The Lady in Granite

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The Lady in Granite appears on a gravestone for the Gillette family. It is an image of a lady’s head, reclining, thought to be the head of Matilda Gillette. No amount of polishing has been able to remove the image from the stone. According to local legend, eventually her whole form will show on the tombstone, and then her ghost will be free to haunt the town.

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Geographic Information

388 Elm St
Penn Yan, NY
United States

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42.6608805, -77.06577500000003
Yates County, New York
Nearest Towns:
Penn Yan, NY (0.6 mi.)
Keuka Park, NY (3.4 mi.)
Dresden, NY (5.8 mi.)
Hall, NY (9.2 mi.)
Gorham, NY (10.1 mi.)
Dundee, NY (10.5 mi.)
Rushville, NY (10.7 mi.)
Ovid, NY (12.4 mi.)
Lodi, NY (12.8 mi.)
Romulus, NY (13.4 mi.)


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Comments (4)

  1. I was taken to the grave years ago around midnight & they shined the car lights on the gravestone and sure enough, there was a black shadow of a head tilted back with a bar going across under the head. I wanted to get the heck out of there. It was creepy. I never went back. I also heard the same story! It was freaky! I didn’t have a camera back then to take any pics but I know what I saw & it was a women’s head work a bar underneath going across!

    • I remember going to see the tombstone back in the 1970s but I thought that it was called “the crying tombstone” as supposedly tears came from the face of a female. Is this the same legend?

    • Hello,My name is TerryMartin, a 1974 graduate of Penn Yan Academy. I have visited this stone many times, sometimes by myself and other times with friends. I was there last night, a very dark night, (October 28, 2016). The face does not glow in the dark unless their is moonlight. I actually touch the face and surrounding granite to show friends it’s not a defect in the finish but an actual image in the stone. I have never been “haunted” or “visited” by the occupant and love to share the story with others. so please don’t let this scare you. She is just a part of our history!

      T.J. Martin

  2. I went to college in Canandaigua at FLCC. I lived in the hotel at the end of the driveway of the college. Any ways a group of us wanted to find something spooky. One of your friends lived in Penn Yan, and I was originally from Dundee. I asked her about the head stone. She called some friends, and so we were off. The friend took us all over the grave yard. As we were walking though a group of graves I happened to notice a black form. I felt it was watching us and wondering why we were there. It went away and as we emerged from the group of graves and on to the road way the grave sight was found. It was the same place that I had noticed the form watching us. I’ve been there a few times since, but during the day.

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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.