The legend of an ax-wielding old lady, among other strange tales, has been told at this rural Illinois cemetery for decades.
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Moon Point Cemetery is an old graveyard located just south of Streator in Livingston County. Like other rural graveyards, Moon Point became an object of folklore in the late 1960s and ‘70s when local teens, looking for a place to ‘hang out’ after dark, picked this isolated location to drink, spin yarns, and play pranks on one another.
According to the History of Livingston County, Illinois (1878), “Moon’s Point” got its name from Jacob Moon who, along with his daughter and three sons, was the first to settle that particular area. Moon had fought in the War of 1812, and like other veterans of that war, moved west in search of cheap and abundant land.
In 1830, the family settled along a winding creek near a wooded area in Illinois country that became known as Moon Point. Moon Point Cemetery is located adjacent to Moon Creek, leading many to refer to the graveyard as “Moon Creek Cemetery.” It is listed as such in the Shadowlands Index of Haunted Places for Illinois.
According to the Index, Moon Point is haunted by the ghost of a “hatchet lady.” This lady went insane, the story goes, after either her son or daughter died, and “each night of a full moon a spirit is seen running around the cemetery, tossing hatchets.”
While there is no historical evidence for this hatchet lady, the Times-Press was able to verify that a man interred in the cemetery had been murdered with an ax in 1886, but it was during a “drunken brawl” at a local coal mine.
Another tale associated with Moon Point concerns an abandoned house (previously owned by a witch, of course) that is also rumored to be haunted. I cannot help but wonder if the story of the witch and the hatchet lady are related, but never the less, many tales of séances and illicit trespasses have come from the location.
“Quinn,” commenting on Ghosttraveller.com (which has since been deleted), revealed the house was actually an old barn located about 100 yards from the cemetery. Whatever it was, it seems to have been torn down.
A man named “Mark,” also on Ghosttraveller.com, related his encounters at Moon Point during a film project in which he claimed to record colorful lights, whisperings, and “the grating of a large concrete object against another.” Furthermore, he wrote that the hatchet lady, or some other spirit, whispered “get out” in his ear. Al Morris of the Midwest Ghost Hunter & Paranormal Investigators also added “children giggling” to the list of strange occurrences.
The remoteness of the location is accentuated by the fact that a railroad track bisects the road leading to the cemetery, E 3150 N. It is said that anyone who is caught in the cemetery while a train passes will be trapped there. That much is actually true. According to legend, however, your car will also die and not be able to restart until after the train has gone.
The variety of legends associated with Moon Point Cemetery makes it one of the more interesting haunted cemeteries in Illinois. Feel free to visit, but pray that the hatchet lady has poor aim!
- History of Livingston County, Illinois. Chicago: W. Le Baron, Jr. and Co., 1878.