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Birch Hill & Clay Street Cemeteries

2014-06-21 | Birch Hill & Clay Street Cemeteries | Fairbanks, Alaska

comingBirch Hill & Clay Street Cemeteries
Location Information
Location Information:

Clay Street Cemetery was established in 1903 as the first cemetery of the new town of Fairbanks, founded two years before. The cemetery was located on the southeastern edge of the original townsite and contains the remains of many of Fairbanks’ founders, including Mary Pedro, wife of Felix Pedro, the miner who discovered the gold that led to Fairbanks’ founding. For many years, a large sawmill operated directly south of the cemeter06

The cemetery officially closed in 1938, when the City of Fairbanks established the Birch Hill Cemetery, which was far from the actual city limits at the time. Burials at Clay Street have continued, mostly sporadically. The last casket burial was of Irene Mary Sherman, a lifelong Fairbanks resident and the self-proclaimed "Queen of Fairbanks", in 1995. Burials of cremated individuals continue to occur to the present day.

Birch Hill Cemetery was created in 1938 as a secondary option to the Clay Street Cemetery and overlooks the City of Faribanks. The cemetery is divided into different sections, including some set aside for Alaska Natives and Catholics, as well as fraternal organizations like the Eagles and Masons. For many years, the municipally run cemetery was known for its collection of folk monuments and natural landscape, both in some ways expressions of Alaskan notions of individualism and freedom from the regulations common in cemeteries elsewhere in the United States. Among those buried there are Klondike miner Elam Harnish, whose story inspired Jack London, and Territorial Governor Michael Stepovich.

The cemetery was profiled on the PBS documentary "A Cemetery Special".

Links to sites with valuable information:
Clay Street plot list
Birch Hill plot list

Brich Hill Sign
Photo of the main Birch Hill sign

Creepy Statue
Birch Hill Cherub (not paranormal)


  Haunting Claims:

Clay Street  
  – No claims of paranormal activity have been reported at Clay Street.
Birch Hill Claims  
  – The full bodied apparition of a young boy wearing early 1900’s clothing has been seen wandering about the cemetery as if he’s looking for someone.

– A young girl referred to as "The White Lady of Birch Hill" wanders the cmetery wearing an early 1900’s white dress.

-A few visitors have spotted a small dark figure floating & moving around the cemetery.  

-People driving by Birch Hill see glowing orbs hovering above the cemetery.

Birch Hill Lady in White
The team could not find the location of this picture taken at Birch Hill in 2011. This is what Sarah was looking for when EVP-001 was recorded.

Birch Hill
Photo taken by Jessie Desmond from Fairbanks sin 2012.


Investigation Results

Investigators: John Francis, Cheri Francis, Susan Weir, Sarah Godfrey

Areas Investigated: Areas that were open to the public.

EVP’s Recorded:
(Headphones are advised as Computer Speakers are usually of very poor quality which will prevent you from hearing the files properly).
Most of these EVP’s are classified as "B" (more info).

Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page with your thoughts on what is being said.

AKGH Player

EVP-001 - Birch Hill

Sarah says "Ok, that makes no sense" while talking with Susan about locating objects seen in a paranormal photo found online. Just before the word "makes" is completed this childlike voice is recorded.

EVP-002 - Birch Hill

Susan asks "Where was that at?" in regards to an EMF Reading and get's this response.

EMF Readings:

There were no readings above 1.0mg on the Mel Meter at Clay Street which AKGH considers background noise. Birch Hill on the other hand had unexplainable hot spots where readings exceeded 2.0mg.

Note that there is a Cell Tower nearby but these readings were in small defined areas.

Visual Evidence:
The team took hundreds of pictures. There were a few taken at Birch Hill that were impressive but because of all the trees and foliage what we were seeing could have been created by light and shadows.

Personal Experiences:
Feelings of being watched by a few members of the team at Birch Hill

Links to other Investigations/Reports:

American Ghosts & Hauntings

There were 2 teams in Alaska that had Investigated Birch Hill but their web sites no longer exist.

Investigation Summary:

Clay Street was very quiet and peaceful. Nothing was seen or heard there.

We didn’t expect to find anything at Birch Hill either because it’s very difficult to investigate outside with the added noise of traffic and animals. However with the high EMF readings in specific spots and the 2 EVP’s Birch Hill probably is haunted.

We hope to get back there in the next year to verify our findings.