Sligo, Ireland is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, St John's Cathedral Cemetery. Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
The Cemetery in St. Johns Cemetery is said to hold the remains of (Dracula's) Bram Stoker's parents, Charlotte and Abraham. Bram Stoker's mother, Charlotte Stoker, née Thornley, grew up in Sligo. To accentuate the role Charlotte and her home of Sligo, It is believed (and essentially confirmed) that the Cholera epidemic of 1938 was said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. It has been carefully researched, and both an ancestor of Dacre Stoker (his great-grandnephew) and local Sligo historian Dr. Marion McGarry, have confirmed that the stories Charlotte told Bram as a child about the great cholera epidemic in the town inspired his most famous novel. Charlotte was forever haunted by what she witnessed during that time, and in later years wrote a first-hand account entitled 'Experiences of the Cholera in Ireland', Dr. McGarry said. Many, she said, died in the fever hospital or on the street and were buried in a pit with lime on the same day they died to prevent the spread of the disease. Some were buried alive and were dragged out of graves, she said. Other victims were buried in cemeteries like that at St John's Cathedral. Burial records there show a spike in deaths after the Easter tides, according to Dean Arvon Williams. There are nine pages of burial records for 1832 compared to one or two pages for the years up to that.
According to Stoker, Sligo was where it all started. The great-grandnephew has researched his kin's Bram Stoker's history extensively. He said there is no doubt that the stories Charlotte told Bram as a young boy when he himself was sick, formed some kind of macabre memory for him and ultimately inspired the novel Dracula. This is confirmed, he said, by the fact that when his mother moved to France, and he was doing his research, Bram asked his mother to type up her Sligo cholera stories of premature burial and send them to him. Abraham "Bram" Stoker, an Irish Author and best know for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, was born on November 8, 1847, at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland. His parents were Abraham Stoker (1799–1876) from Dublin and Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornley (1818–1901), who was raised in County Sligo.
Could any of the Stoker family spirits linger near these gravesites or the town of Sligo, where they themselves were haunted by the great Cholera Epidemic of 1838? Many feel the grief, minimally, of the hundreds of lives that were there, are there to tell of the devastation for this sweet Irish town.
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