Ten Haunted Cemeteries You Absolutely MUST Visit (If You're Into That Kind of Thing)
Maple Hill Cemetery, Alabama. Perhaps you've never heard of this cemetery, or perhaps you have. Maple Hill Cemetery boasts the honor of being a chillingly haunted cemetery thanks to its resident ghosts, several children who apparently enjoy playing on the “Dead Children's Playground”--a real playground area located within the cemetery. Visitors have reported hearing children giggling, seeing the swings move on their own, and hearing children playing in the middle of the night. Some people believe that these child ghosts are the results of several kidnappings that took place in the 1960s, and the ghostly sounds and other paranormal activity can be attributed to the young victims of these tragic kidnappings. The town decided to tear the original playground equipment down in the middle of the night, without the knowledge or approval of the townspeople. After a widespread outcry from the community, the town erected new playground equipment within the cemetery, but this did not stop the paranormal happenings.
2. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, Illinois. I don't know why this cemetery is named Bachelor's Grove. However, what I CAN tell you is that it also harbors a lone resident ghost, who is known as The Madonna of Bachelor's Grove. Visitors have reported seeing a lone woman, dressed in a long white dress, sitting on a tombstone and gazing sadly into the distance. The Ghost Research Society has visited Bachelor's Grove Cemetery several times, and their reports of paranormal activity include seeing orbs, ectoplasm, and capturing EVP's (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) on tape.
3. The St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, Tomb 347, New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans cemeteries are creepy places to begin with, if for no other reason than the fact that the graves are typically above ground due to New Orleans being below sea-level. This simple fact alone means that a walk through any cemetery in New Orleans means that you are literally walking within inches of a dead body. There is a reason for this—in the event of flooding, having a grave above-ground reduces the risk of having caskets and dead bodies floating everywhere. However, in the St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, things get even creepier, because this particular cemetery holds the honor of housing the body of the well-known Voodoo queen herself, Marie Laveaux. She is often said to appear as a black cat with glowing red eyes, and if you want to save yourself, you must cross yourself (doing the Catholic cross symbol on your chest) three times and run away without looking back. Otherwise, you'll be forced to do her otherwordly bidding from beyond the grave for the rest of your life. There is, however, a way to sweeten the deal. Before her death, Marie claimed that anyone who wanted favors from her after her death could mark three crosses on her tomb and make a wish. Apparently several people have taken her up on her generous offer of being a benevolent voodoo queen after her death. I'm not sure if anyone has ever gotten their wish granted, though.
4. Cemetery Hill, Pennsylvania. Since this cemetery is located in Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battle sites of the Civil war, there's no doubt that this place is haunted. The resident ghost appears as a barefoot Confederate soldier, dressed in the military colors of Texas during that era. This unknown soldier has actually interacted with visitors by appearing and telling them, “What you're looking for is over there” before mysteriously disappearing.
5. Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Rhode Island. There are some really sad and creepy events associated with this haunted cemetery. In 1892, a young girl named Mercy Brown died. Her father happened to see her apparition after her death, and it disturbed him to the point of madness. As a result, he insisted upon having her body exhumed and then drained of all its blood. The resident ghost, Mercy Brown, is said to walk through the cemetery in a dirty, ripped black dress. Several people have captured her voice via EVP, and she is reported to have said, “Please leave me to rest in peace.”
6. Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. There's even a song about this ghost called “Bringing Mary Home.” In the 1930s, people began to notice a strange young hitchhiker along Archer Avenue. The ones who offered her a ride were always shaken when their passenger would inexplicably vanish from their automobile. Some drivers even reported a hitchhiker with the same description as trying to jump onto the running boards of their vehicles. There have been too many unexplained encounters between “Mary” and the generous folks who were kind enough to pick her up to just shrug this off as coincidence. Most of the drivers who offered a ride to this young, mysterious hitchhiker were able to give almost identical descriptions of her—she would always be wearing a white dress, sometimes with a shawl, sometimes with dancing shoes, and sometimes with a small clutch purse. Whenever they offered Mary a ride, she would give vague directions that always led to the gates of Resurrection Cemetery. Without fail, the driver's back seat would always be empty once they reached the gates. It was eventually discovered that Mary was the victim of a hit and run in which the driver left the scene and left poor Mary for dead. Mary is perhaps one of the most well-known and most-recited ghost stories of all time. If you're ever in Chicago and happen to see a young, mysterious female hitchhiker, well, you've been warned!
7. Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, Texas. I don't know what's creepier about this particular cemetery—the fact that it's in the middle of nowhere, or that it's a 52 acre cemetery with 60,000 people buried in it. Among those who occupy this dusty city of the dead include wild west gunslingers, most notably John Wesley Hardin, who was killed in a shootout in an El Paso saloon in 1895. Every year, the chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission, Bernie Sargent, and other history buffs re-enact John Wesley Hardin's fateful shootout with perhaps a bit TOO much glee. Sargent reports that it's fairly easy for him to “slip into character,” and has no problem quoting Hardin's famous last words:“I killed over 40 men, but they deserved it.” He even goes on to describe his own (as he plays the part of Hardin) death: “One shot in the back of the head, and two more shots--one in the stomach and one in the arm. And I laid there dead for hours, while women dipped their dresses in my blood.” As if that weren't horrendous enough, there appears to be vast, empty spaces in the cemetery, but they aren't empty. Due to the wooden crosses and grave markers that were used in the 1800's, sandstorms, weather, and the natural decay of time have most likely caused the old grave markers to rot away, and no one is sure how many people may actually be buried where it appears to be vacant. The cemetery also has a children's section, which is said to be haunted. Henry Flores, who leads ghost tours of the cemetery at night, has warned women who had C-section births that they may feel something “strange” where their C-section scar is while touring the children's section. Many women have affirmed this, including Flores' wife, Veronica. The cemetery boasts yet another weird phenomenon called the vortex, which is said to exert a weird, supernatural force. With so much notoriety in such a vast cemetery, Concordia is definitely worth a visit!
8. Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France. This cemetery is famous for many reasons, and not just because Oscar Wilde is buried here. This cemetery also holds the body of 1960s rock legend Jim Morrison, whose tomb has become a literal shrine to his memory, thanks to his many adoring fans. People who visit this cemetery have reported seeing Jim Morrison's apparition, while some people believe it may actually be him, thanks to rumors that he faked his own death. Aside from the tomb of Jim Morrison, this cemetery also contains statues that have been reported to leave one with a literal hollow, empty feeling inside. The statues are bleak reminders of holocaust victims, and once you visit this cemetery and these statues, you, too will never feel the same way again regarding that tragic event in history. Also included in this cemetery is a memorial wall (Mur de Federes, or Wall of the Federalists) dedicated to the last of the French Communard insurgents. A bloody battle raged in the cemetery one night, and in the morning, the remaining 147 survivors were lined up against this wall and shot to death. They were buried where they fell, which resulted in a mass grave. Many people have stated that they enjoyed visiting this cemetery more than they did the many museums in France, including the Louvre.
9. The Burying Point Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts. From a Mayflower pilgrim to the unfortunate victims of the Salem Witch Trials, the Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts is the oldest cemetery in the city. It also contains the body of the Salem Witch Trials Judge, Justice John Hathorne, who was an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne. This cemetery is also, of course, reported to be haunted. I wouldn't doubt that, given that everyone knows what happened to the poor souls who were found guilty of witchcraft by the wildly concocted methods of determining whether or not a person was a witch. From the “drowning test” to hanging to being crushed to death with stones (contrary to popular belief, NONE of the people convicted of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials were ever burned alive at the stake), the victims of the Salem Witch Trials have since had a memorial erected just for them. Known as the Witch Trials Memorial, it allows visitors to remember the people from Salem's past, as well as to reflect upon the sad and tragic events which took place in 1692.
10. Western Burial Ground, Baltimore, Maryland. Since this particular cemetery holds the body of none other than Edgar Allan Poe himself, one can safely say that it is haunted. In addition, this cemetery also boasts catacombs, which are located beneath Westminster Hall. Poe is perhaps the most famous and well-known ghost in residence, as people have reported seeing him and even talking to him. He appears dressed in all black, wearing a black fedora and a black scarf to cover his face. He carries a silver cat's head walking stick and is said to be especially visible on or around January 19, which is his birthday. As if that weren't interesting enough, there have been reports of people being buried alive at the cemetery, and their ghosts often appear to other people in an attempt to tell them of their dire situation. There is also the case of the screaming skull of Cambridge. Legend has it that this skull belonged to a murdered minister, and the skull would scream day and night. The skull was eventually bound, gagged, and encased in a block of cement in order to stop the sounds of screaming.