The Glowing Eyes of William Carter, Needham Cemetery - Needham, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 17.381 W 071° 14.695
19T E 314922 N 4684380
Quick Description: A person from the Needham Historical Society says that on Halloween night, the eyes of the bust of William Carter at the Needham Cemetery glow and the head looks around.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2014 6:10:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMKHP5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Lord Elwood
Views: 2

Long Description:
In Needham, in the Needham Cemetery, is the family grave site for the Carter family, which has a weird story associated with it.

Needham Cemetery is located west of the center of town, along Nehoiden Street and Parish Road. Once you enter, head up the hill and drive along one of the roads to the site. The site is surrounded by trees, but the cemetery is small enough that you will eventually find it. The site has a series of grave stones with Carter and other related families. At the far end is a wall with a pillar that has a copper bust of William Carter.

The bust is a full head and chest of Carter. Carter is in a tie, vest and suit. The head is tilted slightly. His mouth is closed but he has a pleasant expression.

The web site associated with the Needham Historical Society has the following:

"For years, Henry Hicks would take the third-graders on a tour of the old Cemetery as part of their annual Needham Historical Society field trip. After seeing the graves of the Mills and the Fullers and the McIntoshes, Henry would take the students up to the top of the cemetery to see the plot of the Carter family, dominated by its bronze bust of William Carter. The children were told that at midnight on Halloween, the eyes of the bust would light up, and Carter would look around the graveyard. This story, which has circulated for years now, is probably the best-known of the Needham ghost stories."

As there aren't spirits involved, I consider this more of a weird story than a ghost story.

It was difficult to find any more information than the sketchy story given on the historical society web site. The bust faces roughly southwest. It is possible that the setting sun's rays filtered through trees and maybe a patch of light hit right one time.

Apparently, though, there is another explanation. Another newspaper article stated that the story probably resulted from a prank that teenagers played back in the 1970s. They shined a flashlight with green cellophane placed over it behind the head to make it glow. This does not immediately explain the eyes glowing but it is a possible one. So, so much for it being really haunted.

I will tell you, though, that I swear that when I looked at it, the statue was smiling as if it knew that I was there!

Other Source (Needham A Haunt for Ghosts):
(visit link)
Type: Ghost Stories and Local Haunts

Website Reference: [Web Link]

Referenced in (list books, websites and other media): Not listed

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

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