Bloody Sweats: The Bleeding Gravestone of Rocky Hill


September 25, 2019 — A few months back, I was in my home state of Maryland, where I learned from an OTIS reader about a bleeding gravestone not 30 miles from where I used to live. OTIS began in that region of the state. How did I miss this?

Now, in my defense, there are plenty of bleeding gravestones out there, also glowing gravestones, weeping gravestones, disappearing gravestones, screaming gravestones, levitating gravestones, graving gravestones, all of them sharing in common that nobody has ever seen/recorded those gravestones in action. Well, other than graving.

And the bleeding gravestone of Rocky Hill is no different in that regard. But it is different. Because somebody set its legend in bronze.


Rocky Hill Cemetery is what the cemetery is called online, but the red-brick gates call it Grace Rocky Cemetery, and its adjacent to Grace Lutheran Church. The death garden can be found at 10825 Coppermine Road, in Woodsboro. The setting is peaceful and rustic, the graveyard backdropped by cornfields and grain silos. I guess it’s the perfect place for a bleeding gravestone.



The bleeding gravestone itself is white, mottled with black, and the epitaph is completely worn away. I actually don’t need to write a single other word about this thing. Because a large brass plaque that someone inset into a stone at its base tells the whole story:

This stone is at the grave of a mother who died leaving several small children. The husband remarried, as husbands do, and tis said that he and the step mother were very cruel and unkind to the children. But

Death could not this mother’s anguish kill

When the gnarled oaks groan.

And the pine trees moan

In this grave yard at Rocky Hill.

The tale oft told on many a lonely stretch

Is that this stone breaks out in Bloody Sweats

In this grave yard at Rocky Hill.

Setting aside such quirks of phrasing as “cruel and unkind” and going from prose to poem mid-sentence like a singer-songwriter with a guitar, what I really want to know is, Who put this thing there? Why did they do it? When did they do it?


There are a few things I do know. For instance, that the plaque dates back to at least 2007, as I found a web entry about it with that date. I also know, based on the stones grave-ending it, that the plot is full of a 19th century family by the name of Fox. Husband and wife George and Mary are buried on one side of the hemorrhaging headstone, and a son of theirs named Arthur is buried on the other.
According to FindaGrave, Mary was George Fox’s second wife. His first was Anna Elizabeth, and the two of them had some five children. So it sounds like Anna is the person underneath the bleeding stone.

Still, those other, more modern questions remain for me. If you know the answers, drop me a line. Until then, let’s marvel together at this plaque on this grave in the middle of farmland in the Crab State.