There are many differing opinions, depending on where you research, on where the most haunted cemeteries in the world are located.
My late Grandmother and I used to walk in a large, very old, cemetery in her home town (during the daylight hours). She always told me that no one is there to hurt you. It’s not the dead you need to worry about but the living. (You’ll still never get me to set foot in one after dark.)
Here are some cemeteries that contradict what she always told me. Enjoy…….
Highgate Cemetery, North London (UK)
The cemetery opened in 1830. During the height of its popularity, the rich tried to outdo each other building larger and gaudier headstones than their neighbors. In the 1980’s it fell to near ruin until a group formed and began an effort to bring back the graveyard to its former glory.
Many famous people are buried in this particular cemetery (Douglas Adams, Karl Marx and Radclyffe Hall to name a few). There have been all kinds of ghost stories told of incidents that have occurred to people who have been there.
One of the, well let’s say the oddest, is that of a man who many have called a vampire with bloody red eyes. There are claims of finding dead animals drained of blood found. Could that have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Some say this cemetery was his inspiration due to its “creepiness” while others blame the dark occult practices in the cemetery for the finding of the dead animals without blood.
The cemetery is actually located in 37 acres of woods, a botanical glory of sorts. The most prominent occupants are Victorian age figures that “reside” on the eastern part of Highgate.
With over 50,000 deceased buried there, of which nearly 900 were famous people. Egyptian Avenue is a famous path that connects both halves of the property and numerous specters have been seen along the path. The Circle of Lebanon houses urns and vaults that are complete with catacombs. Ghosts have also been seen walking along this path.
Some of the other stories include an old woman with gray hair seen running between the gravestones. There is also a tale of a man who sits staring into space who vanishes when approached.
Stories go back to the early 1900’s and show a rise in the number of reported ghostly sightings, of being touched by unseen, yet icy hands, of winds and sounds emanating from the mausoleums and arches on the property. Whispers and crying have been reported there as well.
In the 1930’s a man was reported walking through the cemetery as a shortcut to get home. He claims to have been confronted by an imp-like creature.
Whether or not you are interested in the supernatural or paranormal, they say the beauty of the cemetery is something to behold. From the beautiful flora and fauna to the structures built using ancient architecture and designs from the Middle East to gothic type influence.
There are those who claim that Highgate is one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris France
One of the largest cemeteries in France, Pere Lachaise contains over 300,000 graves including those of Jim Morrison, Rossini, and Oscar Wilde.
There are reports of the ghosts of Marcel Proust and Maurice Ravel getting up from their graves, searching for one another after dark. Jim Morrison’s spirit has also been seen and even captured in a photograph taken, standing behind the now deceased Tom Petty.
Stull Cemetery, Lawrence Kansas (USA)
They say that Stull Cemetery is one of the creepiest in the world. It is called “devil’s land”, and it is believed that Satan comes there every night to speak with his worshipers. There are even claims that the devil’s own son is buried here. The son is a 10 year old that can transform himself into a werewolf as soon as he sees a human.
Other nicknames for the cemetery include “The Seventh Gate to Hell” and “The Cemetery of the Damned”.
Ghost stories have been linked to this cemetery for hundreds of years, of which the focal point seems to be the abandoned church that stands next to the graveyard. Many people report having strange experiences when entering the church such as being grabbed by unseen hands.
Local legend suggests it has always been a place of evil and that the church was constructed in an attempt to cover the gateway to hell. There are rumors that supposed witches were hung in trees on the church’s ground in the dark past.
There is a tree that is now growing through a tombstone that is said to be a focal point for paranormal activity.
It is no wonder that “Supernatural” show creator Eric Kripke chose this location and city as the focal point for his series. The “Winchester’s” home town is Lawrence. Episodes of the show have even been filmed in the actual cemetery. (Season 5, “Swan Song”, Season 6 “Exile on Main St.” and Season 11 “The Devil in the Details” to name a few.)
Western Burial Ground, Baltimore MD (USA)
The land was once owned by Edgar Allan Poe, who is also buried there. People claim to have seen him roaming there to this very day. The cemetery is said to be one of the scariest cemeteries in America.
There are reports of a minister that was murdered there, his head encased in a block of cement (supposedly to stop his unattached head from continually screaming), however they say if you get close to it that you can still hear him scream. That is pretty gruesome and creepy. Another claim is that if you are unfortunate enough to hear him scream you will go insane. Let’s hope you don’t hear him.
Also buried here are 15 generals from the Revolutionary War and of the War of 1812, among other famous individuals.
Part of the graveyard is now only accessible via the catacombs below the Westminster Presbyterian Church (where ghosts are also reported to walk).
Howard Street Cemetery, Salem MA (USA)
The hauntings in the cemetery reportedly began after the death of 80 year old Giles Corey. Mr. Corey was accused of being a warlock back in the days of the witch hysteria that ran rampant in the town. He was found guilty by a jury of his peers. His death sentence was to be crushed to death. A slow and painful torture to say the least.
He was first stripped nude and forced to lie face down on the ground. They placed a board on top of his back. Increasingly heavy rocks were placed, one by one on the board. The pressure from the weight gradually crushed his bones and internal organs. It literally took days for him to die.
After his death he was buried in an unmarked grave, near the site of his execution. Since his death there have been reported sightings of his ghost haunting the cemetery. It’s said that during his execution he uttered a curse on Salem and on the sheriff who arrested him. Sheriff Corwin died of a sudden heart attack at age 30, a few years after Mr. Corey’s execution. Some claim the curse reportedly lived on affecting every Salem sheriff from 1692 to 1991.
The Great Salem Fire took place in 1914. Right before the fire started, there were reports of an old man seen hovering around the cemetery grounds. The fire actually started near Gallows Hills (where Mr. Corey’s wife, Martha, was also accused and executed by hanging for being a “witch”). The fire destroyed most of Salem.
Anyone who has encountered his spirit claims it is not a friendly one.
Chestnut Hill Cemetery, R.I. (USA)
One of the stories behind this cemetery is about an eight year old girl who died. After her passing, her father reported that she visited him daily, asking for food. He decided to take her body from the grave, draining the remaining blood from it. The priests told him this was an unholy act and this is what reportedly started her haunting. A different story involving the girl and her father is that he cut her heart out, setting it on fire. The villagers then drank the ashes in an elixir to ward off the “unholy curse”.
There have been claims of ghostly blue lights witnessed over her grave. She is reportedly seen in a black torn dress screaming to leave her to rest in peace. Feelings of uneasiness are always happening whenever anyone is near her grave.
Then came the tuberculosis epidemic that hit the area from 1790 to 1890. This too sparked the reports of “vampires”. The TB victims were reported to be vampire victims. Victims of consumption take on the characteristics of short, ragged breathing and a cough that produced blood. The victims became very thin and frail, appearing ghost like.
The disease consumed people from the inside out, leaving the victims pale with pronounced blue veins and most victims died at night when their breathing became impossible with the dam, frigid night air. Fear of the disease and lack of knowledge of it led to the imagination of the villagers. Thus became the vampire accusations.
A ghostly male has been caught on film but he never makes his presence known to those who actively seek him.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Chicago IL (USA)
The eeriest part of this cemetery is the story about the ghost house. It is said that a lavish looking bungalow is seen through the fog but as you get closer to it, it simply vanishes into thin air.
This cemetery holds the title as being one of the most haunted in America. There are even a few that will go as far as saying it’s actually the most haunted cemetery in the world.
The cemetery sits in the middle of a thick forest and looks spooky enough just by appearance. Area residents say you can see souls walking around and claim that they are craving life and blood of those alive visiting.
As you hear more of the ghostly tales connected to the cemetery, you find out why the cemetery gives you the creeps. Many visitors have reported seeing unexplained things during visits. One of the most common sightings is a ghostly woman who sits on tombstones.
Back in the 1930’s the cemetery was a dumping ground where gangsters would leave the bodies of their victims. Some of those victims have also been seen wandering around the location.
Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago, IL (USA)
It is one of the largest cemeteries in North America. Shaped as an isosceles triangle, it has the nickname of “The Resurrection Triangle”. The shape along with the strange events are what have given merit to the nickname.
The cemetery is a Roman Catholic burial ground that is maintained and operated by the Catholic Archdiocese. It was named in commemoration of the feast celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Chicago’s most famous ghost, “Resurrection Mary”, haunts the surrounding highway, cemetery and the Willowbrook Ballroom. There is a monument named the “Resurrection of Christ” sitting adjacent to the cemetery’s chapel that seems to be a favorite of Resurrection Mary. She has been seen dancing at the foot of the large gray stone figure on more than one occasion.
Resurrection Mary has been seen by more people than any other ghost within the Chicago area. She is blonde haired with blue eyes and reported to be “a beauty”. She has been seen since the later part of the 1930’s.
Long story short she went to a dance with her boyfriend, but after getting into a heated argument she decided to walk home. Somewhere along the way (between the ballroom and the gates to the cemetery) she was a victim of a hit and run driver who left her to die alongside the roadway.
She is seen in period long white dress, thumbing for rides along Archer Avenue. There are so many stories of sightings of her that I could write you an entire article on Resurrection Mary alone.
It should also be noted that the Resurrection Mausoleum is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest stained glass windows of any mausoleum in the world. It’s also very haunted.
Taped organ music, alarm system and lights will go on/off by themselves with no explainable reason. There are large religious statues on the grounds that reportedly move around from different locations by themselves.
Reports of large religious statues moving around from different locations by themselves. Other reports for the cemetery is suddenly a large bonfire appearing and hooded figures moving about. The next instant bonfire and hooded figures are gone.
Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ (USA)
Boothill has also retained the claim to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world. Tombstone is famous for the fight at the O.K. Corral, it’s also famous for its cemetery. The cemetery is not well cared for and is pretty overgrown but that seems to only add to the spooky reputation.
Several years ago a gunfight occurred, leaving three men of the same group dead. They are reported to be seen walking in blood along the road to revenge their deaths.
Investigators describe seeing unfriendly spirits around the location. It’s believed to be the burial ground for those killed in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Earp brothers & Doc Holliday vs the Clanton Gang).
St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, St. Louis, MO (USA)
There have been paranormal experts who have called this cemetery as the most haunted in the world (seems to be a lot of those). The most famous ghost here is that of Marie Laveau, the voodoo priestess (aka “Grande Voodoo Queen”).
Visitors have reported seeing ghostly figures moving around on top of graves and shouting children who disappear as soon as you turn to look.
Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA (USA)
This cemetery is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. There are many, many deceased stars who are buried here. The cemetery even shares a wall with Paramount Studios.
One of the more famous ghosts roaming around is said to be that of Rudolph Valentino. He is seen wandering around the area looking as handsome and debonair as he did prior to his death in 1926.
Clifton Webb, (Mr. Belvedere) has been seen wandering around. He is seen in the Abbey of the Psalms Mausoleum. Whispered voices and strange flickering lights have been reported as well as cold drafts.
Silent film actress Virginia Rappe, whose death is a mystery, is believed to be haunting her own grave. Witnesses at her grave complain of feeling cold air and hearing the sounds of sobbing coming from her grave.
Again there are many stories about this cemetery and its famous ghostly inhabitants.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
This cemetery is reported to be one of the most haunted in all of Scotland. It is reported a restless spirit names “Bluidy” haunts the location. George Mackenzie (aka Bluidy) was buried in 1691 and is reported to be a violent poltergeist.
The “Mackenzie Poltergeist” has caused bruises, bites and even cuts on those who have been unfortunate enough to come into contact with him.
The Kirkyard was involved in the history of the Covenanters. The movement began with signing of the National Convenant in Greyfriars Kirk in February of 1638. Following the defeat of the militant Convenanters at Bothwell Brig, some 1200 Covenanters were imprisoned in a field to the south of the churchyard. This area became known as the “Covenanter’s Prison”.
The Greyfriars and the Covenanter’s Prison have a world-wide reputation of being haunted. Many visitors report feeling strange sensations, it seem especially those of dread.
Visitors who have taken the tour in the Covenanter’s Prison, have reportedly emerged with injuries which they have no recollection of sustaining.
Visitors have also reported hearing the door to the Mackenzie tomb rattle as though someone is trying to open it. There is no wind and no explanation to the noise.
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s article. There are so many haunted cemeteries around the world that I could do many articles on this subject alone.
Until next week, stay spooky my friends!