The Green Lady of Burlington Cemetery
The Burlington Cemetery is a very old burial ground dating back to the 1700’s, located in New Britain, Connecticut; present day Burlington. The cemetery is known by several names, including Burlington Cemetery, Seventh Day Baptist Cemetery and its most famous label, Green Lady Cemetery.
The proper name is Seventh Day Baptist Cemetery, the name given upon its inception on September 18, 1780 by the “Sabbatarians” of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Green Lady Cemetery caught on quickly due to the innumerable sightings of the “Green Lady” ghost that Burlington Cemetery is so notorious for. The name Burlington Cemetery is simply practical, being one of the only two active cemeteries in Burlington, CT.
The Green Lady of Burlington Cemetery has been making appearances in the graveyard for more than 100 years now. The most significant thing about this ghost is that there really is nothing significant about it. She appears in a green mist with undeniably human contour. She facial features are clear enough to be feminine, and she seems incredibly solemn and happy, with a perpetual smile on her face.
The Green Lady is not menacing or harmful. She never manifests herself in a threatening way. She shows no signs of how she died – no sickly wounds or bloody trails, as pertain to so many ghost stories. In fact, the Green Lady of Burlington Cemetery is often called the most boring ghost in the United States.
It is for this reason that you may hear some much more intriguing stories when you ask around the Burlington area. Mostly the local youths have a lot more to say, embellishing the truth to make a frightening legend out of simple folklore.
The widely accepted story is that the Green Lady is the ghost of Elisabeth Palmiter, one of the Seventh Day Baptists that migrated to New Britain (now Burlington) to establish the church and cemetery. Before we detail her death, let’s go over a little interesting background on the Seventh Day Baptists.
The current locals weren’t too pleased with the settlement of so many religious neighbors. One after another, accidents seemed to be picking off the newcomers. One was accidentally hung while fixing a lamp; another died when a tree fell on him in the woods; one died when a recently finished well collapse on top of him; yet another fell from a ladder while repairing his roof. Could they all be coincidence? Yes, of course they could. But they could also have been the underhanded intimidation of the locals trying to bully the Baptists into leaving – and leave they did. The remaining members left for Brookfield, New York in 1820.
Back to the story of Elisabeth Palmiter, the suspected Green Lady of Burlington Cemetery; the legend says she died in April of 1800, drowning in a swamp near her home. There are several accounts of how she ended up in the swamp, all involving her husband Benjamin.
The most popular says he went into town for supplies and decided to stay overnight due to a terrible blizzard. When he did not return, she went out searching for him and got lost. Another story says Benjamin did return but she was missing. An exhausting search ended with her body being found frozen in the swamp. Yet another story says Benjamin was actually responsible for her death, drowning her in the swamp, or simply refusing to save her from the swamp before she drowned.
No one really knows what happened, or if the Green Lady really is the ghost of Elisabeth Palmiter. But we do know is that a green, misty apparition appears, smiles upon her onlookers and dissipates on a regular basis in and around Burlington Cemetery. It has been reported in similar fashion far too many times to be discounted as a mere fairy tale.