Iowa October 28, 2016
What’s Hiding In This Iowa Cemetery Is Too Spooky For Words
As Halloween approaches, our thoughts turn to all things spooky. One of Iowa’s most chilling legends dwells in Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City. Oakland’s black angel is surrounded by much lore and many legends, many surrounding the angel’s mysterious color change from bronze to black. There are even people who camp out at the angel’s site on Halloween, just to test the legends.
Tales of cursed and doomed gravesites are common lore among people. Arguably, Iowa’s scariest and most notorious statue is the black angel in Iowa City.
The black angel has been connected with myth and legend for a long time. The angel was erected in 1912 by Teresa Feldevert, a physician who immigrated to America from Strimilov, Bohemia.
When her son tragically died of meningitis in 1891, a grief stricken Teresa placed a large tree-stump monument to mark his grave. Following his death, she moved to Eugene, where she got married.
Her new husband's tragic death followed not long after their marriage, and Teresa was beside herself. She moved back to Iowa City and hired a sculptor, Mario Korbel, to create a shining angel as a fitting monument to watch over the graves of her loved ones.
When Teresa died of cancer in 1924, things got strange...and creepy. Upon her death, her ashes were scattered under the angel, and within a few years, the angel had turned from a shining golden bronze to black.
First, the angel’s eyes turned black. Then, the blackness began to run down her face, like black tears. Over the years, the angel finally turned completely black, despite many attempts to restore the statue to its original bronze color.
While many people chalked up the statue’s change in color to oxidation, many others attributed it to more evil, sinister causes. There are many theories about its change in hue. Some believe it was due to Teresa being a witch. Others attribute it to Teresa not remaining faithful to her husband after his death. Still other people say that a bolt of lightning struck the angel, causing it to turn black.
Many people believe that to even dare touch the angel is to flirt with death. One legend tells a story of a girl who kissed the angel’s feet in the moonlight and was dead within six months. Another story tells of a high school boy who touched the angel on Halloween and had his heart stop beating on the spot.
The spot is surrounded with so much intrigue and mystery, the angel was even visited by “Haunted Highway,” a reality show on the SyFy channel. They captured strange audio, strange visuals floating through the cemetery, and, upon pointing their thermal cameras at the statue, found that it was red hot, despite the fact that they were visiting on a cold night.
Have you visited the black angel in Iowa City? What was your experience like? Did you dare to touch it? Looking for more spooky Iowa haunts? Make sure to check out The Haunted Road Trip That Will Lead You To The Scariest Places In Iowa.