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The Haunted Cemeteries of Nashua and Hollis

Legend has it that he spends the day in Hell, and when night falls he rises from the grave to haunt the centuries old plot of woody land. On his headstone a finger that points up during the day, turns to point down toward his perpetual fiery realm at night. His name? Abel Blood. His family? Allegedly massacred in a nearby farmhouse in the 1800’s.

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The tormented soul of a boy murdered by his family reportedly flags down cars on the dark and hilly road of the cemetery, begging for help.

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Where: Pine Hill Cemetery aka “Blood Cemetery” – there is no specific address, but it’s on Nartoff Road in Hollis, not far from Lavoie’s Farm (which is 172 Nartoff Road)

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Benjamin Parker Jr., a farmer, donated the small plot of land that is Pine Hill Cemetery in 1769. A stone wall marks the edges of the cemetery, with vast open farm land just beyond the wooded area that borders it. It’s peaceful, high atop the hill still surrounded by nature. Standing up there though, you also feel eerily alone…

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Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

I hate being a party pooper, but by all accounts Abel Blood was a law-abiding Christian who just happens to have a conveniently creepy (but very common 1800’s New England) last name. The dates on the Blood family gravestones confirm there was no mass murder, and no records exist suggesting any violent deaths in nearby farmhouses. As for the finger changing directions at night? I couldn’t tell you, or anyone else for that matter, because vandals stole the headstone and placed it in Gilson Cemetery in Nashua, NH. I assume the Trustees of the cemetery had the good sense to not put it back for fear of future vandals. The broken bottom piece jutting out of the dirt is all that remains of Abel Blood’s headstone now. (If there is such things as ghosts, I hope they haunt the sh*# out of those thieves.)

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All that remains of Abel Blood’s grave on the far right.

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But as I strolled the grave what disturbed me the most was not the Blood name, but the haunting markers of young children lost – a reminder of the cruelty and hardship of New England life in the 1800’s. One simple stone told the story of 3 children all lost to one woman, another the side by side graves of a young brother and sister buried just a few days apart. A disease or illness they both suffered from perhaps? Who knows. But I don’t think anyone needs to conjure or perpetuate terror based on a convenient last name, just look at horror in the history of these dates, the lines inscribed on the bottom of stones reminding passerby-s they too shall end up here.

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The markers of Revolutionary War veterans.

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I just thought it was so interesting he served in both World Wars. I looked up his enlistment records and it looked like he had no children and volunteered to serve in WWII at the age of 42.

Flood light motion sensors installed in the cemetery help police arrest any trespassers between dusk and dawn. The cemetery is also under heavy guard during Halloween.

It’s remarkable to think that some of these gravestones are older than actual US states. Just 17 years after California joined the Union, Abel Blood met his final resting place. They’re weathered, breaking, historical markers at the touch of our fingertips, so tread carefully if you visit. And for those who look for signs of paranormal activity? It might help you to know that the first time I visited to take pictures, my cell phone died as I entered the cemetery. The next time I visited, clouds seemed to appear every time I tried to take a picture, forcing me to come back a third time to get usable shots. The work of spirits? Perhaps…

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There’s not one, but two haunted cemeteries in the Nashua area!

A 15 minute drive from Pine Hill Cemetery takes you to Nashua’s haunted historical site, Gilson Road Cemetery. The rumor goes that Native American tribes once fought a bloody battle on this hollow ground, and the spirits of the deceased now roam the area. Other stories involve an insane man who lured men to this location to murder them.

Where: Gilson Road Cemetery, Nashua, NH – there’s no specific address, but if you’re going down Main Dunstable Rd. from the highway make a left on Gilson Road

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Compared to Pine Hill, these slate and marble gravestones are in worse condition and the visitors less unchecked. For reasons unknown, there are pennies, broken glass, and children’s plastic toys left on the gravestones. Is leaving change a reference to paying the Ferryman of Hades? I’m not sure. Is it appropriate to leave plastic cars on children’s grave who 1. never played with such a toy 2. died before the invention of cars? I don’t know, but I think it’s strange. Maybe the dead haunt this cemetery simply because they’re annoyed at the people desecrating their graves.

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We miss her, yet we know – Our loss is her eternal Gain – And knowing this we would not – Our loved one back again.

Still, paranormal investigators insist whispers echo through the cemetery, a heavy weight falls on people trying to walk through it at night, and orbs appear in photographs. Very little of the site’s actual history is known. Who’s to say that there’s not a bit of truth in the rumors that this is a tortured space?

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The weeping willow image engraved on the top of these stones was the most popular image on gravestones in the early 1800’s until around 1860

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