The recently closed St. Stephen's Church on South Main Street in the Dodgeville was first established as a mission church in 1875. The church became a parish church in 1885 when French-Canadians began settling the area to work in area mills. In May of this year, due to declining attendance and fewer available priests, St. Stephen's merged with St. Mary's in Seekonk forming the new Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish at Seekonk site.
"And then, again the ghost of Doris Doucette started walking," Plainville resident, Lyn Gorman said. "Anytime something of significance happened in Attleboro, two year old Doris and her parents, Albertine and Eugene would start wandering the cemetery roadways."
According to several shivery ghost stories, Gorman listened to as a child broadcast on Attleboro's own WARA radio station, spooky events occurred and continue to occur in this cemetery. "When one of the older mayors of Attleboro died, Doris and her parents' footsteps were reported to be heard walking around the cemetery."
Their grave marker or one of their family's grave markers used to glow green! That is until cemetery caretaker readjusted or tilted the stone a bit and then their stone glowed red. Attleboro resident, Ryan Cochrane who lives near the cemetery, debunks the stone part of this story. " I remember the glowing grave actually showing up on television's Unsolved Mysteries, but in the end, people found out that the light was actually being reflected from someone's house back through the woods off the stone," he said. "Sometimes there's extra traffic driving through the cemetery, mostly high school kids trying to get a look at the stone.
"After the stone was moved, I don't think it ever glowed again." Cochrane laughed. "And no, I never did hear Doris's footsteps!"
"I think the stone was limestone which glows at a certain temperature," Gorman said.
There is a hidden message in the Doucette name. DO-U-C-ETTE? Do you see it?? Do you see the glow? Do you see Doris?
In order to gain the full experience, individuals will have to drive into the cemetery from South Main Street and turn left at the large crucifix. Once they drive over a small rise, they will see an orange chain.
Rumor has it that if the driver flashed their headlights two times, turned off the car's engine and waited a man or an apparition of a man will emerge and will tell you where to find the cemetery spirits.
The hours of this cemetery are sunrise to sunset, so in order to try this you must do so during the day.
"I have heard of frequent sighting of apparitions in the cemetery," commented Attleboro resident Gail Marshall. "When the neighborhood kids were younger many of them claimed to see apparitions and feel strange forces or presences. Definitely there are things happening over there not easily explained!"
An urban legend is a contemporary folk tale. It is a story told by a "friend of a friend" who witnessed some sort of unusual but plausible event. It's a pretty good story that circulates around for many years with many believers but with many credibility gaps. The story about strange happenings in St. Stephen's Cemetery is enthusiastically retold by students at Attleboro High School.
Other stories of spooks in Attleboro include a Victorian lady appearing on the landing of the grand staircase at the old 1907 Sweet House, which is now the Literacy Center, a poltergeist moving furniture around in the old Casino in Capron Park, which is now the Forestry Department and one about ghosts of children that appear and disappear at the old Bristol Nursing Home, which is now the Grace Baptist School on Oakhill Avenue.