Days Gone By - stories from the past

Have you ever had a ghost experience at Bass Cemetery Irondale, Alabama?

Ghost sounds and sightings of apparitions with a general feeling of unease have been reported for years from people visiting the cemetery. Perhaps Revolutionary War soldier, Burwell Bass is haunting the cemetery or Montezuma Goodwin, who was killed by his brother-in-law.

Photographs below were taken at Bass Cemetery by

Springfield Ghost SocietyBass cemetery Ghost_Pictures12tn springfield historical society

Bass Ghost_Pictures23

Bass Cemetery is over 150 years old and is the final resting place of both Civil War soldiers and slaves from the area as well as Revolutionary War soldier.

The cemetery probably received its name from Burwell Bass, a Revolutionary War soldier who is buried there. He was born 1752 in Brunswick Co., Virginia and was buried August 23, 1831. He was the first white man to settle in Roebuck Springs and was married to Elizabeth Jane York. Burwell’s biography and descendants can be found in Revolutionary War soldiers Volume III.i

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

Montezuma Goodwin is also buried in the Bass cemetery.  He was shot and killed by his brother-in-law James Sims in 1904. Montezuma was born June 11, 1865 and died June 12, 1904. He married Alice Sims November 4, 1865 in Jefferson County, Alabama. The following is from a newspaper article published in The Birmingham Age-Herald on Tuesday, June 14, 1904,


Farmer Who Lived Near Trussville Slain Sunday

Montezuma Goodwin, a white farmer, who lived near Trussville, was shot and killed Sunday afternoon about dark by James Sims, his brother-in-law. Sims is under arrest, and Coroner Paris has made an investigation.

It is said that the trouble resulted from a family feud. It is said that the deceased went to Sims’ house Saturday night with a knife and threatened to kill Sims. The latter was not at home, but later the two met on the road and the trouble took place, which resulted in Goodwin’s death. Three shots were fired by Sims from a 38-calibre pistol, one of them taking effect in the heart and causing instant death.ii

In 1938 the (WPA) took a survey of the those buried in the cemetery from tombstones and the results of the survey are posted on Findagrave. At the time, they recorded 141 names. iii There has been considerable vandalism and neglect of the cemetery over the years so not everyone buried there will ever be ascertained.

Ghost stories still abound for Bass Cemetery, including one posted on Strange Alabama in 2012. Do you have a story about Bass Cemetery?

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Cristy Mosley Tommy Mosley

  2. Nice little quiet spot, just watch for the transients.

  3. This is awesome. However some facts were incorrect in the original article, Montezuma Goodwin wasn’t a “white” man he was a full blooded Cherokee Indian. He was my great great grandfather. Overall very interesting 🙂

  4. I was raised only three miles from there. I went once as a teenager. It scared me to death, just by the feeling in my heart

  5. My g-grandparents are buried there because it was my g-grandmother’s family cemetery. Her name was Lela Bass Wilson. It angers me that so much disrespect has been shown to those buried there and their families by all the vandalizing that has been done there. Promoting the idea that it is haunted encourages people to go there at night when it is easier to vandalize. It’s a shame so much history has been destroyed at the cemetery.

  6. Janet, Charles, Charlie, Shawana, Steven… Reminds me of your Blakeley pics!

  7. Says name has not been resolved. Couldn’t go to site 🙁

    1. had some technical difficulties earlier should be fine now

  8. Nope. But I have been way drunk and stoned at Bass hoping to share some Colt 45, Don Bacardi, a little herb and some non-filtered Kools with Casper…I even tried bringin the good stuff, a couple Wendy’s tripple cheese and Frosty’s but still no luck for a poltergeist. FYI my Christian brethren it was in the 60’s and way early 70’s………

  9. Look at the pics on my page live with them everyday you’ll see

  10. Been there a quite a few times in my life. Just went there with my dad and nephew this night and we didnt expect anything to really happen but we all watched a very bright and vivid orb moving through the woods towards us. Then we stood there and talked about what we saw and it returned a second time but it was half as bright then vanished again. We decided it was time to go after that. Has anyone else experienced this orb thing?

  11. Mistake about Montezuma being born and married in the same year I think.

  12. A friend of mine and I went there one night to investigate and couldn’t find it…drove up and down that road several times trying to see it. Every time we got to this one stretch we kept getting bad vibes and kept feeling like someone was sitting in the back seat…drive a little further and it would stop…come back and same spot same thing…

    Finally realized the cemetery was at the end of a long dirt driveway in that spot…

  13. I’ve been a few times as a teenager. The last time I went 2 of the guys ventured out away from the car. They quickly screamed and came running back saying that they saw a shadowy/foggy movement flowing from one grave. We left in a hurry!

  14. Had one in Northport, Alabama,

  15. Bunch of odd experiences out there. I use to be a regular

  16. Just dead folks. I have several family members buried there. Also as a kid me and my daddy and paw paw and few others would sit there on decoration day and never felt anything. Daddy and some families still keep the grass cut and have never felt anything out of the ordinary.

  17. no but Sheffield on the Jackson HWY has a very crazy old grave yard! the recording studio across the street is affected by it or maybe the other way around! hahahaha

    1. Maybe it’s the Grateful Dead?

  18. […] If you’re looking to experience the paranormal, Bass Cemetery is located in Irondale off of a dirt road in the middle of the woods. While many argue that the cemetery is more than 200 years old, the oldest marked grave is dated from 1860. Bass Cemetery is the final resting place of Civil War soldiers, slaves from the area, as well as Revolutionary War soldiers. Many brave visitors have reported ghost sounds, and sightings of apparitions. Some believe that the graveyard is haunted by Revolutionary War soldier, Burwell Bass, after whom the cemetery is said to be named. Learn more. […]

  19. […] Have you ever had a ghost experience at Bass Cemetery Irondale, Alabama? […]

  20. Just came from there. I am very saddened at the level of vandalism there – very disrespectful. It is my intention to include Bass in my book about cemeteries. To date, I plan on including Bass, Oak Hill, New Mission Hill next to Elmwood, Elmwood, Charleston area cemeteries, and Savannah, GA area cemeteries.

    1. You might want to check out Beaver Creek Cemetery also… in Shelby County, AL

  21. They are probably spinning in there graves seeing what the people are doing that they died for Caint blame them

  22. Bass Cemetery is definitely a creepy, uneasy place.

  23. True.. the famed psychic/ sleeping prophet Edgar Cayce insisted that central Alabama was one of the most active area in the world for unexplained phenomena..If you were to browse through the LOC slave narratives of the 1930s,you can find many.. I would guess that about 1 in 5 account a multitude of ghost stories, lore, and folk tales about ghosts…

    1. Myrick Chapel LOC slave narratives., where would I find that?

  24. Bass is definitely haunted. I’ve been there several times and received a fright with some friends one night that I can still see plain as day.

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