St. Louis January 01, 2018
9 Disturbing Cemeteries Around St. Louis That Will Give You Goosebumps
You may have heard your fellow St. Louisans touting an anthem of, “New Year, New Me!” Not all of our residents feel that way, though. For many, 2018 brings only the same old… another haunting year in the same place. You may even encounter some of those souls at these haunting destinations in and around St. Louis:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, St. Louis
This military cemetery is eerily uniform, a silent memorial to some of the most respectable St. Louisans. When it was officially established in 1826, it was originally a site used to house soldiers. Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, whose name you may recognize as the president of the Confederacy, even escorted captured tribal leaders to the site. It would go on to serve as a military hospital beginning in the 1920's, which is where the creepiness truly begins. It started one Halloween during a festive costume party at the hospital. Guests reported seeing attendees in flawless Civil War uniforms, which they would come to realize that nobody in attendance was wearing. The nearby powder magazine site is said to be a hotbed of activity, too, hosting a ghostly guard who died during a raid. Perhaps most striking are reports of two ghostly soldiers wearing uniforms from opposing sides of the Civil War who are seen interacting together in the afterlife.
2. Calvary Cemetery, 5239 W Florissant Avenue, St. Louis
Here, 470 acres contain the remains of over 300,000 St. Louisans. It started out its life in response to the unfortunate cholera epidemic of 1833 that crippled our nation. By the time the illness reached St. Louis in 1849, it had become an epidemic, with 722 persons passing in just one week. As cemeteries filled up, there was a need for more land. This cemetery is half of Henry Clay's Old Orchard Farm. As with many creepy stories, this site was once an ancient burial ground, and some soldiers were already buried on the site. All remains that were in the ground at the time of purchase were gathered and tossed into a mass grave. Locals have reported seeing figures on the hill where the Reynolds family mausoleum proudly stands. Locals also report the occasional encounter with a ghostly young woman hitchhiking in the surrounding area. The woman has a tendency to introduce herself as Annie after boarding your car, and then she simply vanishes into thin air.
3. Bellefontaine Cemetery, 4947 W Florissant Avenue, St. Louis
This stunning cemetery is a mere stone's throw from Calvary Cemetery, and it shares the same sort of striking beauty. Like Cavalry, the ghost of Hitchhiker Annie is spotted near the cemetery entrance. Rumors also circulate of a young boy that is seen running into the road in front of cars, then the driver realizes he isn't really there at all. The cemetery was founded in 1849 as a rural site where those that fell victim to the cholera epidemic could be laid to rest without fear that decomposition would merely re-release the disease within the city limits. Aside from cholera victims, the site is home to victims of the 1855 Gasconade Bridge incident, the worst railroad disaster in state history. Also buried here are politicians, both Union and Confederate soldiers, and members of the Anheuser, Busch, and Lemp families.
4. Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery,
In early 2017 this cemetery was the site of an unusual occurrence. In the midst of several headstones, a tree was struck by lightning and burned from the inside out, littering the cemetery with burnt bark. Some went as far as to refer to the burnt tree as the Devil's Tree, theorizing that it was a gateway to hell. You can find video of the event
5. Old Borromeo Cemetery, 400 block of South Main Street, St. Charles
From the late 1700s to the 1850s, nine blocks of this quaint landscape was once home to several dearly departed locals. While many of the bodies were exhumed and moved over a mile west to the current Borromeo Cemetery, a few hundred bodies are thought to still be at the original site. As buildings were been constructed on the former cemetery land, remains were unearthed, and some say spirits are unable to rest. The entire area surrounding South Main Street in Saint Charles is overflowing with reports of the supernatural, and many point to the old cemetery as an explanation.
6. Old Lorimier Cemetery, 500 North Fountain Street, Cape Girardeau
Located about 90 minutes outside of St. Louis, this cemetery traces its roots back to 1806. Though petite at only 5 acres, this site is believed to contain more than 6,500 graves. This cemetery, though it may be hard to tell at first, is thought to be divided. Catholics are buried to the north, Protestants to the south. Persons of African American descent are buried on the east slope, and the graves of Civil War soldiers can be spotted throughout the cemetery. Some even theorize that the site is home to much older Native American burials, some of which may have been disturbed in the process of welcoming new interments. The site has a darker history that dates back to the smallpox epidemic. A nearby hospital, Sherwood Minton House, was said to have underground tunnels to transport victims of the disease directly to the cemetery. For unknown reasons, a resident spirit at this cemetery is famous for tapping the shoulder of visitors, occasionally going so far as to tug on their hair when ignored.
7. New Mt. Sinai Cemetery, 8430 Gravois Road, Saint Louis
Don't let its name fool you, this cemetery has a long history. This 52-acre cemetery welcomed its first permanent resident in 1853, and over the years would grow to include thousands of graves and dozens of gorgeous structures. In the 1980's, the local police department purportedly observed an unusual occurrence at this cemetery. At 3 a.m., an emergency call came from
inside one of the mausoleums! Upon arrival, police found no sign of life, and the mausoleum was locked up. They tried to call the number back, but nobody ever picked up. It seems the ghost never called back either, as the occurrence still puzzles those involved to this day.
8. Oak Ridge Cemetery, Missouri CC, Elsberry
This cemetery was founded in 1876, but it would reach the height of its hauntings in the 1940's when the female cemetery keeper was found murdered on the premises. She was laid to rest there in an unmarked grave, but that night, she resumed duties as usual. Many locals have reported seeing her lantern swinging as she makes her rounds, and others have heard her ghostly voice wafting through the night.
Want to take a quick tour of Oak Ridge without braving the brutal cold? Check out this YouTube video by
St. Louis has a long history, and over the years some of our most iconic destinations have gathered quite a bit of lore. What is your favorite piece of local lore? Tell us about it in the comments, and don’t be afraid to share if you’ve had any local encounters with the supernatural!
For more local lore, check out these
St. Louis attractions with a haunted history.