Old Palmer   
 Burying Ground
 Nyack Vicinity
 Nyack, NY

 April 30, 2009

We conducted a mini investigation on a Thursday evening.  The cemetery is located along a winding residential street.  There are frequent cars going by but the place is peaceful.  Three residential properties border the plot with a simple wooden fence as the divide.  An old stone wall just a couple of feet high separates it from the road. There have been stories told of sightings of a soldier, leaning or sitting at a headstone (1).
As we entered up the three or four steps to the cemetery grade, we were greeted by three deer who were not too frightened by us, as if to say we weren't invited.  I approached them to within ten or fifteen  feet before they calmly but gracefully leaped the fence and started grazing nearby. There was a good feeling that night.



Kevin, Mitch and our visiting psychic, Vincent, began the investigation at 7:20 PM. Our intention was to investigate for about one hour until just after dark.  Cemeteries are off limits by law at night. Vincent sensed it was a quiet place but he also sensed three 'hot spots.'


NPI equipment:  Sony Digital Voice Recorder, 2 ea K-2 meters with modified switch, Olympus digital still camera, Canon digital still camera.

 Visual Evidence:

There were no K-2 responses. Approximately 46 minutes into the investigation, Vincent was taking digital snapshots of me and Kevin by several headstones near an area he sensed low activity. Upon immediate review of the image on the camera we saw an anomaly which was detected in three successive pictures. The fourth picture was clear.  The pictures were taken all within the same minute.  Subsequent attempts to recapture this anomaly did not yield any result. Kevin attempted to debunk the image as flash reflection from fingers holding the camera but it did not appear the same. It appears to look like lens flare but typically there is an external source of light into the lens or a bright reflection.  The pictures were taken facing east with the sun setting behind us. Nonetheless it looks like lens flare. The photos are presented here for your judgement:

 Audio Evidence:
Upon review of the audio, I discovered four EVP instances where a woman's or child's voice could be heard. None of our three voices sound like the one captured.  When we checked the time stamp and compared it to the pictures above, they occurred at the same time. We can hear ourselves discussing the images on the audio during the fifty eight seconds (0:58) that the EVP's span. At 46:03 we notice the first anomaly, the first EVP occurs at the 46:28 mark.
EVP 1- 46:28- CLICK HERE Sounds like a simple 'HELLO'
EVP 2- 47:08- CLICK HERE  This is a lengthy EVP that speaks over our conversation.  The voice has proper cadence and sounds a bit old English.  Fairly creepy but very cool...
Here is the clip enhanced
CLICK HERE. We believe it is saying:  Drag your mouse cursor to highlight the area between the following brackets to see what we feel the voice is saying.  We hide our result here so you may attempt to interpret without bias.
["Heaven hold them, leave them, leave them, leave them be..." ]
EVP 3- 47:17- CLICK HERE We will also continue to analyze this one.  Sounds like two or three syllables.
UPDATE: We did a quick enhancement and slowed it down.  Someone suggested it sounds like "clearly distraught."  Click
HERE to listen.  Best with headphones.
EVP 4- 47:26- CLICK HERE There is one 'umph' here.  The odd almost grunting sound immediately following is actually the digital camera with a programmed shutter sound when a photo is taken. Can't rule out it was one of us sounding strange at the moment...

*Here we present a longer cip which includes all four instances mentioned above it in its raw form.  The clip is approximately 3 minutes 23 seconds long and is taken out of the original recording between time stamps 45:05 and 48:28. The time stamps to look for in this clip are:
1= 1:24; 2= 2:04; 3= 2:13; 4= 2:21. 
for the clip.


Satellite Images

Satellite image showing relative position to neighboring houses.  House to the east was approximately 100 feet away from where the EVP was captured.  Camera was facing east while the sun set to the west.

Same image with the outline of the burying ground shown and location of investigators at the time of the second EVP and third picture.

Click on either picture for larger version.


The second EVP captured intrigued us not just for the length and cadence of the sentence, but the possible applicability to the spot where the EVP was recorded. The glow in the photo emanates from the headstone of Abraham DeClark,  this did not seem to fit the situation.  The headstones where we were standing seem to be more significant. The Smith family is buried there.  Picture 3 above shows us standing between the headstone of Charity Smith and one of her children.  Further to the right in the photo are two more of her children.  The first headstone to the left in Picture 3 is Capt. Aury Smith, a Captain in the Revolutionary War.

We found it fascinating that the voice repeats "leave them" three times.  This could be one for every one of the three children buried along side Capt. and Mrs. Smith.
 Family information:
 First Name Last Name Age Died Mother First Name Father First Name Father Last Name
 Aury Smith 1y 4m 5d 1772-08-05 Charity Aury (Aurie) Smith
 Lambert Smith 3m 4d 1767-08-21 Charity Aury (Aurie) Smith
 Jan (Jannetje) Smith 8y 25d 1792-01-18 Charity Aury (Aurie) Smith
 First Name Last Name Born Died Spouse First Name    
 Charity(Gertrude) Smith 1738-11-30 1805-06-11 Capt. Aury    
 Aury(Aurie) Smith 1736-10-30 1820-08-13 Charity    
We could not find reference to the specific date of birth for any of the children. However, the ages of the children are inscribed on their head stones.  It must have been a sad story for this family but we do not have references as to what caused these deaths at such early ages.
 A brief history of the cemetery from W. Perry, Nyack Historian:

This is one of the two oldest burial grounds in Clarkstown.  It has 66 graves of some of the earliest families and includes six Revolutionary War soldiers.

Old Mountain Road was used by the Indians and early settlers who traveled from Nyack to Rockland Lake and the West Nyack area by way of Christian Herald Hill and Storms Road.  It was called “the road to the pond” in early deeds.

In a history of Rockland County published in City and Country during the year 1882, appears the following: “The old burying ground at Upper Nyack was started in about the year 1730 and the names of Snedeker, Smith and Perry are most abundant….

“All Upper Nyack at one time belonged to Cornelius Claessen Cuyper who, with his “huisvrouw,” Aeltje Teunis (Bogert) and their family of little ones, settled somewhere along the river shore between 1685 and 1687.  Frontier hardships apparently agreed with the young couple, for by 1708 their progeny had increased to fifteen; thirteen of whom reached maturity.  Cuyper became a wealthy, prominent and influential man in the County of Orange…On his farm and near his house he laid out this family burial place before 1730….”

“Cornelius died in 1731 and his wife died four years later, both are interred in the family plot.  Their graves wee marked by low, heavy slabs of red sandstone undressed except for the crude lettering.  These probably had been quarried from the five stone beds near the river shore.

Aury Smith bought 320 acres and Capt. Jacob Vanderbilt and his step-son, Andries Onderdonk, also became residents of the locality.  A homemade headstone containing the initials “V.D.” and the date “1739” is supposed to mark the Captain’s grave.

“If Aury Smith is buried here, he lies in an unmarked grave.

The last burial marked by an inscribed stone was that of Garret S. Smith in 1857.”


(1) Here's another great link with information on Nyack's cemeteries uncluding Old Palmer's!

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