Black Diamond Cemetery

Date of Establishment

Black Diamond Cemetery was founded in 1884 as a joint company and community cemetery by the Coal Mining Company. The earliest grave is from 1886 and this large marble marker still stands today near the west side of the central road. These grounds now hold more than 1200 graves, many immigrants who came to work the mines. The Lawson Mine explosion victims of 1910 lay at rest here in the same grave. Since 1977 the City of Black Diamond has been responsible for the care and upkeep of these grounds. As of April 2000, Black Diamond Cemetery has been on the National Register of Historic Places, who with the City’s help is working to maintain this historic site. Black Diamond is a very old cemetery but it is still an active cemetery adding plots to this day.

Name & Location

Black Diamond Cemetery is located in the City of Black Diamond and is on the corner of Cemetery Street and Morgan Street in King County, Washington. This cemetery is one of the more culturally diverse we have looked into; containing markers from over 7 countries outside of America. As well as a Civil War veteran, victims of the 1900s epidemics (smallpox & flue), and at least a dozen mineworkers graves. Including the victims of 1902, 1910, and 1915 mine explosions. Black Diamond Cemetery is not only an extremely historical location, but it is one of the most haunted places in Washington State.

Physical Description

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Originally the grounds were enclosed with a wooden picket-style fence that leads to a double-gated hearse entrance. There also stood a stile for pedestrians and visitors to use at any time. The wooden fencing has now been updated with modern chain-link fencing. Surrounding the grounds stands a thick tree line, to block visitors from the neighbors on either side. The grounds are well maintained and simple in design, the pathways seem to slowly curve their way through-out the inside of the tree lines. Over 1200 grave markers, tombstones, and memorials sprawl across the grassy grounds bring a tragic beauty to this property.

Origin

Most of the other experiences have zero histories leading to their origin or spirit. The grounds of Black Diamond Cemetery seem to come alive and do as they please. Some claims and reports will match up to an area being more active than another, however, this does not supply us with a true source spirit. The south end of the grounds seems to be an active zone, as well as around the Morgan marker. The origin of the lanterns, however, can be traced back to 4 major mining disasters that happened within 4 towns. Between 1894 and 1915 these towns suffered deadly mine disasters, two of those were at Lawson Mine. In 1902 a methane explosion at Lawson mine killed 12 miners, 9 of which were never found. Lawson Mine suffered again in 1910 as another explosion claimed 16 men, 5 of which were never found, leaving the mine to be closed for good. Most of the recovered victims were buried at Black Diamond Cemetery. Ravensdale’s explosions happened in 1915 and claimed 31 men, 3 of which now rest in Black Diamond Cemetery. Even though we know who was claimed as a victim we can not tie a special name to a lantern, however.

Mythology & Lore

Many visitors have come to the cemetery to do their own independent “ghost hunting” and various reports of their experiences. Many ranges of strange noises have been heard on these grounds. From whistling in the distance to footsteps through the woods, heavy breathing, and a horse’s call. Many people have experienced all types of electronic failure and malfunction such as focusing/recording issues, drained batteries, loss of footage, and the ever so helpful complete device shut down. The grounds also like to provide strange smells from time to time; the most reported are baby powder, coal, or the smell of smoke. These strange scents never seem to have a true source but are continually reported through-out the years. Some reports claim to see pinwheels or flags blowing in the wind, went the air is completely still and stagnant. Many believe this suggests that spirit is active while its graveside offering is “self-powering”.

Reports also show there is an ere feeling of being watched that follows you as you visit the grounds. At all hours there have been claims of random motionless clouds of smoke-like fog or mist, that seem to lazily hang about. Others have claimed this mist seems to close in on you as the night grows closer. Another odd but common assurance is the appearance of a riderless white horse that seems to enjoy strolling the grounds. Sometimes witnesses report this to be a phantom-like horse figure rather than a realistic portrayal.

 Once night falls floating lanterns seem to come out on the south side of the grounds, and slowly make their way silently along. Strange streaks of lights 8-feet above visitor’s heads have also been reported coming from the tree lines surrounding the property. They seem to float above your head for a few minutes before leaving you in darkness again.

In 2018 paranormal investigates were launched by Ghostly Activities and AGHOST, 2 happened in May. The first was to investigate the cemetery, and the second investigated the neighboring towns where the mining accidents took place (Franklin & Ravensdale). Their findings were a bit hit and miss with some of the equipment, as noise pollution made EVP suspect to creditably. They also experienced an outage of power to cameras. MEL meters did record spikes as the cameras seemed to act-out; however, no other solid evidence could be found.   

To this day seekers of the paranormal culture of Washington flock to this beautiful and creepy cemetery. Black Diamond Cemetery maintains its spot in the top 5 haunted locations in the state, and deservedly so. If you plan to visit this location please check with caretakers before strolling the grounds, as this is still an active cemetery with new graves begin marked. Always be respectful of guests visiting loved ones and family members, as well as respect the grounds themselves.

Modern Pop-Culture
Books
Index
  • City of Black Diamond – Public Works
  • Ghostly Activities
  • Haunted Rooms America
  • The News Wheel
  • Covington Reporter
  • Puget Sound Ghost Hunters

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