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The Legless Man In The Cemetery


I came across this website recently and I figured this could be a good place to tell about my experiences which I had around 10 years ago.

The majority of my family lives in Northwestern Minnesota and I lived in Minneapolis at the time with my immediate family. We would go visit my family up north a couple times each summer and do things like hunting, fishing, going off-roading with ATVs, etc.

Often times, me and my cousin would go off-roading on our ATVs in an area west of a town called Thief River Falls. It's mostly farmland, some forest plots, highways, a few farms and houses along with some gravel roads.

One summer evening around 7pm, I was out with my cousin on our ATVs and the radio which he had on his ATV was set to the NOAA weather radio station which was saying that a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Pennington County (the county in which we were in) and it was scheduled to arrive in about half an hour. Since he lived about 10 miles south of where we currently were at that point, we decided to start making our way back before the storm hit.

About 5 minutes later, we decided to stop right by an old empty cemetery and church situated about 50 yards ahead of us on the right side of the road to look at the giant Cumulonimbus Cloud that was quickly moving towards us. By this point, the sky started to get a little dark and we could hear the thunder starting to rumble but we figured we had enough time to kill before the storm arrived.

A couple moments after we stopped, I started getting this strange feeling. The best way to describe it was that it like someone was watching us. In fact, I even checked all around me out of instinct but there was no one there except for us two.

I then heard my cousin fire up his ATV and telling me that we should get going. I started up my ATV and proceeded to follow him but I still had this strange feeling that I was being watched. As we got closer to the cemetery, I started to slow down because that feeling I was having was getting stronger and stronger.

As I pass the cemetery gate, I see a man in his 50's or 60's wearing a white short sleeve button-up shirt and a pair of black slacks standing next to a grave looking South, which is the same direction we were headed. However, I quickly noticed that his legs were missing from his knees downward.

I immediately hit the brakes as I could not believe what I was seeing. He then turned his head to look at me and I will never forget that scornful look he had on his face as he stared at me for those few seconds. As he stared at me, I started getting this cold, clammy feeling that one usually gets when scared. After a few seconds, he starts to slowly float towards me at which point I gunned it and got out of there as quickly as I could.

When I checked my rearview mirrors I didn't see anyone or anything behind me but I wasn't going to wait around to find out. My cousin noticed I had stopped and was waiting for me about a quarter of a mile up the road from where I had stopped. I lied to him that I had just seen a couple of deer run across the cemetery and was just watching them frolic about.

That night I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about that legless man was going to be standing over me when I work up in the morning.

From that point on, whenever I visited, I always made sure to never go by that cemetery again because I'm honest to god afraid that he will follow me home if I go by there again.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, EmptyWalls, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

silent_night (5 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-23)
EmptyWalls It would be interesting to read about your experience if you ever do decide to go back. I hope you do, not just for the story but so that you can have the closure you spoke of:)
EmptyWalls (2 stories) (3 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-20)
Sam222 - You know, I have thought about going back there... Just not on my ATV. Partially to give me closure, and also because I think the area is beautiful. As for my name, it's actually the name of a song by Serj Tankian from one of his solo albums.

TheCrone - Looking back, I don't think that the "guardian's" intention was to harm me but to simply scare me off in case I got any ideas. The cemetery is located in a fairly rural area and there are several ATV and Snowmobile trails not far from where it is located. To my understanding it is maintained throughout the year. I do know there are other cemetery plots not far from this one that have seen better days, if you catch my drift.

Silent_night - I don't recall seeing any tire tracks but I wonder if snowmobilers will cut through the cemetery during the winter. I remember from a cousin of mine who lives in Wisconsin telling me that they have had problems with snowmobiles cutting through a cemetery not far from where he lives. One of them even managed to knock down a headstone and the owner of the plot had to put up a fence to keep people out, so that wouldn't be unheard of.
silent_night (5 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-18)
TheCrone There is a cemetery near me that the locals guard closely... They know the place's reputation brings in visitors from different areas. I go there every so often, because of my own experiences and the experiences I've heard about from others. Recently when I was there, I noticed ATV tracks on top of every grave. I remember thinking, 'who could be this disrespectful?' I felt a sort of anger present that I've never felt there before, and I am sure I caught sight of someone watching me through the trees. Whoever it was would shift just out of view when I tried to get a better look, but would reappear again in a different part of the treeline. Instinctively I felt I was being watched until I made my intentions known. I said, 'Rest in peace, and I hope that is how I will leave you'. I swear the air got a little lighter. Then I left.

Anyhow, your comment brought that recent memory back, and I agree with what you said... Maybe the legless man was acting as a sort of guardian over the cemetery. As to whoever questioned his intentions toward the op, I would say I wonder just how fed up the legless man was if his resting place was in fact being disrespected? I know I felt anger that night in the cemetery, and I was truly afraid.

I apologize for the long post.
Sam222 (8 stories) (461 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-16)
Hello Emptywalls, and welcome, I find you account name quite as interesting as your story, (but not as scary). I'm going to give you my honest opinion here; I understand that this freaked you out and made you not want to go back but I think you should, it's been ten years and you should go back and see if he is still there, your not so scared now are you? If it was me curiosity would have gotten the best of me and I would have had to go back, but of course you don't have to go back I understand why you wouldn't want to, but I don't think the man meant harm, I mean no offense to the guy but he's got no legs, do you think he could move?

Now I'll have to say again, that is quite a user name, two simple words put together, I never thought it would be quite so interesting. You seem like the outdoorsy type of person and I think you user name is kind relative to that because outdoors there really is any "walls" like in a room so then outside the "walls" are empty there's nothing on them so you can't see them, that's probably not why you choose it but that was the first thing I thought. Haven't seen too many usernames quite unique and interesting like yours, the only ones I can think of is Wish-Not, BadJuJu, and even Notjustme is quite an interesting user name.
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (432 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-15)
Great account EmptyWalls! I could almost feel the storm coming. It's probably good you got out of there. I know when my gut tells me something, I listen!

Hope to hear more from you.
TheCrone (4 stories) (24 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-15)
It looks fairly well maintained. I wonder if other people have gone "off-roading on top of people's graves." Just because you didn't doesn't mean he wasn't worried you might. A guardian would be concerned if others have done it.
EmptyWalls (2 stories) (3 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-15)
Wow, so many comments already!

Well to answer some of your questions...

Elnora- We were not driving through the cemetery but driving right by it as the plot was located off to the right side, so it wasn't like we were going off-roading on top of peoples' graves. 😁

Grff - I recall the cemetery & church being neatly maintained (cut grass, no derelict headstones, nice looking building) so it definitely wasn't some rundown creepy looking cemetery.

Wish-Not - I did a little research about the area and I came up with the name Landstad Lutheran Church and I even found a website that features it. The photo of the church listed there matches the one I saw!

sheetal (6 stories) (771 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-15)
hi, Emptywalls freaky story... I am agree with other posters here... Thanks for sharing...
ifihadyoux (6 stories) (607 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
Oh. My. I would have been so scared if that happened to me! It's always good to do a cleansing or a protection bag when you go to cemeteries to prevent being followed. 😆
valkricry (47 stories) (3195 posts) mod
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
CREEPY! Yes, that had to be in capitols. I agree do not go back there.
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
Ooooh that was a good one EmtpyWalls, I liked the setting and felt like I could feel the wind with you. As scary as it was for you and even for me as a reader, I got to say what a cool experience. And yes I agree not to stop there again as he didn't seem happy to see you. I really liked your story. Favs!
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
Cumulonimbus clouds are my favorite:D

Did you ride through the cemetery? That may explain why he was displeased.
Wish-Not (16 stories) (534 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
Welcome EmptyWalls- Fascinating story to say the least. Well written. I was able to have a visual of the whole scene. The dark clouds moving in, the church and cemetery.

I'm wondering IF the approaching storm provided the ghost the energy to manifest and react as it did? Just another rambling wonder of mine 😁

If you ever get the chance you should check out that particular grave site and get a name. You could research the name and find out details.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
Griff - as I was getting ready to read the updated comments, I was going through the story again in my mind and ended up thinking basically the same as you: guardian of the cemetery.
Griff84 (5 stories) (289 posts)
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
EmptyWalls, welcome to YGS.

This is very spine tingling indeed. I almost get the feeling he was protecting his area, because you say you felt watched as you approached to after you had passed, let alone the look he gave you whilst you were stopped, along with the fact he made a move towards you.

Was the church derelict or in use? I ask because I wonder if someone could be contacted and give details of perhaps the grave where he was stood (no telling if it was his or not) or even if they have seen him themselves perhaps. It is very interesting. What's his story?

Thanks for sharing 😊
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
8 years ago (2015-01-14)
EmptyWalls - first, for whatever reason, I really like your profile name. Not sure what it is about it that hit me, but it did.

Second, wow! Okay, it's not often that I get...mmmm...scared (?) when reading a story but this one, when you described the look the legless man gave you, made me cringe. Literally. I felt as if I was standing there and he was glaring at me. I would have hightailed it outta there also.

Not that I expect you to know, all things considered, but I wonder if maybe he had lost his legs during a war? 😕

Anyway, great story and thank you for submitting it.

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