behind those trees at night and I strongly believe that I did see Joseph

  4. My art teacher told me about the time him & his friends a long time ago went and visited this cemetery and the abandoned house when it was still standing. He said that they saw a group of people in white robes in a circle far away & he suspected it was a cult so they walked far away & found the house. Apparently there was a myth that if you walked under the chandelier in the house, 7 years from then you would die I guess. So they only looked inside but didn’t actualy walk in. My teacher said he saw the illuminati painted against the wall in there tho, then he left. Pretty scary stuff.. :b

  5. Please, respect the Cemetery and all the grave markers. This Cemetery happens to be the family Cemetery of my Grandmothers family. There is no “Stone King” as Stonking is one word, not two and it just happens to be the family name. They were good, God fearing people. The “house” that used to sit on the property was an old school house, not someones home. I have been to the Cemetery several times with my Grandmother, the only threatening things you may come across are snakes. There’s a lot of really old graves there, visit as you wish. But please, be respectful and leave it as you find it.

  6. when I lived near Williamson, (I actually went to Williamson Elementary School) it was common knowledge that the witch was persecuted by one of the family and actually burnt her house down with the witch inside, she while dying from the flames, cut off her hand and cursed the family with some sort of “power” invoked i to the hand, all Stoneking youngsters to die before age 7, go look at the ages on the headstones peeps..

  7. Several years ago I was doing a research paper on cemeteries in my area. I had a friend from the area and she convinced me to go. I love cemeteries and always feel peaceful when visiting…until we started down the path to Stoneking. As we drove we could see bright white lights coming toward us. When we got out of the car and walked to the gravestone I had a strong since that I was somehow intruding. As a previous person posted, the quote in this passage is not what is on the stone. I have pictures to prove it. It is telling the reader to “prepare for death and follow me”. There was no sign of a building on the property. When we started walking around a large black thunder cloud blanketed the cemetery in darkness. We quickly ran back to the car and to our surprise the car stalled twice before turning over. On our way back down the road we seen people in black robes walking through the fields. Im glad it was so hard to find, so Im never tempted to go back.

  8. Well, this site’s description, and none of the comments I’ve seen here, tell the story which I have heard about Stoneking Cemetery. There was once a family of settlers heading west. But while travelling through this area, one of their infant children got sick and died. The Stonekings let these people bury their child here, and the family moved on. When members of the Stoneking family died they were buried with this existing grave, so eventually a small family cemetery developed over the years. And there are actually several children who died and were buried here. (I have seen the dates on the markers and stones that are legible.) So, the cemetery is actually haunted by children. The road up to the cemetery from the north has a small bridge that you must drive over. It is about a 3/4 mile north of the cemetery. At night, if you stop here, lower windows, wait and listen, you will hear distant children’s laughter, or hear them whispering. The children haunt the woods and fields near and around the cemetery.

  9. I’ve been to this cemetery multiple times and nothing is all that creepy except the boulder headstone and it has some strange writing on it that can not be made out but the woods around it is haunted. you hear whispers and moans.

  10. I was there last night. I had the feeling that i was watched and there had been a light coming towards my group. Not only that but i swear one of the graves started to bleed. Then when we got back to the vehicle we noticed handprint going DOWN the windshield. freaky as all hell.

  11. I live in a town beside Stoneking and every Halloween there is a KKK meeting there. I know you’re probably like, “That’s not true”, but, last Halloween me and a couple of my buddies went down there to see if it was true and right before we got to the cemetery we were stopped by a man in a jeep and told us to leave. We started driving away and they followed us. My friend was driving behind me and then we heard gun shots, we drove away really fast and when we got back to the house there was bullet holes in his truck.

  12. Augustus Ghormley  |  

    I did manage to make it up the stairs once before the house was leveled. I had a friend of mine focus his energy into amulets for me to carry, and I was able to push my way to the second floor, with the stairs cracking beneath me.

  13. just visited there tonight.. Was curious as to where the house was relative to the cemetery? I saw in an old video it was on raised land in when it was built, but it all looks run off now. We did hear gunshots in the area, but not sure if they were hunters or what else…

    Another question: I heard there was an old school too nearby… any truth to this and the possible location of where it stood?

  14. There’s an old story behind Joseph Stoneking that you can’t find on the internet. Only the locals around Chariton know what it is, but there’s a lot more to it than just the cemetery.

  15. Just went there tonight. Never going back. DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE THAT SAY IT IS NOT HAUNTED!! A couple friends and I had the worst experience. We went down the level B, turned around to a short boy standing beside a log then disappeared. Then stopped up by the cemetery to a grown woman (looked inbred) standing there staring at us. (I have this all on video) then it disappeared and reappeared in the passenger side back window. We of course got very freaked out and drove away. And then someone appeared in the middle of the road. Thinking it was a real person, we swerved very aggressively, almost crashed into the ditch. We looked back and shined flash lights but no one was to be found. This area all around is straight up haunted. The cemetery is just a family cemetery, the woods and area around is what you really need to worry about. If you want to go out there, please be careful

    • I’ve been there 3 times so far without anything this extreme happening. One time was just me and a friend and even then there was nothing that happened. Maybe I just get unlucky and they don’t feel like showing themselves the nights I went out there.

  16. I have been to this cemetery at night about 15 years ago. I have never been so scared of a place in my whole life as i read the headstone standing in front of it i felt fear and chills immediately all over my body than started hearing movement and laughter there was no one else there it was at 3 in the morning i will never go here again.

  17. Went there today. After jerks destroyed most of the grave marks I was happy to see some replaced. As soon as I crossed the gate I heard a low hum and felt pressure in my head. When I spoke to my husband it faded but once i was quiet it came back. Definitely a neat experience to read some of the grave markers. Sad the older ones were hard to make out.

    • Your picture is not of the original head stone. And the inscription has been changed on this one. I know.. because I memorized it in the 1970’s. It was originally. “Dear children as you are now so once was I, as I am now soon you will be, so in death take my hand and follow me.”

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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.