The Haunted Chair of the Greenwood Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois:
Decatur locals used to claim that the Devil’s Chair at the Greenwood Cemetery would arise up out of the ground on certain nights of the year. When this would happen, a person could sit in the chair and make a pact with the devil and get anything they wanted for seven years. After these seven years, the devil would return to take that person’s soul.
This story has evolved over time. Today, locals claim that is anyone who sits in the Devil’s Chair will die within one year.
The Devil’s Chair Information:
Urban folklore about “Devil’s Chairs” are common throughout the United States. They primarily refer to a class of memorial/funerary sculptures (cement replicas of chairs) that were common in the United States during the 1800’s. Nineteenth century graveyards often included these carved stone chairs for the comfort of visitors. Serving this function, these chairs became known as “Mourning Chairs”. Today, these types of benches and chairs are still put in cemeteries but are more mobile and thus rarely made out of stone.
Monubenches are still commercially available. In other words, you could still buy a Monubench | Devil’s Chair for your own grave. Many of the “Devil’s Chairs” throughout the United States were not meant to be anything but monuments. And interestingly, once their popularity began to fade, superstitions around the act of sitting in one developed. What happens when one sits in a so-called “Devil’s Chair” varies from location to location, but generally, the one who sits is punished for being out of line, or rewarded for their courage. Usually, but not always, the chair’s power to inflict harm is heightened at Halloween or New Years Eve or at midnight, or at some other specified time.
The Shadowlord (1998). Haunted Places Index. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/illinois.htm
Wikipedia (2011). The Devil’s Chair. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Chair_%28urban_legend%29
No Author (n.d.). Haunted Places and Urban Legends from Illinois. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://www.hauntedusa.org/devilchair.htm