There’s something mystical and simultaneously creepy about cemeteries. So many stories have been told about graveyards and all the spook associated with them and these stories prick that nagging curiosity; that certain ‘something’ about the dead and the afterlife that tickles the imagination of us who are still alive. If you’re looking for something spooky (and yes, we know it’s not Halloween), then you’re in for a treat as we share with you these 25 cemeteries that will scare you out of your skin. You’ll need a plastic surgeon once you through with this list.
25. Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague
The Old Jewish Cemetery lies in the Josefoy which is the Jewish Quarter or Prague in the Czech Republic and it was in use from the early 15th century with Avigdor Kara’s tombstone dating back to 1439 until 1787. The numbers of grave stones and numbers of people buried there are uncertain, because there are layers upon layers of tombs. However, it has been estimated that there are approximately 12,000 tombstones presently visible, and there may be as many as 100,000 burials in all. Not surprising, it is said that this cemetery is teaming with paranormal activity with many claiming to have seen apparitions moving through the tightly compacted tombstones.
24. Les Catacombes, Paris
The Catacombs of Paris is an underground ossuary in Paris, France located south of the former city gate and holds the remains of about six million people. Due to it’s peculiar decoration many ghosts and strange paranormal encounters are said to occur here on a regular basis. These range from spectral lights appearing in videos to ghostly orbs, ecto mists and sometimes even shadow specters walking the corridors and moving among the piles of bones. You definitely don’t want to be in this place alone.
23. Saint Louis #1, New Orleans
Saint Louis #1 is the oldest of three Catholic Cemeteries in New Orleans, Louisiana which has a history of ghost stories. One of their most active paranormal sites is the Saint Louis #1 Cemetery which hosts one of the most notorious tombs of all time; that of Marie Laveau also known as “Grande Voodoo Queen”. Many of the locals believe that her spirit haunts the graveyard and any and all individuals who try to disrupt her sleep by trying to awaken her. Now who in their right mind would want to “awaken” a voodoo queen…or anybody else for that matter?
22. La Recoleta, Buenos Aires
The Recoleta Cemetery is located in the Recoleta neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is one of the main tourist attractions in that neighborhood due to its outstanding display of nineteenth- and twentieth-century funerary art and architecture. Of course this cemetery also has its fare share of ghost stories and paranormal activity ranging from a ghostly night watchman who took his own life at the cemetery to a spectral lady dubbed the “The Lady In White” who frequents the tombs at night.
21. Valley of the Kings, Cairo, Egypt
The Valley of the Kings houses Tutankhamen’s grave and its believed to come with a curse as almost all who participated in the opening of the grave mysteriously died a few years after. Some scientists hold the deadly molds from the tombs maybe the cause but others believe it is the Egyptian curse for disrupting the tomb of the dead. Personally, Id rather not find out.
20. Capuchin Crypt, Rome, Italy
4000 Capuchin Franciscan friars are housed in this crypt boasting of an intricate floor to ceiling arrangement of human bones paired with the crypt’s soil which is supposedly from Jerusalem. Various bones are utilized in different chapels. For instance, there is a chapel called “Crypt of the Pelvises” and another one, “Crypt of the Skulls”. If that’s not enough to freak you out, there is a solemn reminder underneath a child’s Grim Reaper that states “What You Are We Once Were Too And What We Are Now, You Will Be”. Can anything be creepier?
19. Bachelor’s Grove, Chicago, USA
Known for being one of the most haunted sites in the United States the Bachelor’s Grove Chicago cemetery was opened in 1844. The claims of hauntings peaked in the 1970s and 1980s and ranged from reported phenomenons such as weird orbs to phantom vehicles. There are even rumors of a ghostly farmhouse which is said to terrorize its victims by floating towards its victims then vanishing into thin air. As late as 1984 witnesses also reported seeing multiple ghostly figures emerging throughout the cemetery dressed in monk’s robes. And if that’s not enough, in the 1990s witnesses reported seeing a black dog at the cemetery’s entrance which also disappeared when they attempted to approach it.
18. Cimitero di San Michele, Venice, Italy
After Napoleons’s decree prohibited the burial of bodies in Venice, the cemetery was set up in the 19th century on the island of San Michele. Special gondolas deliver remains to the island where they are buried on a 10 year lease. Needless to say, a whole island given over to the dead is sure to attract some attention from paranormal buffs and Cimitero di San Michele is no exception. Tales of ghostly encounters have been recorded, however no single entity has been labeled. Nevertheless, for a site dedicated to the dead, its only natural that ghostly convolution reign supreme.
17. Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Due to its proximity to the Ganges, Varanasi is one of the Hindus’ holiest cities in India. The river stands for spiritual health and purification. Being cremated on the banks of the river is a great honor. Thousand of corpses are burned on floating pyres annually and the remains are left to be swallowed up by the river. Thus, the Ganges is ripe with bacteria and largely polluted. Unbelievably though, Varanasi people play, bathe, and wash their clothes here. The burning dead’s acceptance into the daily lives of the people is as fascinating as it is eerie.
16. Highgate Cemetery, London, England
This Victorian era cemetery spans 37 acres of London’s overgrown woodland. It sports spectacular statues of people, animals as well as angels, in different states of decay. The Highgate Cemetery highlights the obsession of the Victorian era with ancient Egyptians, perhaps due to the fascination of both cultures with death. The cemetery’s main walkway is aptly called Egyptian Avenue and has a couple of foreboding obelisks. The original Dracula author Bram Stoker is said to have been inspired by the ambient creepiness of the Highgate Cemetery while he was writing.
15. Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland
This former monastery garden was established in the 1560s and it is considered to be Scotland’s most haunted place. Its paranormal activity has been attributed to the restless spirit of the infamous ‘Bluidy’ George Mackenzie who was buried here in 1691. The ‘Mackenzie Poltergeist’ is a violent specter that is said to cause bruising, bites and cuts on those who come into contact with it. Many visitors who take the ghost tour have reported feeling strange sensations and have reportedly sustained injuries which they had no recollection of sustaining.
14. Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland
Glasnevin Cemetery houses 1.5 million bodies. This 120 acre graveyard is haunted by a Newfoundland dog. It is said that John McNeill Boyd’s faithful canine died from starving as it refused to leave it’s owner’s graveside. Wow, man’s best friend for life…and death.
13. Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is assumed to be the USA’s most haunted town, thanks to its history of witch hunting. In 1692, one popular resident, Giles Corey died from torture at the site because he refused to admit guilt or innocence regarding witchcraft. However, it is said that with his last breath, he put a curse on the town. Legend has it that Corey appeared days prior to the 1914 Great Fire. Today people claim to still see his ghost walk among the graves.
12. Stull Cemetery, Stull, Kansas
Also called the “Gates to Hell,” this grave site is among the Seven Portals of Hell listed by numerous haunting guides and is among America’s most haunted places. Legend states that if you knock on a rock in the church’s rubble pile, the Devil will answer you.
11. Capela dos Ossos, Portugal
Literally meaning “Chapel of Bones”, this Portuguese chapel houses two full skeletons that hang on chains in addition to skulls and human bones cemented to its walls. If that isn’t creepy enough, you can also read an inscription at the chapel’s entrance which reads “We bones, lying here bare, are awaiting yours”…um, no thank you.
10. Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago, USA
The suburbs of Chicago are home to Resurrection Cemetery. What makes this cemetery popular is the infamous ghost named Mary, a young girl who was locally christened Resurrection Mary. As the story goes, truckers and other drivers report picking up a young female hitchhiker who is usually dressed somewhat formally in a white party dress and is said to have light blond hair and blue eyes. When the driver nears the Resurrection Cemetery, the young woman asks to be let out, whereupon she disappears into the cemetery.
9. Witches Cemetery, Tennessee, USA
It maybe one of the lesser known US cemeteries but this Tennessee backwoods graveyard is among the state’s oldest. Weathered jagged stones mark the dead’s resting place. Peculiarly, there are pentagrams etched into the stone grave markers which are said to contain the witch’s evil powers. There are also numerous claims about strange lights in the woods at night with others claiming to find animals that have been sacrificed in rituals on the graveyard’s grounds.
8. La Noria Cemetery, Chile
La Noria is an abandoned mining town with a gruesome history revolving around forced labor and slavery abuse. The grave yard features an incredible sight – that of open graves and exposed bones. Eyewitnesses have reported that when the sun goes down, the dead rise from their graves and begin walking toward the abandoned mining town. Locals of Chile have also reported seeing children inside the abandoned schools as if they where attending class. The TV show called ‘Destination Truth’ was supposedly able to capture some evidence when lead investigator Josh Gates captured what appeared to be an apparition on a FLIR thermal imager. The image looks like the heat signature of a young child looking from around the corner and disappearing.
7. Sedlec Ossuary Near Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec, Czech Republic. This ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 people whose bones have been used to create decorations and furnishings for the chapel. It goes without saying that people claim this place is haunted. The irony however, is that in spite of the residents bones being used as decorations, the ghosts are supposedly not angry. According to locals, the ghosts are actually jovial and pranksters who like a good joke.
6. Chamula Cemetery, San Juan Chamula, Mexico
Although the place was intended to be a Catholic church in the 1960s, the priest coming from the neighboring village will only perform a mass once or twice a month for baptisms leaving this area free for local shamans to use and dispense “magic potions”. Chicken sacrifices are often done as part of healing ceremonies in this cemetery. Word of caution: stay away from sacrificed chickens!
5. Cemetery Café, Ahmedabad, India
Tourists eating at the New Lucky Restaurant in the western city of Ahmedabad, India are sure to get the shock of a lifetime when they encounter the ancient Muslim graves scattered about the premises. If you plan to visit this restaurant, I hope you have a strong stomach.
4. Gladiator Graveyard, Ephesus, Turkey
The Gladiator Graveyard site is located in Ephesus, Turkey and containes the mixed remains of about 67 individuals, all of whom where under the age of 30. The gladiators who fought here were the professional athletes of ancient Roman times and they would battle each other, wild animals, or even condemned criminals for the amusement of the masses. Surprisingly no real mention of paranormal activity has been recorded, but when you think about who is buried here, the place retains it’s creepiness factor.
3. The Merry Graveyard, Sapanta, Romania
This cemetery is freaky due to the fact that the creator, local carpenter and woodcarver Stan Ioan Patras during the 1930′s decided to carve a picture of the dead person. The carving showed how they died and then a short poem would be written about the person in order to create a happy and colorful work. Nevertheless the memories of the Depression, World War II, and the Communist Regime made the graves and stories of the people sad to look at.
2. Suicide and Banzai Cliffs, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Banzai Cliffs is where a historical tragedy took place during WWII when Americans took over Saipan. Thousands of Japanese civilians, including mothers and children, leaped to their deaths at the command of Emperor Hirohito who stated that no Japanese must be captured by the Americans or they will no longer be recognized as Japanese.
1. Okuno-in Cemetery, Mt. Koya, Japan
Okuno is a sacred village near 120 Buddhist temples whose cemetery houses a creepy legend. Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism is said to be resting here and according to the legend will be reborn along with his followers. It doesn’t help ease the mood considering that numerous little statues resemble Jizo, a sweet-faced child monk, and are often wearing children’s clothing like bibs and caps that are placed by parents who are grieving for their dead children.