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Cemetary of Lost Souls - Hickory Run, PA (Carbon County)

Another local ghost story centers around a little-known graveyard in Hickory Run State Park, on a small hill across from the main office on Route 534. It’s said that the ghost of a little girl named Lizzie Gould is sometimes seen walking the road or heard playing amongst the graves. Of course I wondered—could it be true?

A friend and I decided to find out, but we didn’t find much. The cemetery is unmarked, but you can see low steps of sunken stone sinking their way up the hill if you look close. Following that forgotten path feels like a step back in time, and the site certainly has a story to tell.

Watched over by towering, tilting, lightning-blasted pines and hemlocks, it overlooks the Hickory Run Creek with an ambience all its own. Not spooky. Sad.

The oldest marked graves were dated 1819, with too many children dying too young, and too often. One of the oldest was in surprisingly good condition. Upright, legible and still wrapped with sorrow. Four children from the same family, all drowned on the same day.

There were also a lot of unmarked stones. Lonesome, anonymous, ancient. Erased by time or too poor for more, their mystery felt somehow…special. Nothing newer than the 1800’s, many of the graves resulted from a flood in October of 1849 (when Lizzie died).

For the record, we didn’t see or hear any ghosts, Lizzie or otherwise. Yet the sorrow was palpable. The lost souls and lost cemetery cried out for remembrance. And oddly enough, two graves seemed to be shouting it. Lounging like lovers against welcoming tree roots, glowing sunless and bright white in every photo…”remember me!” And so I do.

Old Tombstone

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