Cemeteries are conducive to paranormal activity by their very purpose as an eternal depository for the dead. There are some very spooky cemeteries throughout the world that leave no question in the minds of those who visit them that ghosts are real!
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
Historic Père Lachaise has been the veritable who's who of the famous dead since it was created in the 1800s. It's anyone's guess how many people are interred here, but it's estimated as many as one million. Some of the notables graves you might recognize include Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Jim Morrison, Marcel Marceau, Georges Bizet, and Frédéric Chopin.
Mausoleum, tombs, and gravesites litter the cemetery in what seems like an endless macabre landscape of the dead. There are countless reports of ghosts that range from the restless souls of Holocaust victims wandering through the cemetery to sightings of Jim Morrison's ghost. There are many sightings of Marcel Proust looking for a way out of the cemetery to find his lover buried against their wishes in a different cemetery. These are just the ghosts recognized, while there are many, many more sightings of ghostly apparitions, glowing specters, and wisps of misty shapes moving about the tombstones. Other reports tell of clothing being tugged and disembodied voices, murmurs, and crying.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, LA USA
If you ever imagined a cemetery that was the epitome of spooky and creepy, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is it! Established in 1789, St. Louis Cemetery #1 is so haunted only the brave should dare to enter. The cemetery is sadly showing its age as it lays in disrepair with broken cobblestones and crumbling tombs, which only worsen the appearance of the hodgepodge random layout of gravesites. Visitors claim to hear weeping coming from inside some of the crypts.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the final resting place for the remains of infamous voodoo queen Marie Laveau. It's rumored that Marie still grants visitor requests from beyond the grave. She is seen dressed in bright colors, wearing a red and white turban. She will suddenly appear to visitors and then vanish just as quickly.
The ghost of Henry Vignes, swindled of all he owned, including a burial site, wanders the cemetery. Another ghost identified as Alphonse is said to roam the cemetery and approach visitors, begging them to take him home with them before vanishing into thin air. There have been many other claims of ghostly interactions including being shoved, touched, scratched, pinched, and hearing disembodied voices.
Highgate Cemetery, London, England
One of the most haunted places you'll find in London is Highgate Cemetery. Created as number three (1839) of the city's The Magnificent Seven private cemeteries, only 15 years after it opened, the cemetery was filled to capacity. The city bought an additional 20 acres to ease the overflow. Eventually the cemetery was abandoned and overgrown.
Tales emerged in the 1960s about macabre rituals and ceremonies taking place in the cemetery and were quickly followed by the Highgate Vampire, who repeatedly appeared behind the gates. Reports of blood-drained animal carcasses inspired a full scale vampire hunt by local citizens. The vampire can be seen throughout the cemetery. Other paranormal events include cold spots, watches that stop running, specters, terrifying ghouls, banshees, floating faces, and all manner of ghosts that fill the cemetery and even spill out into the surrounding alleys. Red-eyed demons glare at passersby through the fencing as though unable to escape their prison.
Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland
Glasnevin was opened to the public in 1832. With 127 acres and around 1.5 million graves, the Glasnevin Cemetery has a very active paranormal presence. With so many people buried there, it's not surprising that visitors report seeing strange shadows, fleeting apparitions, and hearing disembodied voices. Some of the ghosts seen in the cemetery are gravediggers, but they don't reside just in the cemetery...they are regular patrons of John Kavanagh, a pub near the cemetery. The pub was nicknamed The Gravediggers since in life the gravediggers were frequent patrons just as their ghosts now are.
One very popular ghost is that of a dog. It belonged to Captain John McNeill Boyd of the Northern Irish Royal Navy. In 1861, the captain died when his ship the HMS Ajax sank. The captain was interred in the Glasnevin cemetery, but his dog was loyal to the end. The grieving Newfoundland stood vigil over his master's grave and stopped eating, drinking, and sleeping. Ultimately, the poor dog starved himself to death. Visitors to the cemetery often see the dog lying by his master's grave.
Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, Australia
Rookwood Cemetery opened to the public in 1867 and is the longest continuous operating Victorian era cemetery in the world. The massive cemetery consists of 700 acres with over 1.5 million graves.
People from all walks of life find their final resting place in the beautiful ground of Rookwood. Harry Houdini visited the cemetery. It is said that Houdini was displeased with the neglected state of the cemetery and paid to have repairs made to the grave of one of the famous Davenport Brothers who had died in Australia while on tour.
The Davenport Brothers were renowned for their Spirit Phenomena. So moved by Houdini's act of generosity, the surviving Davenport admitted to the debunking Houdini that the brothers used a specific trick in their performances and shared it with Houdini.
Eventually the other Davenport brother joined his sibling in the Rookwood Cemetery and their spirits have been blamed for the various paranormal activities going on in the cemetery. Rumor has it that the spiritualists opened a portal that allowed all manner of entities to flood into the cemetery. However, keep in mind that the 1.5 million people buried there included victims of several wars, diseases, childbirth, accidents, murders, and other tragedies.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland UK
The Greyfriars Kirkyard was founded in 1561. It is part of the Greyfriars Kirk (parish church) located in Edinburgh but is funded separately. The most famous and belligerent ghost in the cemetery is known as the Mackenzie Poltergeist. This spirit of "Bloody" George Mackenzie was the lawyer and Lord Advocate for Charles II. Mackenzie eagerly and with great enjoyment imprisoned over 1,000 people who participated in the Covenanters religious movement. They were imprisoned in one of the two buildings on the property. Interestingly, Mackenzie's mausoleum is located adjacent to the prison.
Much of the nasty things the cemetery is known for, such as people being scratched, bruised, and even cut, didn't start until a homeless man, seeking shelter from inclement weather, broke into the Mackenzie's tomb and disturbed the spirit. Now, it is said a furious Mackenzie is responsible for the various attacks on visitors.
In addition, the paranormal activity in the two buildings also increased. The attacks were so numerous and intense the two buildings and adjacent area were shut down to visitors. The only way you can visit is via the official tour. In an attempt to release the spirit haunting in the cemetery, an exorcist attempted to perform the sacred ritual but dropped dead of a heart attack. The incidences continue with those who take the official tour complaining of various injuries.
La Noria Cemetery, Chile
La Noria Cemetery is located in the township that was once a booming mining town built by slave labor. The huge cemetery was abandoned and now lies in desecrated open graves with the bodies of the deceased exposed among the shattered wooden coffins. Bones of the dead are often strewn around, and the cemetery is reputed to be the most frightening place in all of South America.
It's reported that the spirits rise from the cemetery at night to wander through the ghost town. Witnesses claim to hear knocking, banging and disembodied voices. The full bodied apparitions and black shadows moved about the cemetery and town. There are stories that zombies are responsible for many of the destroyed graves as they broke their out of the graves.
Aoyama Cemetery, Tokyo, Japan
Aoyama Cemetery opened to the public in 1874 and is a Shinto-only burial ground of around 64 acres with more than 100,000 gravesites. It is one of the best known places in Japan for ghostly activity. However, very few people are brave enough to venture near the cemetery once the sun disappears along the horizon. The ones who do are either bus driver or travelers who must pass by the cemetery.
Bus drivers claim the light on their stop sign lights up whenever they near Aoyama Cemetery when they don't have any passengers and obviously, they don't stop. The cemetery area has its own woman hitchhiker who disappears from the car, but in this ghost story the women leaves a backseat that is soaked with water. There are other stories of the woman asking to be let out at the cemetery, but she disappears before the driver arrives at the destination. Obviously, most cab drivers don't take fares around the cemetery.
Lothian Cemetery, Delhi, India
Lothian Cemetery is a Christian cemetery opened in 1808 and was closed to burials sometime in the 1960s. The cemetery is severely neglected and is overgrown and littered. This sad state of the cemetery adds to its macabre feeling. It is considered one of the most haunted cemeteries in India. There is one ghost that dominates the ghost stories about the cemetery.
A British officer named Nicholas supposedly fell in love with an Indian woman. The star-crossed lovers were doomed from the beginning. The woman's family refused Nicholas's proposal for marriage. Distraught over the realization he would never be with his true love, the young officer killed himself with a bullet to his head.
Witnesses claim to have seen a headless spirit dressed in a British uniform moaning and stumbling about the cemetery calling out for his beloved. Other witnesses see the young officer walking through the cemetery, with his head intact, wailing for his true love.
Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
The Valley of the Kings is also known as Valley of the Gates of the Kings. The royalty of the Egyptian New Kingdom were buried here. There are 63 tombs or chambers and a complex that has over 120 chambers. Unfortunately, all of these burial sites were robbed over a period of hundreds of years.
It's said not only was the curse of King "Tut" Tutankhamun (Last Pharoah of 18th Dynasty 1334 BC-1325 BC) released when his tomb was opened, but also an evil spirit that roams about the valley. The tomb guards have reported seeing ghosts of Akhenaten (10th Pharoah of 18th Dynasty 1353 BC-1336 BC) and a scary pharaoh riding in a chariot drawn by black horses. The tome of Merneptah (4th Pharoah of 19th Dynasty 1213 BC-1203 BC) is said to be even more haunted than King Tut's.
Visitors, guards, workers, and archeologists report feeling as though something or someone is watching them. There are numerous reports from these people of hearing disembodied voices shouting and screaming, phantom movements and footfalls. Many people believe the Pharoahs and their queens are angered over the desecration of their tombs.
Haunted Cemeteries Around the World
There are many haunted cemeteries worldwide with stories of restless spirits. Each cemetery has their own celebrity ghosts that people immediately identify with the cemetery and report seeing when they visit.