A Trip to Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan; and Other Local Hot-Spots


UPDATE: Evidence captured at an August 2013 visit!

If there is one thing I have learned after doing paranormal investigations for a little more than three years, it is that any place can be haunted. Usually, we associate places where the act of dying physically occured, or for a residual effect, the place where one felt extreme emotion in life and decided to return there and “haunt” it in death. Because of this, I never gave much thought to cemeteries actually being haunted, because, quite frankly, no one ever dies there. They can be very creepy, and walking amongst an area where hundreds or thousands of dead bodies are buried is not really too pleasant, no matter how peaceful the location. However, Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey, with graves dating back to the early 1700’s has long been rumored to be haunted, with some apparently crazy stuff that goes on—the time of day not seeming to matter. Rumor has it that the cemetery is a hot spot for EVP recordings, ghostly visions, and orbs and ectoplasm appearing in photographs. Now, this description could be for a lot of so-called haunted locations, but because I am always game for an adventure, and have my own posse of friends, students, and hockey players who have recently been diagnosed with the paranormal bug, we decided that yesterday, we would give old Rose Hill a visit to put these legends to the test. Is it really haunted? Well, just keep on reading.


First of all, I just wanted to clear one thing up for people trying to find this place. If you find an address online for Rose Hill, it is wrong. I found three different ones on various sites and luckily I checked them up on Google Maps before driving to them, because they were all incorrect, albeit not by much. I don’t even know if the place has an actual address. Your best bet is to put the address in for Ravine Drive Elementary School, which is right across the street and down a little bit from it. If you are coming from the south, you will be able to see it in the near distance on the right once you get to the school. If you are coming from the north, it will be on your left, and you will reach it before the school. Also, I would like to add that Revolutionary and Civil War buffs will get some enjoyment here, as there are several soldiers buried within the confines. While the Revolutionary War ones are hard to find, the Civil War graves (like the one pictures above) have 150th anniversary placards placed in front of them. It just so happens that I know the guy who put them there, and I am going to be meeting him soon to take a look at some original paperwork he has from some of the soldiers.

Now for the paranormal activity I encountered, along with two friends who came with me. The cemetery was not exactly intimidating, even with the overcast skies above us getting ready for nightfall,but it does indeed have a very irking atmosphere. While there is a main road right next to it (making recordings and ruling out sounds as being caused by ghosts extremely difficult), if you walk just a short distance to where a small lake is, with a big hill right next to it, the place becomes very secluded, very quickly. Aside from a jogger who ran through on one of the paths, we were all alone, at least in regards to other humans. There was definitely the feeling that we were being watched, as confirmed by the Ghost Radar which showed up to five blips at a time for most of the hour we were there. Even at the other very haunted locations, the most we usually get at one time on the screen is two or three. We were not alone after all.

We switched from Ghost Radar to Contact Paranormal Pro, which has a drawing board in addition to radar. There is a space on the screen which draws pictures and writes out words when the ghosts are communicating to us. While both gave us names of nearby gravestones, the Contact App led us to believe we were actually communicating with a spirit. One popped up on the screen right next to us and we asked its name. The word, “Ava” was quickly drawn. We started to walk down the path when I said, “I want to find your grave. Are we heading in the right direction?” It then wrote, “Lost”, and when we turned around and headed the other way and asked again if we were going the right way, it wrote, “Yes”. We searched for a while, and unfortunately, could not locate her grave. There were also some pretty scary looking tombs built into the side of the hill where a lot of blips popped up, as well as some ineligible scribbling, which it does not normally do. That, combined with a few frown faces that had teardrops flowing from the eyes, confirmed that the cemetery is highly active. One person in our group also reported being scratched twice, and two of us both saw an orb fly off of the hill before disappearing. We had a pretty good view of it, and no, it was not a bird.

I wanted to go during the day before going at night, for safety reasons, and because there are no gates on the main entrance, I am led to believe that it is okay to wander in at night. There is a “No Trespassing” sign in front of the gate, which is kind of confusing since the cemetery is open to the public and has no gates or hours/times posted. I would like to look into the matter further before I go at night.

The gate of the Dempsey House.
The gate of the Dempsey House.

We continued our little “Paranormal Tour” by heading to the Dempsey House in Leonardo. Again, there are some crazy legends associated with this house, and since I do not know much back-story on it, I do not want to comment with much else other than that this has to be the scariest looking place in all of New Jersey. Even in daylight, it gives me the creeps, and we were there at night. Everything from suicides, strange rituals, and a man who murdered his entire family, turns this place into a regular stop for locals passing by. We stayed about fifteen minutes to take pictures, but aside from the faint sound of a baby crying, we heard nothing. I cannot confirm the baby was not from a nearby house, but it did not sound like it.

Greg checking out the Ghost Radar by a shed near the Spy House.
Greg checking out the Ghost Radar by a shed near the Spy House.

When we were done there, we capped off a day with a visit to the Spy House in Port Monmouth, which I have been to many times and have had more success there than any place else with ghost photography. Readers will remember this floating head in the back window, and this face in the glass in the front. Aside from the Ghost Radar going crazy and a few orbs in pictures, we did not spot much, except a shadow of a head in one of the top windows. The one strange phenomena to report was that every time I called out the name “Gertrude”, the radar made a beeping noise. Gertrude, as many people know, was one of the old caretakers of the house, who used to conduct seances and was supposedly a little bit off her rocker. Was she with us last night?

2 thoughts on “A Trip to Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan; and Other Local Hot-Spots

  1. Great post – some very creepy experiences. I met Gertrude Neidlinger several times while The Spy House was still a museum – she loved it there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to stay.

  2. jonathan stuhl

    I grew up across the street from rose hill and can positively attest that it is in fact haunted. This was our playground. We were in there every day. Its funny though that there is never any mention of the witches tomb at the bottom of the hill or the black figure we often encountered on the south side. If anyone has any note deep history of rose hill, I would love to know about it. Great article. Thanks for the tribute to our playground.

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