Poetry: “Within This God’s Acre”

Here’s a free verse poem that Joseph Estlack was inspired to write after his recent visit to Hans Graf Cemetery. Enjoy!

Within This God’s Acre
Hans Graf was a pioneer. He founded part of
Pennsylvania. He came from Switzerland in the
1600s when Europe was peaking in witch hunts
and werewolf trials. The wild and free had no
choice but to escape. Here they came. Hans is one
of them. Graf’s Run is a stream named after him.
The train goes to Philadelphia by way of a path he
blazed. His church is still active. His name appears
repeatedly on official parchments. He made Shock
Cemetery within which his family lays. Whoever
says his canine-shape still guards their graves is
wrong. He haunts all of Lancaster. Those tricks to
summon him only work if you’re an enemy to the
freedom he sought. Since him, more beasts have
come. Along with them more paths, more places,
more documents. It has been a bloodbath. Full
moons were prevalent in the 17 and 1800s. Around
these parts I can hear a chorus of ghoulish evils
howling once a month. James Buchanan, Thaddeus
Stevens. Beware the vampire, Milton Hershey. He
still passes the curse wrapped in a teardrop. This
area is a convention of monsters. They chewed out
the boundaries of an entire nation. I sleep soundly
to the things going bump in my night. My children
have no reason to be scared. Their claws are not
clipped. They are the things under beds and in
closets. The future of paranormal is theirs. For
some, this whole country is a living nightmare.

by Joseph Estlack


Learn More

Click here to read the full legend and the history of Hans Graf Cemetery.

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