"Ragdoll" Bethel Cemetery Investigation

This is a rather small cemetery located in LaFayette Township within Coles County, Illinois and just south of the Coles County Airport. It is very clean and well kept up with quite a number of very old, and unfortunately, broken tombstones; some that rest at the trunk of some very large trees. A small, single-room schoolhouse out in the middle of nowhere and directly next to



Address: E CR 600N & N CR 1020E, nearest town is Lerna, Illinois 62440

GPS: 39.4625348, -88.2794885




Near the grave of Sallie T. Hill who died on May 5, 1873 at the age of 8 years, 3 months and 5 days people have sometimes reported paranormal activity however the complete story may be nothing more than simple urban legend.

One story goes that the girl had a rag doll that she loved so very much and never went anywhere without it. She was either murdered or died and was buried without her precious doll. To this day the girl is still attempting to find her lost doll. It is said that the rag doll remains to watch over her grave and try to scare away those who might vandalize or otherwise do damage to the grave. The doll is often seen in the trees directly above her grave on nights where there is a full moon.

Another version is that she was buried with her doll and it is also said to protect her. This is a prime example of an urban legend, but many people still flock to her grave on nights that harbor a full moon.






The Ghost Research Society investigated Ragdoll Cemetery July1, 2017 and the team members included: Stan Suho and Dale Kaczmarek, with help from Jason Snider from Crawford County Ghost Hunters









Equipment set up: No equipment was sent up but handheld equipment was used including a digital recorder, Ovilus X, digital cameras and camcorders. This investigation was in the afternoon.

Experiments performed: Ovilus X and live Facebook videos were conducted and shot at the grave of the little girl.

Personal experiences: No one in the group experienced anything out of the ordinary and it was, in fact, a very peaceful location except for a lot of bees and mosquitoes that were flying around. Snider said that his camera refused to focus and kept going in and out of focus almost the entire time that we were there.


Evidence collected:

Guttural sound and chimes ragdoll.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session at the little girl’s grave a strange guttural sound was recorded followed by what sounds like four very faint chimes.

Words spoken by the Ovilus X in dictionary mode: real, dinner, wood, products, carbon, stood, suit and calcium.

Conclusions: Although a classic example of an urban legend, this location is still worth the trip. In my opinion, urban legends might indeed have some basis in fact and when the story or tale is told over and over again, it is often embellished or sensationalized as each person retells the tale, making the final story sometimes completely different than the original tale.

Still a very interesting place and I do enjoy visiting locations even though they may be nothing more than “old wife’s tales” or urban legends.  

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