Welcome to our summary of the most haunted cemeteries in the world. All of them have their ghostly tales, read on to find out why graveyards can be truly terrifying...
Be sure to check out our very own spooky Cemeteries of Ireland video here!
Highgate Cemetery, London, England
One of London's most haunted cemeteries. This spooky, mysterious graveyard, also known as the City of the Dead, was once the most fashionable place in London to be buried in Victorian times. Sadly, it crumbled into neglect following the Second World War and was a desolate spot stretching over many acres. The many magnificent tombs and memorials became a truly gothic sight with twisted branches and ivy curling their way around the ruins. Stories abounded of terrifying creatures with glowing eyes frightening local residents and anyone brave enough to walk by the gates at night. Various ghosts and entities have been sighted including a vampire, a man in a top hat, bells ringing in the disused chapel, a shrouded figure and a demented old woman with long gray hair to name a few. Due to the restoration efforts of the ‘Friends of Highgate Cemetery’ the place is looking quite well these days, with the ghostly sightings decreasing significantly in numbers. This is definitely one of our favourite haunted cemeteries. Visit at your peril…
Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago, USA
One of the better known haunted cemeteries. Where to begin at this truly creepy location? So many spectres, the most famous ghost has to be 'Resurrection Mary' also known as Bloody Mary Smith. She is a young girl thought to have been murdered on Archer Avenue and has been spotted in one form or another over the last 90 years, always dressed in black and usually asking for a lift to the cemetery. Whether just conversing with her or giving her a lift, she vanishes into thin air. There are many other ghosts inhabiting this graveyard, all of them happy to interact with mourners and join in the ceremonies. Many EVP’s have also been captured here with names and conversations clearly being heard when there is no one around. There’s reputed to be a vampire buried in Resurrection who starts scratching his coffin when the sun sets. Not a place to go to on your own.
Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland
One of Ireland's best known haunted cemeteries. This huge cemetery, also known as Prospect Cemetery, dates from around the middle of the 1800’s and is resident to many of Ireland’s famous citizens including Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Brendan Behan and Constance Markiewicz. There are nearly 1.5 million burial sites here including the sad and very eerie ‘Little Angels’ children’s plot, thought to contain over 50,000 children and babies. One of the best known apparitions is that of a Newfoundland dog who often appears at the grave of John McNeill Boyd. After Boyd drowned, the dog refused to leave his owner’s grave and slowly starved to death. This dedicated pet is seen waiting faithfully at his grave. Other encounters include glowing figures and the sounds of children playing. This is one of the largest haunted cemeteries in the world. If you visit, just be sure you know the way out…
Huguenot Cemetery, St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine in Florida is one of America’s better known haunted cities and it’s Huguenot cemetery helps it live up to that reputation! This is one of America's most haunted cemeteries. It dates from 1821 and houses a lot of victims of the yellow fever that swept through St. Augustine in the 1880’s. Disturbingly, some of those suffering from this dreadful illness were buried whilst they were still in a coma, due to the terrible fear of catching yellow fever. Wealthy families of those buried like this would pay to have a bell put above ground attached to the fingers of the body, just in case they woke up and needed to be dug out. The well-known proverb "Saved by the Bell" comes from this practice. Is it any wonder it’s haunted? Ghost lights, ectoplasms and other strange anomalies have been caught on camera here, whilst visitors can often hear whispering in their ears or feel tugs on their clothing. The most well known ghost is that of John B. Stickney who has been seeing walking in the cemetery – it is thought he is looking for his gold teeth and other items that were stolen when his body was exhumed to be near his family in Washington. A very active spot in St. Augustine and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. If you're looking for haunted cemeteries, this is a place to explore.
Greyfriar's Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland
This is possibly the most dangerous location on our list and one of my favorite haunted cemeteries! Greyfriar’s cemetery dates from the 17th century and has had hundreds of reports of violent poltergeist activity, apparitions, cold spots, laughter and most disturbingly, visitors becoming extremely ill and falling unconscious. It has also had it’s fair share of bodysnatchers, live burials, dark magic rituals and was used as a the Convenanters Prison at one point. The spirit of the poltergeist is believed to be that of George Mackenzie who prosecuted the convenanters in Edinburgh – he has his own tomb in Greyfriars alongside the many convenanters who were sentenced to death by him. Visitors were affected so badly by the violent paranormal activity – which included objects being thrown and people being bruised and cut – that the area is now chained off and inaccessible. One of the more benign characters of the cemetery is Greyfriar's Bobby, the ghost of a lovable terrier, who stayed at his master’s grave for 14 years until his own death in 1872, only leaving to eat meals outside a nearby restaurant. This is a very frightening place. Extreme caution and care needs to taken when visiting Greyfriar's Cemetery.
Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Australia
This large cemetery was officially opened in 1875. Stories abound of unexplainable foul smells, fluctuations in temperature and sounds of people talking. There are also rumoured accounts of bodies here which have not decomposed. The crypt of the infamous Mayne family is located here and there are repeated reports of sounds coming from within it, including objects being thrown and voices raised in anger. Many visitors report feeling deeply sad after spending time here, for no apparent reason. One of many haunted cemeteries throughout Australia.
The Catacombs, Paris, France
Not strictly one of the world's haunted cemeteries, but we had to include it anyway! In the 1700’s the engineers and planners of Paris decided to tackle the overcrowding problem by disinterring millions of the Parisian dead and relocating them to the Catacombs. The moving of corpses continued until about 1870 and since then the Catacombs have been the location for many activities including bizarre picnics and gatherings of the French nobility, to families living there, and members of the French Resistance and German military using it during World War II. The main paranormal activity reported frequently is the sighting of shadow groups of people silently following tour groups around. Many photographs and EVP’s have been captured in the Catacombs. A lot of tours are ended early with visitors feeling ill, claustrophobic and overwhelmed by the eerie atmosphere. Many foolhardy souls venture in alone, certain they know the way out. Many have never been seen again.
Old Western Graveyard, Baltimore, USA
Another darkly atmospheric cemetery, with catacombs, home to many illustrious residents including Edgar Allan Poe and more than a dozen generals from the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War amongst others. The majority of ghostly tales from here revolve around the catacombs which are situated under Westminster Hall, which is also believed to be haunted. Most tell the story of people being buried alive and still trying to get help. However, the most intriguing ghost of the Old Western graveyard is that of Edgar Allan Poe who has been seen many times especially around January 19th – his birthday. He is said to be completely in black, with matching fedora hat and black scarf to cover his features. He also carries a walking cane with a silver cat’s head on top. There are numerous reports of people talking to him and catching glimpses of his dark figure. There is also a story about a skull buried here, simply known as the Screaming Skull of Cambridge, which is said to have belonged to a murdered minister. If you hear it’s screams, legend has it you will go insane. Proceed at your own risk in one of America's most haunted cemeteries...
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Chicago, USA
Reputed to be one of the most paranormally active cemeteries in the world. From the famous White Lady who appears when the moon is full to ghostly cars running people down, this lonely and very neglected location is well known for it’s apparitions and paranormal activities. Not used since 1965, it’s name is derived from the over-abundance of bachelors that lived in the area in the mid 19th century. As well as voices, cold spots, lights and apparitions, a ghostly Victorian house has been seen in the cemetery since the 1950’s, even though there are no records of one ever being in this spot. As a visitor approaches the house with it’s welcoming glow, it vanishes. There are reports of people who have managed to gain entry, only to disappear forever. At the top of our list of haunted cemeteries to visit.
Chase Mausoleum, Barbados, West Indies
One of the West Indies' most haunted cemeteries. This truly creepy location dates from the early 1700’s and is situated under the Christ Church Graveyard in Barbados. Up to 1820, members of the Chase family were interred there, yet each time the vault was opened, coffins were found thrown about haphazardly, upended and even shattered in pieces. After the second last funeral in the crypt, white sand was scattered on the floor and the vault was secured with great integrity. At the very last funeral in the mausoleum, the six Chase family coffins were found strewn around the crypt, leaning up against the walls and broken in bits. There were no footprints or markings in the white sand that had been thrown on the floor previously. This mausoleum is not used any more and is empty. To this day it remains an unsolved mystery and a very dark and mysterious site.
Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, New Zealand
Waikumete Cemetery covers nearly 306 acres and has been open since 1886. Over 700,000 souls are buried here including many victims of the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic, 19 New Zealand murderers hung and buried in unmarked graves at an area known as Murderers Grove and the unknown victims of the Air New Zealand flight to Antartica which crashed in 1979. The older part of Wikumete Cemetery is where the majority of the paranormal activity happens. The Chapel of Faith, which was built as a mortuary chapel, is haunted by a woman in black and figures are regularly seen drifting in and around the old gravestones. Glen Eden Train station nearby had special trains that ran on Sundays carrying the bodies of those who had died and their entourages. The cafe at the train station is said to be haunted by Alex McFarland who worked there in the early 1900’s and was killed in a freak work accident on the platform. Most recently, a man in an old fashioned top hat entered the cafe, asked for a timetable and, when the waitress turned away, vanished into thin air. A memorably spooky location.
Green Lady Cemetery, Burlington, Connecticut
Another of New England's haunted cemeteries, this location is more properly known as the Seventh-Day Baptist Cemetery. It is infamous for it’s “Green Lady” ghost who has haunted visitors and people passing by for years. She is thought to be the spirit of Elisabeth Palmiter who died in 1800 under suspicious circumstances in swampy ground adjacent to the graveyard. The story relates that she ventured out into the dark and found herself sinking into quicksand. Her husband, carrying a lantern, happened upon her and is believed to have done nothing to save her. She is said to have haunted her husband, who eventually went insane, and that she continues to wander through the cemetery to this day. A strange green mist has been captured on film at Elisabeth’s grave and a unmoving light (like that of a lantern) is regularly seen in the swampland. Her ghost is seen walking on the road by the cemetery surrounded by a eerie green glow.
Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, England
Another one of England's infamous haunted cemetereis. Like Waikumete Cemetery in New Zealand, the beautiful, yet eerie Brookwood Cemetery also had it’s own train, ferrying people to their final resting place. The trains ran from 1854 until 1945 and the service was begun as London started to run out of graves – Brookwood is just over 25 miles from the city. Sounds and crying have been heard many times from the tombs and mausoleums here as well as green and white mists floating around graves. Many visitors report feelings of anxiety, sadness and nausea around certain parts of the cemetery. Could this be the residual emotions of the long dead occupants hanging in the atmosphere? The path that the train track was on is still there and it’s said that if you walk it, you can often hear the sounds of women and babies crying. Occasionally, sounds of a train have also been heard. Strange reports of rituals, both ghostly and real, have also been noted. It is definitely not one of the haunted cemeteries to be wandering around after the sun goes down.
Cappuccini Catacombs, Palermo, Sicily
The bodies of the dead, dressed and seated or hung on hooks on the walls – how spooky can this place be? Dating from 1599, the Capuchin monks discovered the mummifying properties of this location when they started leaving their dead in the old catacombs beneath their church. When the preservative effects of the underground chambers became known, the more wealthy citizens of Palermo wanted to be buried here. Many of the life-like corpses are said to have changed their position overnight when the place is opened in the morning. Visitors report feelings of being watched and of having their clothes pulled at by unseen hands. They also regularly hear whispering, shuffling and whistling noises. One of the most recent occupants is that of young Rosalia Lombardo who passed away in 1920 and is laid out in a class coffin, totally preserved and looking like a little doll. The oldest corpse dates from 1599. There are about 1500 bodies in the catacombs at present. People on the daily tours have reported getting totally lost, disorientated and panic-stricken whilst in the catacombs. Not strictly one of the world's haunted cemeteries, it is still certainly not a place for anyone who scares easily…
Ross Bay Cemetery, Vancouver Island, Canada
This beautiful and unique cemetery is an outstanding example of Victorian burial grounds with it’s landscaped lawns, gardens and profusion of mature trees. Sweeping roadways wind through nearly 30,000 graves. There are many ghosts seen here including the owner of the land that the graveyard was built on, Isabella Ross. There is a also the apparition of a frantic woman dressed in black running between graves calling out for her children. A ghostly couple from the Victorian era are regularly seen gliding around the west side of the cemetery along with several small children. The murky vision of a man, thought to be David Fee is seen also – he was murdered in 1890 on Christmas Eve outside St. Andrew’s Cathedral and is thought to be endlessly searching for his killer. An interesting spot to walk through during the day, but a night time visit could prove to be quite terrifying... One of Canada's top haunted cemeteries.
Old Center Cemetery, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
One of the better known haunted cemeteries in New England. This extremely eerie and creepy graveyard is located in Andover, New Hampshire with old graves that lean and tilt quite spookily. The soil is soft and sandy, appearing to grab onto a visitors feet as they walk through. The main ghost associated with Old Center is that of a woman wearing a diaphonous white gown who waves at people passing by to come into the cemetery. Only seen at night as a glimmering image, she then vanishes. The other ghost known at this cemetery is that of a young man who made a pact with the Devil in colonial times. He is thought to have perished in horrible circumstances inside the cemetery gates and was buried in an unmarked grave outside the graveyard. He is seen beckoning to passing motorists, only to disappear when they stop. Take a look around at your peril...
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