The startling story of the Mary Chambers Bibb mausoleum

maple hill cemetery
Maple Hill Cemetery is Huntsville’s oldest and largest cemetery. (Audrey Johnson / Hville Blast)

With ghost tours and witches rides descending upon Huntsville, Rocket City is preparing for the spookiest time of year. Sue Anne Griffith, creator of the Huntsville history podcast Lily Flagg’s Signal, sat down to share the eerie story of Mary Chambers Bibb.

The haunting story of Mary Chambers Bibb

mary chambers bibb, maple hill cemetery, grave
Find the mausoleum in block 2 row 9 of Maple Hill Cemetery in downtown Huntsville. (Audrey Johnson / Hville Blast)

Mary Chambers was born in 1816 to Alabama legislator Dr. Henry Chambers, for whom Chambers County is named. Prepared to wed the governor’s son in 1835, she was accidentally poisoned by a servant on her wedding day. She remained alive for three months before passing away at the age of 19.

Her husband, William D. Bibb, erected Maple Hill Cemetery’s first mausoleum in her honor, and it remains in block two of the cemetery to this day.

Legend has it the family buried Mary in her Parisian wedding dress, while sitting upright in her favorite rocking chair.

Mary’s father-in-law, Thomas Bibb, was Alabama’s second governor. He died four years later in 1839, and his tomb in Maple Hill Cemetery is also rumored to be haunted.

The infamous rocking chair ghost

maple hill cemetery
Maple Hill Cemetery contains over 80,000 burials. (McCarley Northway / Hville Blast)

Now remembered as “the rocking chair ghost,” Mary Chambers Bibb remains one of Huntsville’s most well-known ghost stories.

“The legend is that if you go knock on the mausoleum door you can hear her creaking in her rocking chair at night.”

Sue Anne Griffith

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Audrey Johnson
Audrey Johnson
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