November 28, 1897


     Cemeteries can be disturbing for some people.

     And Emily Laurion was terrified of them.

     At the age of 31 in 1897, Emily was a spinster. She was not married, had no intention of being married, and no illusions as to her attractiveness to a potential mate. Emily was neither pleasing to the eye, nor was she wealthy enough for an ambitious – if vulgar – gentleman to overlook her physical shortcomings.

     Both Emily’s parents had been carried away by fever when she was 22, and she suffered from terrible nightmares that they were still alive in their graves. When forced to pass Old Cross Cemetery, where her parents were buried, she often did so with eyes downcast and quick steps.

     On the afternoon of November 28, 1897, Emily was returning from a trip to town, walking as swiftly as she could past the graves of her parents when she heard a mournful, frightened cry.

     For the first time since her parents’ burial, Emily stopped and peered into the cemetery. The sound continued unabated, and she realized it came from a headstone near her parents. She went running into the cemetery, fell to her knees and began digging furiously at the grave of Jos. Eustace St. John (Died 1772 – Age 8yrs.).

     When others came upon the scene, they found her nearly 3 feet down, and they helped her dig the last two feet, the cries growing louder. When they reached the old hardwood of the coffin, Emily tore the top off and revealed a young boy of 8 years, weeping in his coffin.

     On November 28, 1957, Emily Laurion was buried beside her parents by her son, Joshua E. St. John-Laurion.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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