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New Orleans Burial and Cemeteries

Above ground Graveyards

Cities of the Dead

Lafayette Cemetery New Orleans
Unquestionably one of the most interesting and written-about cemeteries in the country, Lafayette Cemetery in the Big Easy stands as one of the most haunted.  Ghosts have been seen flitting in and around the above-ground graves.  (for more information on the customs of burial in New Orleans            click here 


"A curiosity indeed, in today's world, but this is the remnant of a necessary solution to the problem of burying wooden caskets, filled with air, in an area where one found water less than two feet from the surface. In the early days of New Orleans, it was often necessary to bore holes in the caskets, and load them with rocks and sand bags to get them to stay put. Even so, a good New Orleans rain would cause some of them to pop right out of the ground."      click here


"New Orleans was established by the French in 1718. At that time burials were made on the banks of the Mississippi. Around 1731 the St. Peter street graveyard was founded. There were also interments made in St. Louis church and a small area outside of the church. The church was running out of space and eventually the St. Peter street cemetery was closed from lack of space and fear of pestilence. It was eventually divided into building lots. The first aboveground burials were made in St. Louis #1 cemetery in 1789. Above ground burials can be attributed to two different origins. New Orleans is mostly below sea-level and flooding could cause a wooden coffin to reappear in a most disturbing manner. There are stories of river flooding causing the dead to float down into the city! Secondly, French and Spanish influence dictated above ground burial once the city was established. " click here


Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana Art Print
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St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 - New Orleans

This above-ground cemetery, like Lafayette, is said to be haunted by many spirits.  A woman in white who flags down taxis and always disappears before the ride is over; voodoo queen Marie Laveau.  She's been said to haunt the cemetery and surrounding area.  Her powers were thought to be strong when alive, but now that death has taken her, she holds even greater sway over her devoted, who decorate her grave with symbols, candles and flowers, in the hope she'll bless them.


Further Cemetery Mysteries

Chase Vault - The moving coffins of Barbados
The story of the Chase Vault coffins in the burial vault in Barbados is a fascinating one. 

Haunted Highgate Cemetery
Like many of England's most famous places, Highgate Cemetery in Highgate, London is perhaps one of the most actively haunted cemeteries in the UK. Opened in 1839, Highgate serves as the final resting place of a long list of famous people including Douglas Adams, Karl Marx and Radclyffe Hall. 






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