Be prepared, folks. Be prepared. Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey is the site of much history and a location beloved by locals and paranormal enthusiasts. It is rumored to be haunted, and severely so. While I have been there at least five times, and conducted thorough investigations twice, I have not uncovered anything spectacular. However, there is no doubt how weird the place is. Though located in the middle of a residential area, the feeling while walking around day or night is one of isolation. Yesterday, along with two Ghosts on the Coast team-members, Brett Bodner and Hunter Dillon, we conducted several Spirit Box sessions. Those videos and audio still have to be analyzed and will be posted later this week. There is something interesting we did find, and that is a grave marked “Zombie”. It seems to be a fun spot in the cemetery. People like to take their pictures near such a source of intrigue. But there is little to no information regarding who—or what—might be buried in the plot. The family name is Hulsart, and there are six graves at that location. They range from the late 1800’s until more recently in the latter half of the 1900’s. The names are rather normal, such as Clinton, Miriam, and Beatrice, to name a few. Then comes Zombie.
Many chats I have had with locals including a historian turned out nothing. The years underneath the unique name are 1960-1973. I had so many questions and thoughts: 1) Could that have been a real name? It is unlikely at that point in time when names were still traditional. 2) I then pondered if this was a nickname for someone, but if a 13-year-old died, do you think the parents would have had that inscribed instead of the child’s real name? 3) It also couldn’t be a “real” zombie buried there. This isn’t hundreds of years ago we are talking, when people were superstitious or unknowing of certain things and labeled this guy as a zombie. This also is not the Caribbean where such beliefs are widely held. Its New Jersey. 4) The final question I had was, could this have been a prank? Something concocted by the family to keep people on their toes? Each case was equally puzzling and, well, awkward. There simply was no reason why that word should appear on such a headstone at that location…until our production assistant, David Zohn, did some digging.
He literally did what I could not do, despite internet searches with every combination of wording I could think of. Turns out, we do have an identity for Zombie. Are you ready? Here it is: Zombie was the Hulsart Family’s dog! According to this obscure Patch article from three years ago, the lore can finally be put to rest: “Ok, ok we admit it – Matawan isn’t home to an actual zombie. But the real story is even better. They say man’s best friend is his dog, and in this case it’s true. Clinton Hulsart was buried in Matawan’s Rose Hill Cemetary after he died in 1973. Hulsart’s dog Zombie died the following year and was laid to rest next to his master.”
I can’t say that we feel stupid, but maybe a little underwhelmed. While we knew there really was no zombie buried there, we thought the truth might be a little more dramatic and mysterious. Nope. It’s a dog. Our quest is always to find the truth, no matter how strange or sometimes stupidly obvious it may be. It all makes perfect sense now. How d’ya like that?
More articles in this special “Halloween Twenty-Fifteen” column can be found here.