Friends Cemetery in Leicester, MA - Quiet Quaker Cemetery or Demonic Meeting Ground

by Nelda_Hoxie

Founded in 1740 this bucolic Quaker Cemetery has become the subject of demonic legends and is now often called Spider Gate Cemetery.

The ancient Friends Cemetery is tucked into the rural New England countryside. It is only accessible by Earle Road, barely a dirt path. Because of pervasive rumors of demonic activity, it attracts paranormal investigators from around the world and massive occult activity. It is just west of Worcester Regional Airport and located into the City of Worcester Reservoir. While it is open during the day, it is closed at night. So many people have ignored this, that the city installed special sensors along Earle Road that alert police when people violate the curfew. They immediately investigate any nighttime activity.

The truly interesting question is how did a quiet Quaker Cemetery become a demonic hotspot known as Spider Gate Cemetery.

Gates at Friends Cemetery

Designed to be the Sun Rays and Not Spiders
Designed to be the Sun Rays and Not Spiders

When Were the Gates Designed

Sunbursts or Spiders? Eighth Gate to Hell?

The Earles were the first Quaker Family in Leicester. (That's probably why the cemetery is located on Earle Road) In 1895, Dr. Pliny Earle left the cemetery money to install the granite pillars and wrought iron gates. The design was meant to represent the rays of the sun. 

There is no clear evidence when anyone decided that these were spiders and not sunbursts. There is also no clear trail when the so called spider designs became gates to Hell. A variety of rituals have been described to use these gates as portals. They are all very complicated and therefore prone to fail. For example, a person has to walk through the gates at Friends Cemetery in the proper sequence to gain entrance to Hell. Nowhere is their any description of what the sequence is. A second ritual describes supernatural gates across the United States that have to be entered as well as one at Friends Cemetery. This vague instruction does not provide the proper sequence.

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Marmaduke Earle Grave Marker

Conjuring Voices from the Dead?
Occultists Believe a Ritual Will Cause The Departed to Speak to Them
Occultists Believe a Ritual Will Cause The Departed to Speak to Them

Will Marmaduke Speak to You?

Are Evil Cows to Blame?

Occultists claim that if you can circumvent the Earle Road sensors and circle Marmaduke's grave 10 times precisely at midnight, say "Speak to me Marmaduke," and the put your head on is grave, he will indeed speak to you. Now you know why the city had to install night-time surveillance equipment. (Oh his grave is the one on the far right.)

Leicester children have grown up with this myth and no one knows how it started. More rational voices claim that there was a farm nearby that had cows. It would be easy for kids in a spooky cemetery at night to confusing the sound of cows with a voice. 

It's also unclear why Marmaduke Earle is getting all this attention. He lived from 1749 to 1839. He was a minister who was married to Elizabeth Newton and had 14 children. I can find nothing in local history books that associate him with witchcraft, seanaces or any occult activity.

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Fabled Hanging Tree in Friends Cemetery

Did a Teen Hang Himself Here?
There are No Police Reports of a 1980s Suicide in Friends Cemetery
There are No Police Reports of a 1980s Suicide in Friends Cemetery

Rumor of a Suicide in Friends Cemetery

Could You Be Next?

Just one suicide. There have not been rumors of dozens of suicides. Like everything else regarding Friends Cemetery. A vague rumor has been transformed into occult folklore. The legend goes that there is a hanging tree in the cemetery. A teen boy was mysteriously drawn there to commit suicide. A teen girl once visiting the cemetery saw an eerie rope hanging from the very limb where the suicide occurred. The implication is quite clear. Stay clear of Spider Gate Cemetery or you'll succumb to dark thoughts and do yourself in.

Local police have on more than one occasion stated that there have been no suicides in the cemetery. If local residents are asked, they sort of remember that in the 1970s a local boy was found hanged in a tree about a mile from the cemetery. His feet and hands were bound and he was found in by a mother and her daughter. His death was never solved. 

Tthis story does not  appear in the archives of the local newspaper of that time. I grew up in Massachusetts. If this had happened, it would have been front page news across the state. True crime buffs would include it in their anthologies of unsolved Massachusetts murders. I've read every one of these books I can find, it isn't included in any of them.

Quaker Meetinghouse Location

The flat space is the foundation

Occult practitioners claim that there is a flat and hard surface between the rows of graves that was used to perform animal sacrifices within the cemetery. The vacant space actually housed the Quaker Meetinghouse. The hard flat surface is the remaining foundation. 

The only sacrifices that have taken place may have been conducted by Satanic cults that desecrated the cemetery. The Quaker religion does not in any manner conduct rituals of this type. 

It's unclear how much actual activity has occurred as a result of the cemetery and how much of it is teen-aged bravado. 

Satanic Alter or Foundation

Were animals sacrificed here?
The space between the gravestones contained the Quaker Meeting House
The space between the gravestones con...

The Best Video of Friends Cemetery

Did a Catholic Priest Start the Modern Rumors?

Quakers were a controversial minority in Protestant New England. Some believe that the rumors began early in the history of Friends Cemetery out of distrust for the religion. Don't forget Massachusetts is the same state that gave history the Salem Witch Trials. 

Others believe that a Catholic priest who ran the nearby Nazareth Boys Home created these myths to keep the boys out of the cemeteries at night. Boys who lived at the home in the 1950s an 1960s claim that Father Tinsley told them the story of the hanging tree. When they returned as adults he admitted he had made up the story. 

Updated: 10/16/2014, Nelda_Hoxie
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Nelda_Hoxie on 10/16/2014

I agree. Friends Cemetery is a beautiful spot to explore and see he ancient headstones

AngelaJohnson on 10/16/2014

I like old cemeteries because of their history.

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