In 1853, the Sylvan Abbey Cemetery was built in Clearwater, Florida. Now called the Slyvan Abbey Memorial Park, the cemetery is home to the county’s oldest recorded burial. But history is not the only thing this memorial park is steeped in.
The Clearwater Pitchfork Murders
According to local legend a small, dilapidated shack is on the grounds, hidden behind dense foliage near the garden of reflections. Many believe that a family once called the small building their home. Stories of the family circulate to this day.
It’s been said that the father who lived there took a pitchfork and brutally murdered his wife and son. A lot of Clearwater residents believe this is just a myth, as they have never been able to locate the shack. But one local did…and today he is sharing his story.
“A friend of mine told me about the murder house and I was intrigued from the get go,” Mitch informed us. “Yes, I was trespassing, but I just had to see it for myself. I climbed over the perimeter gate and I searched for hours to find the shack.
“I was just about to call it quits when I brushed aside some bushes and found a small clearing. Situated in the center and surrounded by weeks was a small, wooden building. It looked like it could collapse at any moment, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of going in,” he said with a nod.
“As soon as I stepped over the threshold, I thought I heard a woman’s voice.
A Ghostly Warning?
“It was very faint, like she was whispering to me on the wind,” he shrugged. “’Hello?’ I called out. And the whispering immediately stopped. I walked around, examining the walls and the floors, looking for any clue as to who lived there in the past.
“After a moment I noticed that the whispering started again. It might have been my imagination, but it seemed like the voice would resume when I was moving, and would stop whenever I stood still. It made me realize that whoever or whatever was there was not on some alternate plane of existence…
“The female spirit was cognizant of me,” he nodded with a heavy swallow. "Suddenly, I could hear another voice—a man’s voice. I still couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I could tell by his tone that he was angry about something.
“Maybe he was angry about my presence. Feeling really uneasy, and I decided it was probably best if I left. When I turned toward the door, I saw different faces start to flicker around the room, and my head started to hurt really badly.
"Can…. can you hear me?’ I asked tentatively. “But the moment the words left my lips, I began to see the faces starting to fade.
"My head started to feel better, and the fog in my mind started to lift. Deep in my gut I could tell that he was not some friendly ghost like I had hoped. I ran out of there as quickly as I could,” Mitch said.
“And whenever I hear people in Clearwater talking about trying to find the shack, I tell them that if they value their life, they will stay away from that wretched place.”