Dead Children's Playground: Hidden behind the Maple Hill Cemetery lies a disturbing past
In 1918 the Spanish Flu Pandemic swept across Huntsville, the legend states that many of the children who died during this time were buried in the plots next to the Dead Children's Playground.
Adjoining Huntsville's historic Maple Hill Cemetery is a playground that looks just like any other, filled with climbing frames and modern swings and other play facilities. However, this playground isn't like others, it holds a dark and terrifying history that the though of it just makes you tense up with fear. For years, people passing the playground have reported the swings moving on their own, whilst claiming to see ghostly apparitions and bright orbs sweeping across the landscape of the playground.
Surrounded by caves made from limestone give it an eerie and showed appearance that only increases the believability of the ghostly legends.
You maybe asking yourself, how did a children playground get stuck with the horrific name of "Dead Children's Playground"
In 1918, many children died in Huntsville due to the outbreak of Spanish Flu, the legend states that most of them were buried in Maple Hill plots adjoining the playground. It is said that the spirits of those deceased children, come out after dark to play, just as they did in their usual life.
The sightings of strange phenomena at the playground have spanned for decades and still continue to this day, many locals of the area will not even walk passed the playground as they are convinced there is a dark presence lingering over the park.
It is true, many children, as well as adults died in the area during this worldwide pandemic which killed globally an estimated 50 million people. Huntsville was his particularly hard, hospital beds were filled, staff shortages equated to not enough medical staff to be available to treat the seriously ill, leaving many of them abandoned and left for dead.
In a bid to try and prevent additional spread of the disease, parents told their children to leave the windows closed, they came up with this song as a reminded:
"I had a bird,
It's name was Enza,
I opened the window,
And in flew Enza".
The Alabama Department of Public Health stated the the deadly flu had arrived in Huntsville on September 25th, 1918.
Within 10 days it was said to have spread across the general population. The Alabama DHP quoted an October 5 article from the Birmingham News "Reported cases of Spanish influenza have increased to more than 1,100 in Huntsville. Dr C Grote, the health officer from Madison County, said "there have been an additional 300 cases and seven deaths within the last 24hours".
On October 13th, it was reported by Birmingham News that only one local pharmacist on one local doctor remained uninfected in Huntsville: "A desperate situation exists in Huntsville growing out of the Spanish Influenza epidemic. All Druggists, physicians, ands prescription clerks, except one, have been stricken with the disease and a distressing appeal reached Montgomery last night in telegrams for immediate help for the stricken city".
No official count of the total number of children that actually died in Huntsville during the pandemic has ever been confirmed, nor has the amount of children that were buried in Maple Hill, however, looking at the facts it must have been well into the hundreds.
There has been no-end of ghostly reporting's from the site over the years, the most common claims from passers-by and locals are seeing orb-like flashes of light and children's laughter. During the night the reports of laughter seems to disappear and is replaced with the reports of the swings, swinging themselves and child-size footprints appearing in the sand surrounding the climbing frame. Although this is a dark and somewhat frightening story, it is a nicer thought to hold the feeling that the sightings and sounds are simply the souls of the children who's lives were cut short, simply enjoying themselves on their favourite childhood playground.
If you found this story interesting make sure to check out our report on the Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook for similar stories.