Devil’s Chairs, also known as haunted chairs or witches chairs, are funerary monuments carved into the shape of chairs or benches. Stone furniture such as this was usually placed beside the grave as a sort of “mourning seat” for visitors, though they also functioned as memorial sculptures as well.
Over time these chairs became imbued with supernatural significance as spots where one may encounter the paranormal (and usually not in a good way). Some were meeting places with the Devil, others were gateways to the underworld. Usually the chairs were cursed in a way that whosoever sat on them would die, either immediately or within a year.
Devil’s Chair in Alma Cemetery
In the heart of the Flint Hills in Kansas sits the quaint little town of Alma. Also known as the “City of Native Stone,” Alma is an unassuming community of less than a thousand people and a multitude of options for outdoor enthusiasts. But hidden beneath the natural beauty and wildlife is a dark secret that has frightened and intrigued urban legend trippers for years. Let’s take a journey over to Alma Cemetery to find out why.
Cemeteries, by nature, are fraught with paranormal sightings and incidents. However, there is a particularly fascinating story involving the cemetery in Alma. As the urban legend goes, back in the 1800s, before the cemetery existed in its current form, the land was private and owned by a farmer. When the city was being built developers came to purchase the land, but the stubborn farmer refused.
Some say the farmer was pushed into his well, others say he fell in on accident. When the city officials came out again they couldn’t find the farmer, but they did notice strange smells emanating from the stone structure. The Sheriff declared the well empty and had it sealed off. The farmer was never seen again, and the land was eventually taken by the city and turned into the cemetery it is today.
There are a variety of hauntings that people claim to have experienced at Alma Cemetery, from floating orbs to disembodied voices to ghostly physical encounters. But the boarded up well – the site of the farmer’s disappearance long ago and now an altered version of a devil’s chair – holds a particular sway over the area. Back in the 1980s a group of teenagers decided to explore and see if they could catch a glimpse of the dead farmer. One of the teens was dared to sit on top of the well by the others, but when his friends turned back around he had disappeared, never to be seen again.
Since then other people have been reported to have disappeared as well after sitting on the fateful well. As with other locations involving infernal chairs, the idea is that an evil presence is forcibly taking these unfortunate souls. Many believe that it is specifically the spirit of the old farmer, exacting his revenge on the city that caused his demise. Either way, if you ever visit the cemetery it’s best to observe the well from a safe distance and, whatever you do, don’t sit on it.
Ben’s love for horror began at a young age when he devoured books like the Goosebumps series and the various scary stories of Alvin Schwartz. Growing up he spent an unholy amount of time binge watching horror films and staying up till the early hours of the morning playing games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Since then his love for the genre has only increased, expanding to include all manner of subgenres and mediums. He firmly believes in the power of horror to create an imaginative space for exploring our connection to each other and the universe, but he also appreciates the pure entertainment of B movies and splatterpunk fiction.
Nowadays you can find Ben hustling his skills as a freelance writer and editor. When he’s not building his portfolio or spending time with his wife and two kids, he’s immersing himself in his reading and writing. Though he loves horror in all forms, he has a particular penchant for indie authors and publishers. He is a proud supporter of the horror community and spends much of his free time reviewing and promoting the books/comics you need to be reading right now!