MN’s ‘Witches Graveyard’ is A 3½ Hour Drive from St. Cloud
We're all practicing social distancing and it can get a bit boring. So, I've been obsessed with looking up haunted places in Minnesota. In my searches, I kept seeing Loon Lake Cemetery make it onto several 'haunted places' lists. So, I decided to click on it and find out the story.
Located in Jackson County, the cemetery is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from St. Cloud. It has a pretty bone chilling reputation that'll make you think the distance isn't far enough away.
First of all, this place has been practicing social distancing forever because if you look at it on Google Maps it's in such a remote area, you aren't likely to cross paths with it unless you're seeking it out.
You can find Google photos of old weathered signs around the cemetery that read;
A historic site where early settlers of Jackson County were laid to rest. They left the security of civilized settlements to brave the new frontier. Open during daylight hours only, please stay on the trail."
According to a 2016 article titled, "The Haunting of Loon Lake Cemetery" by Dennis Waskul, 'no one has been buried at Loon Lake in more than 90 years." As you can probably imagine, it looks abandoned and overgrown which definitely adds to the creepy factor.
A 2019 article titled "Discover the Haunted And Spooky Loon Lake Cemetery In Minnesota" by Betsy Rathburn states there was a young woman named Mary Jane Terwileger who locals believed was a witch. She was beheaded and buried in the cemetery. Waskul's article makes the same claim. But states, as legend goes, the woman was buried with the same ax used to kill her.
Numerous websites claim the area had a problem with witches at the time and two more women were accused and killed following Mary Jane Terwileger's death. Legend has it that the witches are all buried at Loon Lake.
Now, here's where things get really creepy...as the story goes, Mary Jane cursed the graveyard before she died. It's said that anyone who walks on top of her grave will die in three days (yes, it sounds quite similar to the plot of The Ring #7Days). But, here's the deal--no one actually knows where her grave is because it's not marked. So, good luck.
Yikes...that means, the whole graveyard is sketchy and suspect--if you believe in the legend. If you're brave enough to visit the graveyard, it might be wise to follow directions and 'stay on the trail.'
The Loon Lake Cemetery has a Facebook page you can visit. They updated their status on September 27, 2019 stating;
Perhaps if the graves are located and marked, we'll finally have answers to the old legend.