STATUS: Still standing
The Bladon Springs Cemetery is haunted by Captain Norman Staples, captain of the James T. Staples riverboat. Staples experienced hardships brought on by a large steamboat company’s unethical practices and desire to establish a monopoly over all boats on the Alabama rivers. In 1912, Staples suffered financial difficulties, leading creditors to seize control of the riverboat in December and turn it over to his competition. On January 2, 1913, the destitute Captain Norman Staples placed a shotgun to his chest and ended his life. He was buried on January 5 in the Bladon Springs Cemetery.
Captain Staples’ spirit was first said to haunt his stern-wheeler, reportedly sabotaging the boilers and killing members of the new crew. He was believed to have fled his burning boat and taken residence in the cemetery. He is often reported lingering around his grave or hovering above the graves of his four children: James Alfred, Berth Jaddetta, Mable Claire, and an unnamed infant. It is speculated he’s protecting their graves. His apparition is seen with his hands pressed against his head and witnesses describe him as anguished and full of regret.
- Unsolved Mysteries. “Bladon Springs Cemetery,” www.FrontierNet.net
- Hauck, Dennis William. Haunted Places: The National Directory