Potential graves discovered at shuttered boys' school in Florida

A pollution-cleanup company may have possibly stumbled upon more graves at a shuttered reform school in Marianna, Fla., where researchers had previously found 55 burial sites and remains belonging to some 51 individuals. 

Consulting and engineering firm Geosyntec — the contractor responsible for the overall cleanup — reported the discovery to the state's Department of Environmental Protection on March 26, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Geosyntec's subcontractor, New South Associates, had purportedly used a radar to scan nearly two acres of land outside the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys' cemetery when it noticed "27 anomalies" that seemed consistent with the description of unmarked graves.

"Due to the sensitive nature of this site, particular caution was used to identify possible graves in this survey," New South said in its report. "If an anomaly had any of the features typically used to identify graves, it was interpreted as a possible grave." 

Those characteristics include the site's shape, size and depth, the Times noted.

In response to the report, Governor Ron DeSantis asked county officials earlier this month to work with state agencies to come up with the next steps. 

In 2009, state officers determined that there were 31 burials in the cemetery. A further investigation by anthropologists from the University of South Florida in 2013 revealed the existence of 24 additional graves and the remains of 51 people. Most of those finds were the corpses of boys who died in state custody. 

Erin Kimmerle, who led USF's team of researchers, said that the pollution-cleanup company's discovery last month does not necessarily guarantee that more graves have been found. 

"I would just urge a lot of caution and suggest ground-truthing [the process by which a researcher checks the accuracy of remotely sensed data by physically collecting information on location] be done no matter what," she told the Times. 

Approximately 100 children died at Dozier, many of them in a dormitory fire in 1914 and a massive flu breakout that took place four years later, according to CNN. The other deaths have been shrouded in mystery. 

Dozier achieved notoriety after former students spoke out about the cruel treatment they had received during their time there. In 2008, a group of men called the White House Boys came forward to share stories of being beaten unconscious or sexually assaulted. Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice ultimately shut the school down in 2011. 

RELATED: Take at some of the most haunted places in America: 

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5 of the most haunted places in America
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5 of the most haunted places in America

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

The penitentiary opened in 1829 as a "radical 19th century prison designed to create social change" through strict isolation. Al Capone was one of the institution's most notorious inmates.

If these pictures aren't enough to send chills up your spine, stories from ESP's 142-year history will. The prison was believed to freeze its inmates, gag them with an iron clasp or confine them to "the mad chair." Once filled with "suicide, madness, disease, murder and torture," the institution is thought to be roamed by "troubled souls" to this day. 

The different cell-blocks are known for different hauntings: One is known for echoing voices, while another is frequently visited by a shadowy figure. The penitentiary is now a historical landmark offering tours -- and some of those who maintain the establishment have witness such hauntings. 

(Source: Visit Philly

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

Built in 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is often included on lists of America's most haunted places. Tragic stories of children dying at the site still intrigue ghost hunters to this day -- three of whom who drowned while the lighthouse was being built. 

Another legend details the death of keeper Joseph Andreu in 1859, who fell to his death while painting the lighthouse. 

(Source: St. Augustine Record)

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania 

We're looking back to our history classes for this one. The deadliest battle of the Civil War took place in Gettysburg, where nearly 50,000 Confederate and Union soldiers died.

While paranormal spirits are known to roam the battlefield by restless soldiers "in search of their rifles," there have also been other hauntings in the town. National Soldiers' Orphan Homestead is said to be haunted by the ghost of Rosa Carmichael, who tortured the orphans. Jennie Wade, the only civilian death in the battle, was killed at her home by a confederate soldier. 

(Source: The Travel Channel

Queen Mary, California

Once a passenger ship that sailed from Southampton to New York City until 1967, the Queen Mary is now a floating hotel out of Long Beach, California. 

The first haunted stories date back to World War II. The ship was transporting allied troops when it collided with another allied ship, the HMS Curacoa, "slicing it in half." Because the ships were in allied waters, nearly 300 aboard the smaller ship were left to die. But plenty of paranormal activity has been reported on the water -- especially in suite B-340.

The Woman in White, a ghost, dances along the corridors, while the ghosts of two woman who drowned sit near the pool deck. The same screams from a teenage sailor, who was "severed in half" by a door can still be heard. Spooky. 

(Source: Forbes

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

The asylum, which operated from 1864 until 1994 by the US government, is notorious for being one of the most haunted places in the US.

Despite a capacity for 250 patients, the institution housed 6 times more than that. Patients, some of whom were "caged" or chained, were crammed into cells. Treatment for the most extreme patients often included lobotomies or hydrotherapy. 

Surrounding the institution are three cemeteries, filled with bodies never claimed by their families. 

(Source: Post-Gazette

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana 

You may have heard about Chloe, the young slave girl who haunts the quarters at Myrtles Plantation. Legend says that the young girl got revenge on her owner by poisoning his children.

Recent photographs taken on the plantation show the silhouette of Chloe in the background, a ominous reminder to visitors and historians alike of the plantation's dark past. Those who stay in the mansion, now a bed and breakfast, report children's voices floating through the house. 

(Source: Travel Channel

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