25 Cemeteries That Will Scare You Out Of Your Skin

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Cemeteries all around the world bear an immediate creepiness factor just by being “cities of the dead.” But some of the cemeteries on this list are made immensely more creepy and scary far various reasons, such as the presence of mummified corpses, a tragic and traumatic death in the area, or vampires roaming their grounds. Turn the lights off to up the creepiness factor and dig into this list of the 25 freakiest cemeteries that will creep you out!

1. Capuchin Crypt – Rome

Rome’s Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini church has a slightly (thoroughly) morbid tinge to it. Beneath the main premises lies the Capuchin Crypt, the resting place for 3,700 Capuchin friars. The freaky part is how they’re resting: skeletons and skulls litter the walls of the crypts, making the spaces seem more like a madman’s sanctuary than a place of worship.

2. Stull Cemetery – Kansas

Any Kansas resident will be familiar with the hauntingly creepy Stull Cemetery, believed by many to be the gateway to Hell. It’s said Satan and a human woman copulated and produced a son who is buried in the cemetery along with his mother. The church grounds lays in ruins, but if you knock on one of its former doors, it’s said that Satan himself will respond.

3. La Noria – Chile

It should come as no surprise that labor laws weren’t as protective of the worker in the 1800’s as they are today. Such was the case in northern Chile’s La Noria ghost town. Formerly a saltpeter mine, La Noria was the unwilling resting place of many victims of working accidents and poor living conditions, including many children. With the closest human settlement being a gas station 20 miles (32 km) away, the area can be pretty freaky after dark. Some people report hearing disembodied voices, seeing apparitions wandering the streets and approaching them, and hearing screaming from the area.

4. Glasnevin Cemetery – Dublin

Home to some famous historical names, Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery was created as a place for Catholics to bury their dead. Bodysnatchers were so active in the early years that watch-towers were erected along a high fence surrounding the property and the guards patrolled with blood-hounds.

5. Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris

The Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is the resting place of such famous names as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Among the haunted specters which are said to roam its grounds are Holocaust victims, walking between the gravestones to find their own place to be laid to rest.

6. Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) – Portugal

Similar to #25, Portugal’s student city of Evora also has a chapel filled with human remains. Larger than the Capuchin Crypt in number of bodies (this one has about 5,000), the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is the resting place of countless bones drawn from countless church cemeteries in the area.

7. Ganges River – Varanasi

If a Hindu is cremated on the banks of the Ganges River in the city of Varanasi and their ashes are immersed in the holy waters (bodies are also dumped into the river) they are given instant salvation. With the number of bodies in the river, some wash up on the shore where they are devoured by dogs and flies. With the number of dead spirits in the area, it’s no surprise that many people report having eerie feelings around its banks.

8. Old Jewish Cemetery – Prague

One of Europe’s creepiest and most historical cemeteries, the Old Jewish Cemetery is located in Josefov, Prague’s old Jewish Quarter in the Czech Republic. When the Old Jewish Cemetery ran out of space for more bodies, more soil was carted in and placed on top of existing graves whose tombstones were raised and placed on the top layer of soil. In all, the cemetery has twelve layers of graves with tombstones (12,000 visible though there may have been 100,000 burials) packed as tight as sardines on the surface level.

9. Catacombs – Paris

A tourist attraction for almost 150 years, the Parisian Catacombs are known as “The World’s Largest Grave.” Containing the remains of up to six million people, the Catacombs stretch below Paris’s streets.

10. Resurrection Cemetery – Chicago

Two “Bloody Marys” are rumored to exist. The more well-known, Mary Queen of Scots, and her American counterpart by the same name. Resurrection Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois holds the body of Mary, a girl attending a funeral at the same cemetery who was murdered upon leaving. Drivers passing nearby reported picking up a hitchhiking girl dressed in a white party dress who asks to be dropped off at the cemetery gates where she immediately vanishes inside.

11. St. Louis Cemetery – New Orleans

A result of African slaves living in the area, voodoo has shaped New Orleans’ history and is said to still have a strong influence. For instance, take a visit to the city’s St. Louis Cemetery to see the famous voodoo queen Marie Laveau who is rumored to grant visitors’ requests.

12. Chauchilla Cemetery – Peru

This scary site was used for up to 700 years, culminating in the 9th century A.D. Preservation techniques of the Nazca people were so skilled that some of the skeletons still have their original hair and skin clinging to their corpses. The dry heat of the Sechura Desert may have helped keep the bodies from decomposing.

13. Valley of the Kings – Egypt

The resting place of some of Egypt’s most famous rulers, the Valley of the Kings just near the Nile River is said to be protected by an ancient Egyptian curse: anyone disrupting the tombs will die.

14. Highgate Cemetery – London

London’s Highgate Cemetery was home to some gruesome unexplained mysteries in the 1960’s. Locals reported seeing a vampire behind the bars of the cemetery and many animals were found dead within its grounds, their bodies relieved of all blood. Locals launched vampire hunts on multiple occasions but nothing was found.

15. Bonaventure Cemetery – Georgia

The resting place of many a Georgian Civil War veterans, the Bonaventure Cemetery is 100 acres of a sprawling “city for the dead.” What’s most terrifying about this Savannah cemetery isn’t its ghosts, but its statues. One, in particular, is of little Gracie Watson, who has small gifts strewn about. The legend goes that if a gift is stolen, Gracie’s statue will shed real tears.

16. Fire Mummies of Timbak Caves – Philippines

If you’re seeing a repeating theme with mummies on this list – you’d be right. 

Unique to Filipino mummies in Timbak caves is the dehydration process: the dying person would be given a very salty drink to begin dehydration. Once they died, tobacco smoke was blown into their mouth to dehydrate the inside and a fire was lit nearby to dehydrate the outside. The epidermal layer of skin was then peeled off and herbs rubbed on the body. After many months (years, sometimes) of mummification, the body would be interred in a wood coffin in a nearby cave.

17. Howard Street Cemetery – Salem

Anyone who has taken a U.S. history course will be familiar with the Salem, Massachusetts Witch Trials which took place in the 17th century. One man accused of practicing witchcraft, Giles Corey, was tortured to death (legal at the time) to elicit his innocence or guilt. He refused to answer in either direction and, in doing so, prevented the authorities from seizing his property so it could pass on to his heirs. The local sheriff crushed Corey over two days by piling stones upon his chest. Every sheriff since then has died of a heart attack in office or left office due to heart troubles. Corey’s ghost is said to roam the Howard Street Cemetery before any major tragedy hits Salem.

18. Cimitero di San Michele – Venice

Venice: the beautiful canalled-city. Just outside Venice, there lies a place tourists rarely visit: the Cimitero di San Michele (Cemetery of Saint Michael). Occupying the entire island of San Michele, the cemetery became the principal burial ground for Venetians after Napoleon banned burying bodies in Venice in 1807.  Various ghosts have been reported on the graveyard island, though no one ghost has been individually identified.

19. Sedlec Ossuary – Kutná Hora

Holding over 40,000 former bodies, the ground around the Czech Republic’s Sedlec Ossuary is holy ground as the abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian Monastery went to Jerusalem in 1278 and brought back holy soil which he sprinkled on the premises, making Catholics from all over Central Europe clamor to be buried in the area. Even after an expansion and the creation of an ossuary could not contain the massive amount of burials, woodcarver František Rint was hired in 1870 to order the bones. He artfully arranged the skeletons, even creating a massive chandelier and a family crest from the bones.

20. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery – Chicago

Ghost hunters rejoice – there’s a cemetery in Chicago that is equally creepy and abandoned (making for good exploration). Bachelor's Grove Cemetery has been the host of a multitude of paranormal occurrences- everything from ghost cars to an old farmer hanging onto the plow of his horse as it rises out of a pond. Police officers have also reported evidence of black magic rituals.

21. San Juan Chamula Cemetery – Mexico

Church of San Sebastian, the burned-out old church presides over a massive cemetery still in use today. The statues of the saints from the San Sebastian ruins were brought over but are not as highly regarded, even having been turned around for many years as the citizens were angry the saints didn’t protect their original home.

22. Greyfriars Kirkyard – Edinburgh

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a haunted space in the middle of Edinburgh, Scotland. Most famous for the story of Greyfriars Bobby – a dog who guarded his deceased master’s grave for 13 years until passing away himself – the cemetery has a darker and still very active presence.  After a homeless man broke into the mausoleum of George MacKenzie (persecutor of a Presbyterian group against the king’s desire for them to change religions), visitors to the cemetery and mausoleum especially have reported being cut, bitten, or blacking out (170 cases from 1990 to 2006).

23. New Lucky Restaurant (Cemetery Café) – Ahmedabad

Built on an old Muslim cemetery, the New Lucky Restaurant has been a hit since it opened over the former city of the dead. Deciding not to remove the graves, the restaurant’s owner encased around a dozen graves in iron grills throughout the restaurant. Waiters begin the morning by cleaning the graves and adding fresh flowers to them. This strange and slightly creepy restaurant may be the only place in the world you can dine with the dead.

24. Recoleta Cemetery – Buenos Aires

An endless expanse which seems to go on forever, the Cemeterio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is an excellent example of funerary art. Also one of the top tourist attractions in the Argentinian capital, the cemetery hosts some of the country’s most famous including multiple past presidents, even Eva Perón.

25. Hanging Coffins of Sagada – Philippines

As such a diverse group of islands, the Philippines has many different burial traditions. Going north to the Igorot Tribe of Mountain Province brings us to the Hanging Coffins of Sagada. To prevent animals from eating the corpses and to keep headhunters from rival tribes away, the Igorot people nailed their coffins into the sides of mountains. Today, most people of the tribe are not buried in the Hanging Coffins style, though some elders are keeping to tradition.

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