Top Ten Spooky Cemeteries in America
Fill any plot of land with bodies and you have the foundation for some creepy feelings. Cemeteries are by their nature a little spooky, but some cemeteries take it to another level. There are graveyards that are old, broken down or filled with unmentionable names. There are others that feature makers that will send chills down your spine and stories that will have you seeking out every talisman and protective mantra you can find just in case you have to walk by at night. Here is a list of ten of the spookiest cemeteries you may ever have the (mis)fortune of exploring.
10. Hollywood Cemetery , Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is one of the oldest, most historic cities in the country. This is the heart of the Confederacy and the home of a long line of leaders, presidents and historic figures. This history and emotion can mean only one thing…widespread hauntings and epic cemeteries. The most amazing cemetery you will find in the once-home of Edgar Allan Poe is Hollywood Cemetery. Established long before the “Hollywood” that you may be thinking of, this cemetery is named for the lush holly trees that dot the land on which the cemetery was established. This cemetery was established in 1849 and is the final resting place of five presidents, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis, philanthropist Louis Ginter (whose mausoleum features Tiffany stained glass), and over 18,000 confederate soldiers. The gothic landscape is perfect for the stories of the Richmond vampire, an iron dog who is said to come to life and attack those who defile the cemetery and an incredible variety of markers, such as one that is only half-carved.
9. St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has more than its fair share of spooky history. Blend voodoo, war and a notoriously raucous lifestyle that is special to New Orleans, and you have the ideal backdrop for creepy stories, hauntings and, of course, cemeteries. The St. Louis Cemetery, which has actually been expanded to two more locations, is an expansive Louisiana cemetery originated in the 18th century that features all above-ground graves. Visitors to these cemeteries have reported being spoken to by a mysterious woman who disappears into the maze of graves, thought to be the spirit of an infamous voodoo priestess.
8. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Tarrytown, New York
Does this name of this cemetery sound familiar? It should. This cemetery is the final resting place of Washington Irving who penned the famous ghost story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. The tale was actually set in an adjacent burial ground and this cemetery was renamed after the author’s death to honor his achievements. It seems that legend has become life, however, because many visitors to the cemetery, which is also the final resting place of many other famous individuals including cosmetic mogul Elizabeth Arden, have reported hearing the sound of disembodied hooves and caught a glimpse of a black horse with a mysterious rider zipping through the cemetery. Perhaps this is the spirit of Irving playing the part of his favorite character—or maybe he based his story on something that only he knew?
7. Bonaventure Cemetery, Georgia
Considered by many to the be the most haunted cemetery in the most haunted city in the nation, Bonaventure Cemetery was built on the grounds of a former plantation. Visitors to the cemetery have frequently returned with tales of hearing a celebration going on—perhaps the lingering energy of the dinner parties that were held in the home of the popular plantation owner, being chased by vicious yet invisible dogs and even seeing bloodlike tears dripping from the eyes of a statue built to honor a young girl. This cemetery was a main focus of the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and has become a major tourist attraction.
6. Old Burying Point Cemetery, Massachusetts
Located in Salem, this is the cemetery that holds the remains of the judges and others involved in the horrific witch trials of the 1690s. Included is an ancestor of treasured American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. This ancestor was a source of great pain for Nathaniel, who changed the spelling of his name to further himself from the man. This connection is noted in the introduction to “The Scarlet Letter” when the narrator is sifting through old records in the attic of the town church and comes upon records of this dark time.
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