Texas has plenty of cemeteries that date back a century or more. These historic burial grounds offer a unique glimpse into the past. However, every once in a while, among the antiquated tombstones, you’ll come across one that’s a bit different and sure to catch your attention. From statues that move after night falls to the final resting places of famous people like Buddy Holley and Lee Harvey Oswald, here are nine of those gravesites.
1. Black Jesus (Huntsville)
Oakwood Cemetery is best known for being the final resting place of Sam Houston, but locals also recognize it for a much more eerie reason. This statue guards the grave of a five year-old boy who tragically passed in the 1920s. It was originally a striking bronze color before the elements weathered away its shine, and now it looms over the tombstone like a black cloud of mourning. Legend has it that if you visit the gravesite at night, his palms rotate downwards - the complete opposite of their usual position. Is he blessing the young boy's afterlife, or is it merely a trick of the light? You'll have to visit to learn the truth.
2. Jesus in Cowboy Boots (Paris)
The man buried here wasn't particularly noteworthy, but his grave draws onlookers by the hundreds. His name was William Babcock, a factory owner from New York, and he was buried here in 1881 after successfully transforming Paris into the cabinetmaking capital of Texas as well as chartering the Paris and Great Northern Railroad Company. Nobody who can attest to his intention behind the statue is still alive, but people speculate that he was probably just an eccentric guy who wanted to be the talk of the town after his death. We think it's safe to say he accomplished that goal.
3. Smiley's Grave (Dallas)
Holding an entire family, the Smiley grave is both tragic and sinister. Nobody is quite sure exactly how they died, but one thing can be agreed upon - not stepping directly on top of the plot. Apparently, if you lay above where the family rests, you'll feel the force of invisible hands pulling you down to join them. The longer you stay there, the harder it'll be to stand up...and if you stay too long, you just might become the newest member of the Smiley family.
4. Buddy Holley (Lubbock)
Not at all creepy but rather extremely nostalgic, the iconic Buddy Holley can be found in the City of Lubbock Cemetery. With hits such as "Peggy Sue," "Rave On," and "Oh Boy," he and his band The Crickets revolutionized rock and roll in the 50s. You can stop by and pay your respects anytime you're in the area. (The tombstone bears the original spelling of the musician's last name.)
5. Lee Harvey Oswald (Fort Worth)
Although we would rather not remember the egregious act he committed, we must admit that visiting the gravesite of such a notorious killer is, at the very least, intriguing. Rose Hill Park was the only cemetery that would accept his body, and so few people attended his funeral service that journalists had to help carry the coffin to its final resting place. If you do decide to visit, you'll have to find him yourself - the staff refuse to direct people to the tombstone.
6. Selena (Corpus Christi)
Known and loved by almost all Texans, the Tejano star is buried at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi. Her grave is incredibly elaborate, with a stone-carved portrait above her tombstone and dozens of flowers hanging overhead. Although her life was much too short, she has definitely been commemorated adequately in death.
7. Bonnie Parker (Dallas)
One of the most notorious killers of the Old West, the female half of the dangerous duo is buried at Crown Hill Memorial Park in Dallas. Evidently, she has quite the fan base in spite of her actions considering the fresh flowers that never seem to disappear from her grave. Clyde is buried in the city as well, but in a different cemetery.
8. LBJ and his wife (Stonewall)
The former president and his wife were laid to rest in their family cemetery near Stonewall, where his father, great-grandparents, and other family members lie as well. The most notable feature of the cemetery is the plethora of live oak trees scattered across the grounds, some of which are over 200 years old! This is undoubtedly a place with an extremely rich history.
9. Aurora Cemetery (Aurora)
Nobody knows for sure what went down in Aurora Cemetery, but the eerie vibe hasn't left ever since. Some say that a UFO crashed right in this very location over a decade ago, and that the alien piloting the spacecraft was buried in the graveyard. Are you brave enough to come visit and see how much, if any, truth there is to the claims?
Have you been to any of these unusual gravesites? Did we forget any? Let us know!