The Empty Chair at the Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont:
Mount Hope Cemetery is located in the Granite Capital of the World in Barre, Vermont, which makes this cemetery unique enough to be considered a tourist destination. The cemetery first opened in 1895. Today it consists of 85 acres of well-maintained landscape. Although there is a great deal of artistry and creativity and therefore originality on display at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, things are strangely, still rather uniform-looking overall. That’s because each and every monument, including the infamous Empty Chair, at Mount Hope Cemetery was made of Barre Gray granite.
The Empty Chair at the Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont is somewhat unique, although not entirely original, because it is NOT a “Mourning Chair”, per se, but rather an actual tombstone. It is also called an “Empty Chair” rather than a “Devil’s Chair”, even though, technically, it IS a Devil’s Chair. The stories told about this monument are fairly typical for other locations where there is also a Devil’s Chair. This is why, as far as the folklore is concerned, the Empty Chair, which is actually a tombstone memorializing someone with the last name “Bettini”, is indeed one of the numerous “Devil’s Chairs” located throughout the country.
Locals claim that various unfortunate events will happen if a person sits in The Empty Chair in Barre, Vermont. In particular, if a person sits in the chair at midnight or on Halloween, they will die within a 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.
Kirby, D. (1996-2011). Granite Sculpture of Hope Cemetery. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10090
Wikipedia (2011). The Devil’s Chair. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Chair_%28urban_legend%29
The Shadowlord (1998). Haunted Places Index. Retrieved February 22, 2011 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/vermont.htm