Posted by: smirkdirk | February 11, 2009

A Visit To Old Stone Cemetery – Landsford SC

Mondays and Fridays, for my job, I drive down to Lancaster, SC to take care of one of our small businesses. I drive through quite a bit of empty countryside on my way there, and on Saturday I went down on my own time and took my camera with me in hopes of working the nerve up to take some pics of some abandoned houses that I pass along the way.

I made a pit stop at this one:

Unfortunately the house next door had this:

And they were barking incessantly. If you look closely you can see the garage door open on that house and, needless to say, paranoia got the best of me and I hopped back in my car and left. (There are better abandoned houses on that road anyway, and hopefully I will post an exploration of one of them sooner or later.)

So back on the road, I decided I’d stop off for a quick check of Landsford Canal State Park. I’ve driven by the sign for three years now but never investigated.

I never made it to the park because about a mile down the side-road I came across this coolio, spookifying place.

I searched the web quite a bit and there’s really not a whole lot of information about the place. Evidentally it is also known as Mount Zion Cemetery.

Let me tell you something about Landsford, SC; there’s pretty much, for all useful intents and purposes, not a Landsford, SC. Or rather, there was back when this cemetery was in use, but now it is just a name for a few old neighborhoods with not even a convenience store. In fact, even though I’ve driven through Landsford 2 times a week for three years, I never even realized the fields were a township until I started researching this cemetery.

One website actually referred to it as a ghost town, although, from what I gather there are no real ruins to check out (except those houses that I referred to earlier.)

So as not to totally diss Landsford, it should be stated that William R Davie, the Governor of North Carolina in 1798 and 1799 and also the founder of the University of North Carolina retired in Landsford at his estate called Tivoli. (Wish I could find that place.)

But back to the cemetery. It is mainly pre-civil war burials, and some civil war era burials. Very old. One website I visited has the earliest burial in 1777 and the latest in 1913.

Either way, it is overgrown, to the point that it truly does look like a mass of graves in the woods. Following are some more photographs of the cemetery and its surroundings.

This field was across the street to give you an idea of the sheer loneliness on this back road.

This photo shows the field in the background.

A broken tree amidst the graves.

More graves.

Agness Patton
Died Dec 23, 1813

Hear what the voice from heaven proclaims
For all the pious dead
Sweet is the saviour of their name
And soft their sleeping bed
The? die is Jesus and are blessed
How kind their slumber are
From sufferings and from sin released
and freed from every ????

Isaac McFadden
Died June 24, 1854.

Elizabeth M Fadden
Death’s feeble arm shall never boall??
A friend of Christ is lain
Nor o’er her meaner part in dull
a llaiing??? power relain???

Finally, the most interesting stone in the place was this one.

Here’s a link to a large version if you’d like a closer look.

Is it me or, with all due respect, does that carving sort of resemble Predator. One of the websites I visited says this is possibly the oldest in the cemetery, claiming that the bottom of the stone has the year 1776, although I just don’t see a year anywhere on the thing.

If you have any comments about this stone, feel free to leave them. It really is unlike any other stone in this cemetery.

As I left I took a picture of the buzzards up in the sky.

How appropriate!

Here and here are some sites I used as sources for some of the info in this post if you want to check ’em out.

For more coolio, spooky stuff I totally recommend Graveyard Addiction which I stumbled upon while trying to research the Predator gravestone.

Or if you totally just aren’t into the graveyard thing watch this “sweded” Predator trailer.



  1. I believe my ancestor William Hillhouse and some of the Hillhouse family may buried in this. I have found no record in the online cemetery registers. They had a plantation on Turkey Creek (Nathan’s Branch) in the Revolutionary War that Cornwallis occupied and destroyed in January 1781. His son William’s Revolutionary War Pension Statement says he was born in 1760 near Land’s Ford on the Catawba River. That may put them in this Old Stone Cemetery near the entrance to Landsford Canal State Park. They may also be in Bullock Creek Presbyterian Chruch Cemetery.

    Do you have any suggestions for me ? I may be in South Carolina for one day April 1 and would like to know where to best spend the little time I have. I have the location of the plantation by map. W McConnells HWY (322)and Orr Road (S46-1348). The site of the plantation was at the top of the hill to the southwest of the intersection.

    • Thanks for the comment! To be honest, I sort of just discovered the place and except for what I found on the internet know next to nothing about it. I will say that doing my quickie research and having driven alternate routes around the area to satisfy my own curiousity, that for historical purposes, particularly yours since you have ancestoral history in the area, that Landsford Canal state park, which is within a mile of the cemetery, and also, the town of Van Wyck, SC which is very close, may be worth the drive. According to the wikipedia article on Van Wyck, George Washington himself spent the night there and begrudgingly met with the Catawba Indian leaders about some matters important to him.

  2. […] ten posts, sometimes even less, and the person just gave up, abandoned their blog like, say, a cemetery in Landsford, SC. (I mean, look at that narcissistic ingeniousness! I made a metaphor out of one of my own previous […]

  3. […] on my radar for a few months since I’d first read about it while researching my post about Old Stone Cemetery near Landsford Canal State […]

  4. My family took a trip to Landsford and went to the state park. On the way home we stumbled onto the cemetery. We walked through and read the names on the gravestones and we said a prayer for the dead. Before we left we took pictures, just like you did, and all of them looked like your pictures above except for one. My daughter wanted to capture a spirit and she got what she wished for. One photograph has a strange image of a see through mist and a blue orb floating at the bottom of the picture. Landsford cemetery is beautiful, eerie and may have a spirit or two roaming around.

    • Very cool! If you have the photo posted somewhere, you can feel free to link to it in the comments!

  5. we discovered this cemetary the same way…after just moving to NC we were heading to the park and while driving by my boyfriend saw a headstone out of the corner of his eye so we backed up jumped out and and began to explore. We love anything spooky like this and it spooky. Leaves falling from the trees had pretty much taken over the ground so some of the headstones were covered. We also came across that very strange headstone and not much was said between us except one word….WEIRD and then a few weird looks were shared. We also took some pics but no orbs in these pics which is weird because I always capture orbs in my pics and I thought for sure I would capture a few here. We plan on making another trip here one evening (should be really spooky then) and snapping some more pics. There is a bunch of history here in the middle of nowhere for sure.

  6. we actually just went back yesterday and I snapped a few more pictures when we were there. The strange headstone with the name William Simpson does have a date at the very bottom…looks like it says AD 1777 is what I see. We are still planning to go out there one night and taking a few pictures at night and seeing if we see any orbs.

    • Very Cool!

  7. You wondered where W. R. Davie’s plantation, Tivoli was located. I think it was located just south of Landsford Canal state park, only about two miles or so from the cemetery.

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