Friday, September 17, 2010

Whispers in Mount Jerome

Over the last while I have debated with myself about whether or not I would share this story with you. I consider myself to be a very rational and logical person; however, truth be told I do believe in spirits and ghosts, but only because scientifically it makes sense to me that it is possible for beings to exist on different planes of reality, and to move between those planes. I agree with the school of thought which says that people might haunt the place where they breathed their last breath or where they were the happiest, and since most people die before they reach the cemetery, and probably aren't particularly happy about going there, chances are most cemeteries are not haunted.

Are you still with me?

A couple of posts ago on 'Over thy dead body' I wrote about how bizarre the weather was the day I visited Mount Jerome, and the fact that most of the old cemetery is in very poor condition. I imagine those two factors working together fed my uneasiness. So there I was in the part of the cemetery which is farthest away from the main road. There wasn't a soul in sight, it had stopped raining, and I was happily shooting photos when I heard THEM. Voices, whispering voices. I absolutely swear I heard them! On the honour of Boy scouts, Girl scouts, Cub scouts, and any other kind of scout you might think of, I HEARD WHISPERING!

I spun around on my heel fully expecting to find people making their way up the path nearby, but there was no one in sight. I stood in the middle of the path and looked in both directions and all around me. NO ONE was there. I chided myself for being scared and went back to taking photos. Then, I heard them again. This time I was annoyed and loudly declared "Who's there? This isn't funny!" NO ONE answered me, so... I did what any rational human being would do. I ran like h*ll back to the main road and into the shop where I was sure to find people.

A woman in the tuck shop said I looked like I'd had a fright, and I blurted out that I had heard whispering voices. She was very matter of fact and, with a half smile and a lovely Irish lilt, she said, "Of course you did. What do you expect in a place like this? There are many souls wandering around here, and we all hear them whispering now and again. They're just trying to remind us they want to be remembered". I thought she was joking, but she was serious. Then she said something to me that I have heard many times before from my own mother, "You've more to fear from the living than the dead."

She made me a lovely cup of tea, and after a few minutes I returned to the path and made my way back to the very beautiful marker I had been photographing just before I fled. Upon my return I discovered that it is the grave marker of a 13 year old girl and her parents. I felt a little smile come over my face. Alice Cogavin just wants to be remembered.

Alice Cogavin, Lawrencetown, County Galway 5 November 1935, age 13 years;
Mary Cogavin, her mother, 21 August 1943;
 John Cogavin, Alice's father, 10 November 1971
I continued taking photos, reminding myself all the while that I was photographing graves of real people who once lived among us, and I heard no more whispers.

For further details about Alice Cogavin visit "Alice Cogavin, aged 13"


  1. Both posts are terrific. I heard the whispers through your writing. Great story!!

  2. Hi Carol, Thanks for your comment. It was very stormy here yesterday and it felt like that day at Mount Jerome. Now I've got Alice on the brain. Cheers! Jennifer

  3. It is funny, my Irish grandmother (Gertrude O'Rourke) always said the same about have more to fear from the living than the dead.

    My great grandfather, Patrick O'Rourke, said "It is better to be a dead lion than a live jackass" I don't really agree with that but Patrick had a hard life. He lost his job in the Homestead Steel Strike and spent the rest of his life sweeping streets because he was black balled from the steel industry.

  4. You really hooked me with this story. I was quaking in my shoes along with you. But I think you're right - they just want to be remembered. I'll remember that the next time I'm in one of those kids of places!

  5. Great post! Thank you for taking the time to share it.

  6. I don't often get spooked, but I think you were brave to go back to get the photo of Alice's headstone. I would have needed a chum! Jo

  7. I really enjoyed this post. I visited Mount Jerome Cemetery for the first time last Friday. I was looking for the grave of Sheridan le Fanu and taking photographs. Such a beautiful, atmospheric place. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog; I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy exploring it.


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Cheers, Jennifer

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