Iowa July 02, 2016
9 Disturbing Cemeteries In Iowa That Will Give You Goosebumps
Our final resting places often hold our histories and, sometimes, our ghosts. Cemeteries are rife with stories of paranormal activity, tales of violent deaths and locally known myths and legends. Here are 9 of Iowa’s most chill-inducing cemeteries.
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1. Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City
Oakland Cemetery’s black angel is a monument for the Feldevert family and has been in the cemetery since 1912. Ever since it arrived, there have been many legends surrounding it. One of the most eerie things about the statue is that it mysteriously changed color from bronze to black. Some say that Teresa Feldevert’s evil nature caused the sudden color change and served to warn people away from the grave.
Many other myths followed, like any girl kissed who at the angel’s feet in moonlight would die in six months, and another said that touching it on Halloween night would cause that person to die in seven years. Kissing the angel itself is said to actually make your heart stop beating. These may just be myths, but are you willing to test it out?
2. Fairview Cemetery, Council Bluffs
Fairview Cemetery is home to another black angel statue that is said to be connected to mysterious supernatural activity. The statue marks the Ruth Ann Dodge Memorial. She was the wife of General Grenville M. Doge, a Civil War veteran and the chief engineer of the Transcontinental Railroad. The statue is a beautiful angel that holds a vessel of water and was modeled after an angel that Ruth Ann saw in what she described as three distinct supernatural visitations. The angel in her visions carried a vessel filled with crystal clear water. She refused the water in the first two visitations, but on the third time, she drank the water the angel offered. A few days after that, she died.
3. Vegors Cemetery, Lehigh
Vegors Cemetery dates back to the early 1800s, but has history that goes back much further than that. It is the site of much conflict between the Native American tribes who lived there and the white settlers who came later. Several Native American tribes were initially using the site as a burial ground, and when white settlers arrived, they moved the bones that had been laid to rest there. Vegors Cemetery is near the site of the deadly Spirit Lake Massacre, and many supernatural occurrences have been reported, such as mysterious growls and apparitions walking the grounds at night.
4. Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Boone
This cemetery is the resting place of Kate Shelley, a heroic woman who saved many lives the night she braved crawling over the Des Moines River High Bridge during a storm to warn an oncoming passenger train about a washed out bridge ahead. Near her grave are stones marking the graves of her parents and brother, James, who drowned in the Des Moines river when he was just 11 years old.
5. Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines
Woodland Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Des Moines, is said to be the site of grave robbers and two murders. The first murder took place in the late 50s/early 60s, and the second murder took place in 2006. There have been several grave robberies there, starting in the 1800s and as recently as 1991.
6. Union Cemetery, Guthrie Center
Placed between two unmarked graves, Union Cemetery is the home of The Devil’s Chair. Local legend claims that sitting in the chair could bring a person bad luck, or even death.
7. Hickory Hill Cemetery, Charlotte
Hickory Hill Cemetery is located on a remote dirt road between cornfields. Legend has it that if you enter the cemetery, you’ll hear babies crying and see a small girl pointing at the gates and telling you to leave.
8. Anamosa State Penitentiary Cemetery
A simple and haunting cemetery on a lonely road, this is the resting place of many prisoners who died at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Prisoners buried there had no families to claim them or give them proper burials.
9. Shellsburg Cemetery
There's a statue at this cemetery called the weeping angel. It's said that if you visit this headstone at night, you can hear her crying and see actual tears rolling down her cheeks.
Looking for more chilling tales? Meet 12 Ghosts From Iowa And Hear Their Bone-Chilling Stories.