People die all the time, but every now and again mysteries arise around gravesite long after the people in them have been forgotten.
In some cases, it’s the graves themselves that confuse, and sometimes downright scare people. We’ve searched the world for the creepiest, and strangest, graves, so get ready for the top 10!
This isn’t the grave of an individual, but rather a decorative trend in graves started by the Victorians. And by Victorians we mean the old times English, not the Victorian from Australia. Anyway, a mortsafe is basically a cage over a burial plot. The reason they made the creepy list is actually thanks to a misconception. Many people, when seeing the mortsafes, think they’re to stop the dead getting out. Well, while zombies were probably a legit concern during the Victorian era, these scary things were actually to stop thieving ‘live ones’ from getting into the graves. Cheery.
Lilly E. Gray
If you’re taking just a glance at the headstone of Lilly E. Gray, you might not notice what’s amiss. The woman in the grave was born in 1881 and died in 1958, but on her tombstone five strange words appear: Victim of the Beast 666. Not exactly the “Rest In Peace” you might have been expecting! It gets even weirder when you learn that Lilly’s cause of death is described as natural causes, so where’s the beast? No one can say for sure, but her husband’s someone loose grip on reality has been blamed.
Taira no Masakado
During his life Masakado was a Japanese samurai, but it’s not until he died in 1940 that things really started to get interesting. Masakado was executed by decapitation after leading a rebellion against the government. However, his body didn’t obey natural laws after death. His decapitated head remained unwritten for three months, according to the story, with his eyes rolling around in every direction. At some point, his head was buried in the location where Tokyo would one day stand, and he became a local legend. Rumours started to circulate, claiming that if his grave was disturbed, a natural disaster will overcome Japan. Being a superstitious bunch, the Japanese have ensured Masakado’s memorial is one of the best looked after 1,000-year-old gravestones in the country!
In Yekaterinburg, Russia there is a cemetery called Shirokorechenskoe, where there are more than a few unusually creepy graves. In particular are the graves in Mafia Alley, an area in the northern churchyard where the victims of the crime bosses and followers killed in the chaotic 90s mafia turf war lie buried. What makes them unusual are the headstones, which are 2-3 metres high with life-lie portraits of the victims engraved into black marble. Plaques display names, as well as unique skills such as “an expert in knife-throwing” and “possessed deadly fist-fighting skills”. Fitting.
The Chase Family Crypt
A locked room mystery is always sure to captivate, but add that to the generally creepy nature of a crypt environment and you have a hurry story that really captivates. Such is the case with the Chase Family Crypt in Barbados. In 1813 Thomas Chase was laid to rest in his family crypt, but when the crypt was open the coffins were found to be spread around the space. The crypt at that time hadn’t been opened since 1808, nothing was missing, and the cement seal showed no sign of having been broken. The coffins were replaced, but in 1816 the crypt was opened again to admit another family member, and the coffins had been again been shifted chaotically. An investigation was undertaken, which showed no sign of entry, but when the crypt was opened again in 1820 to observe the state of the coffins, they were in total disarray. Eventually, the Governor ordered the coffins be removed and the crypt abandoned.
In Devon, England stands a somewhat nondescript mound of grass and dirt that has been confusing locals for years. Known by them as Jay’s Grave, it apparently holds the body of a suicide victim the late 1700s named Kitty Jay, who was denied a church plot due to ‘self-murder’. To take it one step further, Kitty was buried at a crossroads to ensure her spirit would remain confused and never find the afterlife. Despite the age of the resting place, fresh flowers are regularly placed on the mound, and although many investigations have been undertaken to find the person behind them, it remains a mystery.
In terms of the creepy scale, mummies rank pretty freaking high all the time. But, little Rosalia Lombardo is not like most other mummies. For one, she was just two years old when she tragically died to pneumonia in 1920. Her father was so distraught that he wanted her memory to be immortalised. So, he paid an embalmer to mummify Rosalia, something that was done so well that the little girl looks less like she’s dead and more like she’s sleeping. You can find her sealed in a glass case full of nitrogen gas in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo in Italy.
You probably know Mary Shelley as the author of the terrifying short story Frankenstein. What you might now have known is that Mary Shelley really, really loved husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. When he died in a sailing accident in 1822 and was cremated, for some reason his heard didn’t go up in flames. So, Mary Shelley decided to keep it, in the top drawer of her desk wrapped in some paper until she died several decades later. Then she was buried with it. If that’s not romance, we don’t know what is! Good to know Frankenstein’s creator has a few extra parts in her grave in case she ever needs them.
Princess Elisabeth Demidoff
At the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris there are quite a few well known graves, including Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde. But this is also the resting place of a Russian noblewoman by the name of Princess Elisabeth Demidoff. When she died she was incredibly wealthy, and by most reports pretty off her rocker. In her will ordered an enormous mausoleum above her grave, and for a long time there was a story circulating that she had offered a large sum of money to anyone who could spend a year inside her mausoleum without losing their minds. Was it true? We suppose we’ll never know.
In Chicago there’s a pretty unusual grave with more than a few creepy rumours surrounding it. According to the most well known story, although there are a few, a six-year-old girl named Inez Clarke was struck by a bolt of lightning in 1880. She died, and on top of her grave her family commissioned a life-size sculpture of the girl in a lace dress holding a parasol and a flower. That’s not so weird so far, but we’re just getting started. See, since Inez died children have reported seeing and playing with a young girl wearing ‘old fashioned clothes’. No adults have seen her, but it’s enough to chill us.
Does that creep you out?