Graceland Cemetery: Illinois
Graceland Cemetery, in Chicago, opened in 1860. It's the final resting place of some very big names including Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks, Marshall Field, Allan Pinkerton and many more. For decades, tales of paranormal activity at Graceland Cemetery have become legendary causing many to visit the cemetery in hopes of their own paranormal interaction.
Near the front of the cemetery stands an ominous statue marking the final resting place of Dexter Graves. The statue, named Eternal Silence, was made by Lorando Taft in the early 1900's specifically for the grave. The figure is supposed to be a grim reaper of sorts, adding to the cryptic vibe it gives off. It's often referred to as "The Statue of Death," and has a legend to go along with that tag line. The legend states that if a person were to look the statue in the face, the person would see their own death. I'm pretty sure it is only a legend (at least I hope so because I've been there and looked the statue in the face before) but it is without a doubt scary none the less.
Another famous ghost story in Graceland Cemetery centers around a little girl named Inez Clarke, or Briggs as she is sometimes referred. Inez was only 6 years old when her life was cut short due to a lightening strike in 1880, according to legend. Distraught over the loss of their daughter, her parents had a statue of her likeness made and placed at her grave site. Not long after her death, witnesses claimed to see her ghost in the area around her grave. Not long after her ghost appeared to visitors, did her statue begin to move around. The statue would leave its pedestal and return sometime later, completely dumbfounding spectators. A glass case was placed around the statue at some point, but apparently the statue would still take off. There have been stories of groundskeepers doing rounds only to find the case empty. When they would return some time later, the statue would be in its correct spot, as if it had been there the whole time.
Though not as famous, other paranormal interactions have occurred in the cemetery. Orbs, apparitions, feelings of being touch, and more have all been reported at Graceland Cemetery.
I've been to Graceland Cemetery several times and can report that it has a creepy vibe to it. You often get the feeling you are being watched or that someone is right behind you even if they aren't. I would say if you're ever in Chicago, check it out for yourself; just don't stare any statues in the face.
photo by: Autumn H. Todd