Restless Graves Part IV: Goodleberg Cemetery in Wales, New York

Amidst the green rolling hills of western New York State, several small towns and villages dot the landscape; among them is the small community of Wales. While the town itself appears to be free of paranormal activity, the same cannot be said for Goodleberg Cemetery, a burial ground along the back roads of Wales. A dark place known to be home to some of the most frightening ghostly activity in the Empire state.

As the name of the town suggests, Wales was founded by Welsh immigrants in the early 1800s. Goodleberg Cemetery was established not long after the founding of the town. There, visitors can view the graves and headstones of the town’s founders. When the immigrants arrived in their new home, they brought with them their legends and folklore. One of those folkloric creatures they brought with them is a beast said to stalk the woods surrounding the cemetery. The sinister creature is known as the monstrous Barghest, or the dreaded hound of hell.

Even before Goodleberg gained its dark reputation, visitors reported seeing a large black dog lurking in the woods. When the beast appears with eyes glowing with the intensity of hellfire, it lets out an unearthly howl that fills the witness with dread and terror. As of yet, the diabolical black dog with its mighty fangs, has not hurt anyone as it chases unsuspecting visitors from the cemetery. Well, none that were reported anyways.

When visiting cemeteries or graveyards, its generally considered bad form to take anything away from the grounds as it is disrespectful and it could incur the wrath of the ghostly denizens. Goodleberg Cemetery is, of course, no different. According to legend, Goodleberg Cemetery is cursed. If anything is removed, misfortune will follow the offender wherever they may go. In the past, foolish visitors innocently walked away with what they thought was a souvenir. Almost immediately, bad luck befalls the hapless thief and returning the object is the only thing that satisfies the curse.

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If hounds of hell and potentially deadly curses do not satisfy your longing for the strange, restless ghosts haunt Goodleberg Cemetery as well. Wispy apparitions have been spotted roaming the cemetery when the sun dips below the horizon. These ghosts are said to be the victims of one man, the late Dr. Albert Speaker, the butcher of Wales.

In the early 20th century, Dr Speaker performed surgical procedures that were considered illegal at the time. If a young woman found herself in the unenviable position of being pregnant outside of wedlock, they would seek the services of Dr. Speaker to rid themselves of the unwanted pregnancy. Sadly, Dr Speaker was terrible at what he did.

Its widely believed that several of Speaker’s patients died while on his operating table. When a girl died, Speaker would wrap their body up and dispose of them in a nearby lake. He almost got away with it, but fate had other plans. When the remains of the girls began floating to the surface, local law enforcement went looking for Speaker. When it became apparent the law was coming for him, Speaker took the easy way out and hung himself from a tree in the cemetery to escape his date before a judge to answer for his crimes.

Since the death of Albert Speaker, the apparitions of young women have been seen in the cemetery, as well as walking along the shore of the lake where they were unceremoniously buried. The visions are said to be accompanied by the eerie sound of wailing babies carried on the breeze. Speaker himself has also been seen haunting the house where he committed his egregious crimes. Does his soul haunt the house out of guilt for all the pain and suffering he caused? Or, as some believe, is he searching for more victims to operate on? No one can say with any certainty.

Upon visiting Goodleberg Cemetery it is important to keep a few things in mind. The cemetery only allows visitors between 8 AM and dusk. Anyone caught in the cemetery after hours will be arrested for trespassing and the police are not playing around. Secondly, be sure to wear your best walking shoes, as the nearest parking lot is a half mile down the road. Lastly, this location is very dark, even during the day. Not long ago a local ghost hunter was hit by a car while taking pictures from the road. Safety and respect for the dead is of the utmost importance at this extraordinarily haunted Goodleberg Cemetery.

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About Rick Hale 106 Articles
Rick Hale became interested in anomalous phenomenon at an early age after encountering an apparition in his grandparent's home. Rick is the author of "The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghost and Demons," and "Behold! Shocking True Tales Off Terror...And Some Other Spooky Stuff." Rick has been published in Haunted Times Magazine, Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, and Legends Magazine. Rick appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and Ghost Tapes: The Series found at

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