Spider Gates Cemetery

Spider Gates Cemetery is a small Quaker Cemetery located in Leicester, Massachusetts which is known as the eighth gate to hell. It has so many stories and legends around it that it is one of the most frequently visited spots in the state. Spider Gates Cemetery (officially known as Friends Cemetery) was created in the early 1730’s by a group of Quakers who believed the land possessed special powers. They used the land to not only bury their dead, but worship and perform various incantations. Custom gates resembling a spider web were created to mark the entrance to the grounds. In truth, these gates were added in the mid 1950’s out of respect for tragedy that struck the grounds in 1943 when a young boy took his life by hanging himself on a tree within the cemetery. This tree still stands and can be seen directly to the left as you enter the cemetery. Others refer to the main gate as the Eighth Gate to hell, saying that if you pass through, the gate will take your soul to meet the devil himself. Regardless, when you pass through the gate and walk to the middle of the cemetery, you will find a barren patch of land where no grass will grow. Its four corners are marked with cement blocks. This area is known as the Alter and is where the original worshiping house used to stand. According to legend, the house was used for satantic worship; to call upon various ghosts, demons, evil spirits and more. Being a place of sacrifice, nothing will now grow on this land. Moving toward the back of the cemetery, find the headstone belonging to Earle Marmaduke. It’s hard to miss because of a barren circle around his grave. This circle is a result of all the attempts to contact him. As the legend goes, if you walk around Marmaduke’s gravestone 10 times at midnight and say “Marmaduke speak to me,” kneel down and put your head on the grave stone and listen he would speak to you. Hundreds of visitors have said to hear the moans. The last legend surrounding the cemetery speaks of a hidden cave where the body of a young girl was found. Most attempts to find this cave end in disappointment as there really are no caves, at least not ones big enough to hide a body. Furthermore, there is no proof that a girl was ever found. However, about a mile from the cemetery is a small cave, once used a root cellar, where a 6 – year old boy was beaten and dumped into the river. This occurred in the early 1980’s. The cemetery is located at the end of an unmarked dirt path that some maps designate Earle Street, one of the surnames on the tombstones in the cemetery. Earle Street is off Manville Street, and can be recognized by a yellow metal gate that bars vehicular access. The cemetery is less than a third of a mile up the path.

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