Sunday, March 21, 2010


Radio host to stake out cemetery to prove

By JESSICA CUFFMAN • The Marion Star • March
20, 2010

MARION, OHIO - A local radio host will stake out a local
cemetery to determine whether legends surrounding
a part of Marion history are true.

Scott Spears, WMRN 1490 personality, has been
interested in the story of the "Gypsy Queen" since
hearing former WMRN host Madge Guthery talk
about it at a Capture the Moment dinner a few years

Now, on the 105th anniversary of the death of the
queen, he plans to stake out St. Mary's Cemetery to
see if the legends that gypsies still visit her grave
are true.

The Gypsy Queen was a woman named Ann Judge,
called Queen Cleo by her people, who she was
traveling with through Marion in 1905 when she
died in childbirth, Spears said.

The child also died on March 20, 1905.

The queen was embalmed and placed in a store
front on North Main Street, and gypsies from as far
away as Europe would come to pay their respects to
her, Spears said.

She was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, and her grave
was marked with a wooden cross. Years later, a
marker was placed there, and someone places
pennies on the grave.

"Superstitions go along with that," Spears said.
"Such as if you take a penny, that means bad luck."

While her death and burial are documented history,
there is a legend that her restless soul roams a
round the cemetery on the anniversary of her
death, and groups of gypsies used to come to
Marion that day to visit her grave.

"In Marion history, it's probably the bit of Marion
history that I find the most interesting, even though
we're a presidential town," Spears said. "It's a
mystery as to who puts the pennies on the grave.
They're there summer, spring and fall."

He has gotten permission to visit the cemetery at
about dusk to see if gypsy travelers still show up.

"No one has been able to confirm or deny that," he
said. He has spoken to the cemetery's caretaker, the
historical society and Trella Romine, and no one
knows if they still come.

"If they do, it's unannounced. Hopefully we'll be able
to prove or disprove that, 105 years later," he said.

Monday morning Spears will come back with the
story and confirm or deny the myths during his
show, which starts a 6 a.m. He'll probably talk about
his experience during the newscast, on WMRN

Other legends about the Gypsy Queen won't be able
to be confirmed, such as that she is buried standing
up, or that she is covered with concrete because
jewels were placed on top of her.

Spears says he plans to stay at the cemetery until 1 or 2.


Casimire said...

Very touching that people still might be visiting her grave after all these years. There is a "Gypsy" graveyard here in Portland. But when it got some press in Willamete Weekly (Best Gypsy Cemetary 2009) it only mentioned what criinals we are. Did not mention how we respect the dead. Good Post, Thanks Casimire

Morgan said...

Casimire, how i appreciate your comments. Did you know that the Rose City Cemetery in Portland has the largest and oldest section of Romani graves in the US. It itself has quite a history including desecration of crypts.
Thaks Casimire, you encourage us to go on. You are such a good one.

Casimire said...

Yes, that is the cemetery I'm talking about.
One grave has a photograph of Romani woman smoking a cigarette. Classic!!!
Sweets, tobacco, and strong coffee. My downfall anyway.