Graveyard Shift
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These Cryptic Messages On Tombstones Only Hint At Their Terrifying Backstories

Updated September 23, 2021 2.4m views19 items
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To really leave your mark upon this world when you depart, consider the different scary tombstone epitaphs available for your final resting place. While custom usually dictates the dead "rest in peace," you might see yourself more inclined to view your dirt nap as a chance to rile the place up even after you've gone. All manner of creepy mysterious tombstones exist out there for you to choose from if you feel more macabre as you decompose. Or perhaps you enjoy tormenting the living, in which case confusing epitaphs of strange elements of your life or philosophy will unnerve anyone foolish enough to go into a cemetery with a positive mindset.  

Looking at these unexplained epitaphs on tombstones, you can theorize various different fates that happened to those who dictated them. Many of people received their confusing tombstones years after their demise, so they don't even get a say in the eternal riddle which has become their memory. But the ones who laid down some fine lines before they croaked definitely roll around in their graves today, no doubt still amused by their final quips.

  • Princess Doe Still Remains Unidentified To This Day

    Photo: Weird N.J.

    In July of 1982, the body of a teenage girl was found in Cedar Ridge Cemetery in Warren County, New Jersey. After being beaten to death, her body was thrown into a ravine next to the cemetery grounds. Despite the fact she wore nice clothing and appeared to be in good health, Doe has never been identified and her killers have never been found. As a result, her gravestone now reads "Princess Doe."

  • This Teen Done In By 'Human Wolves'

    Photo: flickr / CC0

    While this tombstone suggests werewolves, the real story actually reads much more sad than scary. In 1917, Dr. A.H. Yates faced charges for performing a criminal operation that resulted in death. Though it sounds like a medical accident or malpractice, the procedure was an abortion. In those days, abortions were extremely illegal, and the ones available came with dangerous risks. So when Katherine Cross went to receive one, the operation accidentally killed her as well as the fetus. The doctor was eventually released, charges dismissed, and the only satisfaction her parents got to have was the final few words that still show ominously on her gravestone. In 2016, someone stole the headstone, and as of March 2021, it remains missing.

  • The Grave Of An Unidentified Black Man, Whose Body Was Left On Display For 35 Years

    In 1929, the body of an older Black man appeared in Ohio on the side of the road. No one ever identified the body nor knew where he came from. They found an address on him that only led to a vacant lot; the closest neighbor to the lot was named Eugene, so authorities gave him that name. Rather than burying the man, they put the body on display as a roadside attraction, given a new suit every year or so, and acted as a tourist attraction mummy for 35 years. At last, he was laid to rest and given a headstone in 1964.

  • Located In The Graveyard Of An Insane Asylum, It Just Reads 'Specimens'

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    The gravestones in the Ohio Asylum for the Insane cemetery are numerous, but two stand out as a little more disturbing than the rest. Rather than containing a name or even a date, they simply read "Specimens." Is it a last name? The bodies of children experimented on with untested medication? Body parts? Many theories exist, especially considering the sordid reputation of the asylum, but no one remains entirely certain.