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The Devil’s Chair

Many of the original Cassadaga spiritualists are buried about a mile up the road in the Lake Helen cemetery. Each Halloween, guards must be posted at the cemetery to ward off outside pranksters and curiosity seekers looking for goblins. One of the big evil attractions at the cemetery has always been the sinister “Devil’s Chair.”

According to the stories, if you sit in this big, brick chair at midnight, the Devil will communicate to you. The Prince of Darkness also enjoys a cold beer once in awhile, for I’m told that if you place an unopened can of beer on the chair it will be empty the next morning. He’s probably a pretty thirsty fellow after working in all that fire and brimstone.

I went to see the chair and thought it looked more like a big brick barbeque pit sitting next to a grave. Actually, there are three such brick chairs, so it is a little confusing trying to figure out which is El Diablo’s. I sat in all of them, but I didn’t hear the Devil say anything…maybe because it was broad daylight, or because I didn’t leave him a beer.

 

When it comes to Cassadaga, Louis Gates is not only a medium; he’s a regular historian and folklorist. I knew he would know about the Devil’s Chair. He laughed as he began telling me the truth behind the legend. “There’s nothing to it, kids started that story. The real story goes back to a man who lost his wife, it was a quick death and unexpected, this was back in the twenties. She was buried in the cemetery, and he would walk there each day and sit beside her grave. The man had arthritis real bad in his legs and the walk was hard on him. He needed something to sit on, so he built that big, brick chair so he could rest beside his wife’s grave. There are all kinds of stories, how if you sit in it the Devil will talk to you…it’s just a story…it has nothing to do with the Devil.”

They Could Hear Voices
There is a big stone chair in Cassadaga. If you sit in this chair at midnight the Devil will talk to you. I know someone who went there and they said they could hear voices in their head but when they got up out of the chair the voices went away. If you put a can of beer on the grave next to the chair it will be empty in the morning and the top will still be sealed. Now how is that possible? But I know someone who did it and the next morning the can was empty. –deathvader

Dark Figures Lurking
Go to the Lake Helen cemetery just down the road two miles from Cassadaga. Up on the hill in the middle of the cemetery you will see a large brick chair with arms. This is the Devil’s Chair and if you sit in it he will appear. We went out there at night but no one would sit in it because we saw some dark figures lurking in the shadows. We did not know if it was just some kids or something else. –thestetsonkid

Saw Some Strange People
Some students from Stetson went there on Halloween night but they said they could not get into the cemetery because the road was blocked by some strange people. They said the people were mediums from Cassadaga and were there talking with the dead. –Kim S

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