The Old Burying Yard was actually the second cemetery of York, and the graves in it cover the years 1705 through the 1850′s.
However, it is rumored that victims of the Candlemas Day Massacre are buried in this cemetery, in unmarked graves.(When a large group of people meet violent deaths and are buried, en masse, in unmarked graves, people often report hauntings nearby.)
In addition, many headstones in the Old Burying Yard present attitudes and half-told stories which suggest lives cut short, and reasons to suspect that spirits would linger at the graves.
For example, this inscription is from the marker of Mrs. Deborah Simpson, wife of Captain Timothy Simpson, who died at age 39 in 1799:
Adieu my Friends, dry up your tears,
I must lie here till Christ appears.
If she really believes that she must lie there until Christ appears, her spirit may be seen around her grave. (Few spirits seem to wait patiently without some interaction with visitors.)
Another notable stone provides the following admonition:
JOHN BRAGDON a promising Youth, departed this life
June 19th 1744 in Ye 23d Year of his Age;
with some comfortable Hope in his Death,
after great Distress of Soul, & solemn
Warnings to young People,
not to put off their Repentance to a Death Bed.
That suggests the kind of regrets that lead to hauntings.
There are many such stones — and stories behind them — which could be reasons nearly equal to the legend of “witch” Mary Nasson, for the haunting of York’s Old Burying Yard.