Surrounded by the dead and the last markers of their mortal remains, one is never alone. At least, that's the feeling you get when visiting one of these creepy American cemeteries. The tombstones have gathered moss for hundreds of years, and the buried have long since decayed beyond recognition. Yet something of the deceased remain in these haunted US graveyards, offering proof that dead and buried is still far from gone.
There are many tales of ghosts haunting cemeteries, and these are but a few. Scattered throughout the United States, these locations offer a glimpse into what awaits after the body draws its last breath. Perhaps death is more than the proverbial dirt nap. These lively cemeteries certainly seem to suggest so.
St. Louis Cemetery In New Orleans
This is actually three cemeteries, with the first and second being the oldest. Built in 1789, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is considered one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world. The primarily Catholic cemetery is composed mostly of above-ground mausoleums. Notable guests include Homer Plessy of the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court Case, the first mayor of New Orleans Etienne de Boré, and Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.
Laveau is said to still haunt the graveyard, wandering the alleys chanting an audible voodoo curse on trespassers. She has also been said to take the form of a black cat with fiery red eyes. The ghost of her familiar, a giant black snake, also protects Laveau's grave from those who would mock her.
Vandalism in recent years (including an incident where Laveau's tomb was painted pink) has caused the archdiocese to ban public access to the cemetery. Only registered tour groups and the families of those buried are allowed to visit.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery In Chicago
This small, abandoned cemetery is known for being one of the most haunted locations in the country. The land was first settled in 1835, and the graveyard was set aside in 1864. It is home to multiple recorded paranormal events, including a phantom house, spirit orbs, disappearing cars, and full bodied apparitions. During the prohibition era, the bodies of those killed by gangsters were found in the adjacent lagoon, along with some illegal firearms.
The most famous apparition is known as the Madonna of Bachelor's Grove. She is a lady dressed in white, and she often appears holding an infant on moonlit nights. In 1991, members of the Ghost Research Society conducted an investigation of the site. During the investigation, they managed to capture an image where a woman appeared to be sitting on a checkered tombstone. The full bodied apparition was not present during the investigation, and only appeared later when they developed the film.
Greenwood Cemetery In Illinois
This cemetery was originally an Indian burial ground, before white settlers started bury their dead here in the 1830s. The oldest grave marker still visibly dates back to 1840, and by 1857 the graveyard was officially established. The foundation is all that remains of a public mausoleum, poorly constructed in 1908 and declared unsafe in 1957.
A variety of manifestations have been reported at Greenwood. The ghosts of Confederate soldiers whose bodies were dumped there have been seen, as a heavy rain years later collapsed part of the hill and caused their bodies to mix with the Union dead. Another often reported ghost is that of the "Greenwood Bride," a woman whose husband was killed by bootleggers.
Old Western Burial Ground In Maryland
This Baltimore graveyard is the final resting place of Edgar Allen Poe. Established in 1787, it is also known as the Presbyterian Churchyard and is located next to Westminster Hall. Both the hall and cemetery are said to be haunted.
The apparition of Poe has been seen in the graveyard, lamenting that his untimely death prevented him from marrying. The ghosts of those allegedly buried alive in the cemetery have appeared, seeking out those responsible for their grisly fate. The notorious "Skull of Cambridge" is also buried here. Said to be the head of a murdered minister, the skull allegedly emits screams that drive people mad.