Have your ever set foot in a graveyard, you’ve likely felt a hint of the fear and uneasiness that is their legacy. But why are so many people afraid of graveyards? Is it the thought of all those decaying bodies under the dirt or the idea of a bony arm emerging from the soil to grab your ankle and pull you into the underworld ? Or is it something deeper? On the next page, we’ll travel to a place full of dark secrets and hidden skeletons: the human brain.
No matter where you travel in the world, cemeteries frequently are silent and solemn settings. Whether the grounds are finely manicured or left to the weeds, graveyards exist as the place where the living contemplate the mysteries, traumas and heartbreaks associated with death.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.