Although they were created to allow eternal rest - at least for the body! - of the dead, cemeteries are places that, in the collective imagination, always arouse a shiver of fear down the back. Visiting a cemetery during the day, perhaps with the sun shining in the sky, can be an experience of peace and silence. But to go to cemeteries that are already disturbing in themselves, perhaps at night, who would not be terrified?
There are cemeteries in the world that are already terrifying in the sunlight, let alone when darkness falls! In these places many witnesses say they have seen and heard everything: smoky and incorporeal figures, whispering voices or chilling screams, silhouettes dressed in obsolete clothes that wander through the tombstones ... just suggestion or unexplained reality? Waiting for an answer, here is a list of 10 of the scariest cemeteries in the world and 5 disturbing cemeteries in Italy. Would you have the courage to venture into one of these places?
- The 10 scariest cemeteries in the world
- 5 Abandoned and haunted cemeteries in Italy
- User questions and comments
The 10 scariest cemeteries in the world
We all agree that cemeteries are eerie burial places. The perception of death makes them ideal scenarios for stories of paranormal activity and more or less spooky encounters. But the creepy factor of cemeteries isn't tied solely to ghostly sightings. Many of them, in fact, are known for their strange decorations, for their particular architecture or for their history.
1 - Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Salem is assumed to be the most haunted town in the entire United States, thanks to its rich history linked to witch hunts. In 1692 a very popular citizen of Salem, Mr. Giles Corey, died as a result of torture during a witchcraft trial. It is said that, with his last breath, placed a terrible curse on the city.
Legend also claims that Corey appeared a few days before the Great Fire of 1914. To this day, some witnesses claim to still see his ghost prowling the graves.
2 - Highgate Cemetery, London, UK
This Victorian-era graveyard covers 37 wooded acres in the City of London. Here there are spectacular statues depicting people, animals and of course angels, in a different state of conservation. The décor of this cemetery reflects the Victorian-era obsession with ancient Egypt, perhaps precisely for the fascination that both cultures had for death. The main path that runs through the cemetery is called Egyptian Avenue and is home to a couple of obelisks. It is said that the author of the novel Dracula, aka Bram Stoker, took inspiration from the creepy atmosphere of this cemetery precisely for the writing of the story.
3 - Okunoin, Japan
Okunoin is a sacred village near which there are 120 Buddhist temples. The cemetery is an eerie place where it hovers an equally terrifying legend. It is said that Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, is buried here waiting to be reborn accompanied by his followers. The presence of numerous small statues representing Jizo, a sweet-faced child monk, who are often dressed in real children's clothes, such as bibs and hats, worn by mourning parents, does not help to alleviate the unrest of the place. the loss of a young child.
4 - Les catacombes, Paris, France
The catacombs of Paris are an immense and underground ossuary which houses the remains of about six million people. Because of its special decorations it is said that many ghosts and paranormal apparitions present themselves to visitors, almost as if they wanted to welcome them to their home. There are video recordings of ghostly lights running through the runners and moving between the columns of bones. It is certainly not a place where a person wants to be alone!
5 - Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago, USA
This cemetery is located on the outskirts of Chicago and, at first glance, it doesn't seem to have anything special. What makes it worthy of appearing on this list and also very popular is the infamous ghost named Mary, a young girl who was locally baptized Resurrection Mary. The story tells of how truckers and motorists came across a young hitchhiker near the cemetery who caught their attention as she was dressed very formally, with a white evening dress that complemented her beautiful hair figure. light blond and blue-eyed. Once right in front of the cemetery, the girl asks the driver to be left there, and then disappears right inside.
6 - Cimitirul Vesel (Merry Cemetery), Sapanta, Romania
This cemetery is frightening because its creator, a local woodcutter and carpenter named Stan Ioan Patras, decided during the s to engrave a portrait of a dead person. The tradition he started has continued to this day each tomb has a representation engraved in the wood how whoever is buried there died. The gravestone is completed by a small poem in honor of the deceased, with the aim of creating a colorful and cheerful result, hence the name of the cemetery itself. If you pay attention, however, there is little to be happy: those buried here have often been victims of the Second World War and the Communist Regime, little stories that are actually very sad.
7 - Ancient Jewish Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic
The Old Jewish Cemetery is located in the Josefov Jewish Quarter of Prague. It has been used since the 1439th century, as evidenced by the tomb of Avigdor Kara dated 1787, until . The number of tombstones, as well as that of the bodies buried in this place, is uncertain because there are layers and layers of tombs one above the other. However, the presence of 12.000 tombstones currently visible and intact has been estimated, as well as the remains of about 100.000 burials. Not surprisingly the rumors of paranormal presences are insistent, many witnesses claim to have noticed strange apparitions moving - perhaps too with difficulty? - among the nearby tombstones.
8 - La Noria Cemetery, Chile
La Noria is an abandoned mining town with a gruesome history revolving around forced labor and the abuse of slavery. The cemetery offers an incredible sight, that of open graves and exposed bones. Eyewitnesses swear they saw the dead rise from their graves and walk towards the abandoned mining town. Locals also reported seeing children inside abandoned schools taking the class just as if they were alive. A team belonging to the TV show called Destination Truth was sent to try and gather some evidence, and it appears that researcher Josh Gates recorded what appeared to be an apparition on a FLIR thermal imaging camera. The captured image appears to be the warmth trace of a child peeking around a corner and then disappearing.
9 - Witches Cemetery, Tennessee, USA
It may be one of the lesser known cemeteries in the United States but this cemetery, located in the woods of Tennessee, is one of the oldest in the state. The tombstones are made with rocks now damaged by the weather and indicate where the remains of those buried here lie. But the peculiarity is another: there are pentagrams engraved in the tombstones and some inscriptions that they indicate magical and dark powers that once belonged to witches. Some alleged witnesses have helped fuel rumors that strange lights can be seen in the surrounding woods at night. Others claim to have found carcasses of animals killed in some ritual sacrifice ceremony. That the witches still gather in this place?
10 - Chamula Cemetery, Mexico
The Chamula Cemetery is located in San Juan Chamula in the southern Chiapis state of Mexico. Initially built as a Catholic parish, the building and the cemetery have been practically abandoned since 1960, when the parish priest who had to take care of them left the post. The landscape is made disturbing by the rows of graves in relief, with thousands of bodies that lie buried for eternity. From time to time, the priest of the neighboring parishes celebrates some baptisms but, what is most intriguing are theand ceremonies held by local shamans, free to use the consecrated ground for their rites. Here they also receive anyone who asks them for advice and potions. Organized functions also include healing prayers with animal sacrifices of chickens, the remains of which can be found scattered among the tombstones.
5 Abandoned and haunted cemeteries in Italy
The Catholic tradition of Italy has led our country to have a municipal cemetery in practically every city. Some of these are real monuments, such as the Monumental Cemetery of Milan, where famous people also rest. Unfortunately, other cemeteries did not go so well. There are several the small cemetery that now lie abandoned and, precisely because of this state, they are often subject to more or less frightening rumors, tales and legends. The crypts and ossuaries are also very common, usually located in the basement of churches, which forever preserve the last remains - sometimes even millions! - of citizens of all ages.
1 - Crypt of the Church of Santa Maria Immacolata, Rome
In this famous crypt they are located the remains of nearly 4000 friars belonging to the order of the Franciscan Capuchins. Their bones create an intricate whole that from the ground runs along the walls of the crypt and reaches the ceiling. The different bones are distributed in various chapels, for example there is a chapel called "Crypt of the pelvic bones" and another called "Crypt of the skulls". If that's not enough to scare you, read the inscription below the Grim Reaper statue which reads: "" We were what you are, and what we are you will be. "
2 - Catacombs of the Capuchins, Palermo
The Catacombs of the Capuchins in Palermo is the exposition of death in its most dramatic version. Visiting this place is not for everyone, even the bravest could have moments of failure. Here are in fact preserved, in underground crypts, the mummified bodies in their usual clothes, dating back to the sixteenth century. Today, about 8000 mummies, including those of the monks, the rich and the nobles of Palermo, cover the walls.
This place is also famous for the presence of the mummified body of little Rosalia Lombardo. The girl was born in Palermo in 1918 and died in the same city of Pneumonia at the age of 2. Thanks to the particular mummification procedure used on his body, the child appears intact in the face, arousing in the viewer the impression that he is just sleeping. As if that weren't enough, the little girl appears to "open and close her eyes" once a day. Cameras have been set up to film the event, and the explanation is still not entirely clear. There are, of course, those who cry for a miracle, but the scientific community assumes that the phenomenon is due to the variations in humidity that occur in the mummy.
3 - Fontanelle Cemetery, Naples
The origin of the Fontanelle cemetery dates back to the 1654th century and is linked to the history and misfortunes of the Neapolitan people. In fact, most of the bones found belong to those who died from famine and plague epidemics. These underground places became a cemetery in , when yet another plague epidemic was decimating the Neapolitan people. The well of the Fontanelle was chosen to house 250.000 corpses. From that moment various misfortunes followed one another, such as famines and plagues, and the Fontanelle Cemetery has alternately continued to house the corpses. To date this place, which fully represents the so important sentiment of the inhabitants of the South towards death, is very popular not only for its suggestiveness, but above all for what has been called the "cult of pezzentelle souls", or unfortunate souls . Following this profane rite everyone has chosen a skull or a skeleton to pray and to ask for favors in exchange for adoration. There are many popular legends related to this cemetery, one of the best known is certainly that of the "capa che suda" (the skull that sweats). This skull, belonging to "Donna Concetta" oozes when a wish is made and it is the signal that this will will be fulfilled. The most famous legend, however, is that of the "captain", which tells of a young bride who is very devoted to this skull, so much so that she often goes to pray to him and ask him for favors. Her boyfriend, perhaps a little jealous of this devotion, accompanied the girl to one of these visits and stuck a stick in the socket of the skull, inviting him in derision to their next wedding. On the day of the wedding the groom noticed an unknown guest dressed as a carabiniere, who turned out to be the skeleton of the captain, at whose sight both the spouses and the guests died.
4 - San Finocchi Cemetery, Volterra (PI)
This place perfectly represents what it is in the common imagination an abandoned cemetery. Tall grass, almost destroyed tombstones, crosses without names and without images. And as if that were not enough, it is located right next to a former asylum, also abandoned. The cemetery had been built precisely to house the bodies of the patients of the institute, to which the director was so fond that he expressed the desire to be buried here too, together with his tormented souls. To date, the cemetery it can be visited only upon request to the Municipality of Volterra and there are many who would like to see restoration interventions, respecting those buried here. We are sure that, even by fixing it, the cemetery would keep its disturbing atmosphere, linked above all to the tormented life of its current occupants.
5 - Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, Genoa
In 1804 Napoleon, then in charge of northern Italy, approved the edict of Saint-Cloud. In the wake of the 1835 cholera epidemic, the bodies of people buried in the catacombs, located in the basement of the churches, began to be removed and the need arose to build real cemeteries outside the urban area. Designed by the famous Genoese architect Carlo Barabino in a neoclassical style, the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno opened in 1851. The art of the cemetery is closely linked with the emergence of the realist art movement in 1850. Visitors are presented with their angels crying as well as his strangely realistic depictions of mourning and of the deceased in contemporary clothing, which have earned the nickname of "talking statues". By the late 1800s, the cemetery had become not only a popular burial site but also a tourist attraction with guided tours and brochures. Illustrious Genoese citizens and other famous people are buried there, such as Giuseppe Mazzini, the composer of the Italian anthem Michele Novaro but also the singer-songwriter Fabrizio De André, Constance Lloyd (wife of Oscar Wilde), Nino Bixio and many others. Unfortunately, to date, this open-air museum lies in a state of abandonment, the so realistic statues have begun to darken and deteriorate more and more, transforming a place that was once a symbol of peace into a sad and disturbing cemetery. It seems that several restoration projects have been approved.