“Graveyard X.” The name conjures up images of a foreboding and desolate graveyard―a secretive place known only to an elite cabal of investigators who made an arrangement with local authorities to keep its location a secret. Only a privileged few have access to “the most haunted cemetery in Illinois.” A silly but romantic story.
Located south of Taylorville, Illinois near the tiny town of Clarksdale, “Graveyard X,” or “Cemetery X” as sometimes known, is actually Thomas Anderson Cemetery. Though hyped as Central Illinois’ version of Bachelor’s Grove (a cemetery in southwest suburban Chicago internationally-known for its ghostly legends) in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Thomas Anderson Cemetery is really an unremarkable rural cemetery. It’s not even abandoned.
Half-hearted attempts to keep its identity a secret have not been successful. In Troy Taylor’s book Beyond the Grave (2001), Anderson Cemetery, buoyed by a background story lifted from the pages of a Christian County cemetery record, was featured in a section entitled “Mysteries of the Grave.” That same year, the Field Guide to Illinois Hauntings, published by Taylor’s press, Whitechapel Productions, included an entry for “Graveyard X” with the very same background story.
Additionally, passages describing Anderson Cemetery in Beyond the Grave are identical to those describing “Graveyard X” on Taylor’s website. Compare this passage from Beyond the Grave: “Anderson cemetery is not a place you are going to find on any maps. It is a typical rural cemetery that is well hidden by curving back roads…” and this passage from www.prairieghosts.com/ander.html: