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.
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.
Resurrection Cemetery In Chicago
This Roman Catholic cemetery was consecrated in 1904 and officially opened in 1912. It is also the alleged home of "Resurrection Mary." According to the legend, Mary was attending a dance at the O'Henry Ballroom one night in the 1930s. After getting into an argument with her boyfriend, she decided to walk home. She never made it, and became the victim of a hit-and-run somewhere near the cemetery.
Since then, there have been many sightings of Mary. She appears on the side of the road, or at a nearby dance hall. She asks for a ride home, her "home" being the place she was buried in the Resurrection Cemetery. After the car stops in front of the graveyard, she gets out and disappears.
Chestnut Hill Cemetery In Rhode Island
During the late 1800s, a plague of tuberculosis ravaged Exter, Rhode Island. After the death by tuberculosis of her mother and sister, the townsfolk began suspecting Mercy Brown of vampirism and causing the plague. Suffering from tuberculosis herself, Mercy took on a pale, ghostlike appearance before succumbing to the disease.
After Mercy's death, the townsfolk reported seeing her rise from the grave to feast on blood. In a panic, they exhumed Mercy's body from its resting place in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, only to find that decomposition had not taken place and that she bled when pricked. They desecrated her grave, cut out her heart, and burnt it. They mixed the ashes with water and served it to Mercy's brother Edwin, but that failed to cure his tuberculosis.
The ghost of Mercy has been seen in the graveyard to this day. Though the vampire myth persists, most now believe that the ghost is a result of the grave desecration. She is also said to visit the terminally ill in town.
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.