Cassadaga

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your afternoon that will leave you slightly creeped out, a trip to Cassadaga is the way to go.

Truthfully, it’s not a very photogenic town. There’s one main road, a few gift shops, a hotel that looks more like a boarding school, and a lot of wood houses. Dried out palm trees mark driveways. Wind chimes and medallions sway from porches and clink in the wind.

We stopped at the Purple Rose Trading Company, a quaint little pinkish building. Photos aren’t usually allowed in spiritual shops like that, but that’s exactly what you want to do the moment you walk across the threshold. Dozens of stone pendant necklaces were hanging from the ceiling in a ring around the cashier’s desk. Displays of tarot cards, medicine bags, and exotic herbs lined the walls. Smoking sage and flickering candles wafted smells of roses and sandalwood into the air. We were barely in the shop for more than 5 minutes before it started pouring and lightning began flashing. But that’s Florida for you.

In Cassadaga, it’s customary to have your cards read. You can make an appointment with a psychic for around 50 dollars. I chose the a more financially-stable option. For 1 dollar, I could do my own sort of fortune telling. The results were actually pretty relevant.

Ask the Spirits, pick a card.

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We mustered the courage to run through the downpour to the car, hiding out in a pizza parlor in the next town over until the sun finally decided to come out again. Small town, hole-in-the-wall pizza is always the best pizza.

When you Google search Cassadaga, multiple websites say that there isn’t a cemetery in the town. They lie.

Now, I would like to say that I’m not a superstitious person, but that would also be a lie. Ghosts, demons, and anything remotely supernatural – it all scares the crap out of me. So of course, when my friend wanted to visit a place known as the “Devil’s Chair,” did I really want to go? Heck no. But friends are not truly friends until they are persuaded to do something the other friend wants to do, right?

The cemetery is right off the main road, surrounded by a large wrought iron fence. The gates were open. I drove in slowly, following the dirt path lined by tombstones. My friend told me to pull over when we were pretty much in the middle of the giant graveyard. We’d have to go on foot for the rest of the way. Yay.

I went to lock my car and my friend was all, “Who’s going to steal from you out here? We’re the only living people in 2 miles.”

Thanks. That made me feel so much better.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe it was some bench on the edge of the graveyard? Nah, of course it wasn’t.

After some research, the idea behind the “Devil’s Chair” wasn’t as creepy as I had initially thought. They were called mourning chairs; stone benches were built beside the grave, usually next to the tombstone, for the living to have a comfortable place while visiting their dearly departed. It’s actually sadly sweet, which is what I kept telling myself when my friends told me to go sit on it.

Afterwards, we read more about the chair itself. Apparently unopened beer cans will be drained if left out overnight, cap still shut. People have seen haunting figures on or around the chair. The Devil himself can even grace those with his presence, for those who are are brave enough to take a seat.

Wish I would have known that beforehand.

Any pictures I did take in that cemetery (and I took quite a few), I deleted minutes after leaving.

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