Scary and bizarre tombstones from around the world or what can be seen in cemeteries


The tombstone has been used since prehistoric times. In pagan times, when in myths there was a fear of the dead returning to the living, the gravestone was a symbolic image of a boulder to “burden” the deceased, to prevent him from afterlife trips among the living, so to speak. In more recent times, of course, it became an integral part of the grave.

The shapes are different, the material used to be usually stone, now it can be glass or synthetic. If the tombstone does not stand on a grave, it is called a cenotaph or memorial. That’s all true. But what if you’re walking through a picturesque cemetery somewhere in Austria – and you suddenly come across this:

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/free license

Good day. I’m buried here!

There are no limits to imagination, that’s clear. But over some tombstones, one stands in awe and is unable to utter a single word. Or freeze in terror. The darkest tombstones, for example in the cheerful form of small children (which is precisely the dark side), are tied together by various legends and rumors. And they tell a lot about the life and death of the deceased. Or even about whether the soul that is burdened by such a bizarre tombstone is wandering around a bit.

Sometimes they say yes, sometimes someone sees her or captures her in a photo. Or the tombstones themselves – they often inspire filmmakers as well. The creators of the Doctor Who series used the most haunted character from the Time Lord world as a model – Weeping Angels from Mons – they took the statue of the so-called Haserot angel. We can start our trip around the most bizarre tombstones in Austria, for example, from where the lady in the booth above is also from. I don’t know what kind of lady she is and why she has such an incredible tombstone. But I wouldn’t want to meet him.

Photo: Afifa Afrin/Creative Commons Attribution – share alike 3.0

In Vienna’s central cemetery, Dorothea Neff has a famous neighbor. His tombstone does not frighten…

Dorothea Neff – blind actress, Righteous Among the Nations

The eventful life of a famous native of Munich Dorothy Neff culminated in 1986. The film and stage actress went blind in 1967, but continued to act until her death. She was a lesbian who didn’t hide it in the pre-war years, so it wasn’t a bed of roses. And she rightfully deserves the title Righteous Among the Nationsbecause she saved her Jewish friend Lilli Wolfe, whom she hid in her home for three years.

However, the tombstone that “decorates” her grave in Vienna’s central cemetery is more than terrifying. Death mask, set in stone, startles and provokes. In any case, it will attract the attention of absolutely everyone who passes by.


Photo: HeinzLW/Creative Commons Attribution – share alike 3.0

Dorothea Neff

Haserot’s angel – inspiration for the Weeping Angels of Mons

Cleveland Cemetery Lakeview it has almost one hundred thousand graves in the USA. There are presidents, celebrities, business and financial tycoons. But they all come here for one particular grave – a disturbing, very disturbing statue of an angel known as Haseroth’s angel. This unique tombstone also inspired the British creators of the series Doctor Who.

The unblinking Weeping Angels are foreshadowed in this very creepy artwork.


Photo: Erik Drost/Creative Commons Attribution – 2.0

Haseroth’s angel

A stoic angel, which is actually his name “Victorious Angel of Death”sits on the marble tombstone of a cannery entrepreneur Francis Haserot and his family. A life-size bronze figure holds upside down an extinguished torch, a symbol of extinguished life. It has spread wings and is looking straight ahead.

The most striking feature of the statue, however, is how the death guard looks like she’s shedding black tears that run down her eyes and down her throat. These “tears” have formed over time, an effect of the aging bronze combined with the impressive sculptural processing of the piece itself. That is why it is often referred to as Weeping Angel. No one misses him, and stories about how the angel disappears from his plinth at night and flies around the neighborhood are readily available.


Photo: Tim Evanson from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, USA/Creative Commons Attribution – 2.0

An angel in all his majesty

Inez Clarke – the girl behind the glass (or not)

We will stay in the USA again, this time at the cemetery Graceland in Chicago. There is a very disturbing monument known as Inez Clarke. It is a detailed sculpture of a little girl with a parasol sitting on a stone plinth. And in fact, it is not known to this day if the real Inez Clarke rests under the statue – according to some sources, she is under a tombstone with an inscription Inez Clarke 1873 – 1880 boy Amos Briggs buried.

The glass cover that protects the statue from all sides was somehow not there from the beginning and is not there to protect the statue of little Inez, as it would seem at first glance. He was assigned there additionally. To protect people FROM the stone girl. She was supposed to disappear, march around the cemetery, twirl her parasol, bounce between the graves.


Photo: Jason Walker Find Grave/Creative Commons Attribution -4.0

The restless stone Inez…under the hood

In the 1980s, tour bus drivers began to en masse request the cemetery administration to do something about “it”. To the question “with what?” the drivers collectively gave one and the same answer – “Because the girl is there for a while and not for a while.”

They always parked the bus, dropped off tourists for a day or night tour of the huge cemetery. And as they sat and waited, they had right in front of them the department with the statue of Inez. And simply – they started seeing her. Then not only drivers. So a glass cover was installed to keep the restless little girl on the tombstone. A restless dead stone girl. Be that as it may, the tombstone is indeed strange. There would certainly be other, more suitable designations.


Photo: Marlin Keesler/Creative Commons Attribution – 2.0

Crowds of people come to see Inez. She is so tiny and restless. Just a little dead and stony.

Eternal silence – do not look into his eyes!

Graceland Cemetery outside of Inez hosts another resident that is truly terrifying. Really. So much so that even the official documents of the US Department of Defense describe it with the words: “Horrifying, gloomy, gloomy and haunting.” We are talking about a three-meter (!) statue of a figure in a hood, which is called Eternal Silence (Eternal Silence) and which was made by the sculptor Lorad Taft.

Eternal silence “decorates” the grave Dexter Graves, who in 1831 led a group of thirteen families from Ohio to settle in Chicago. Graves died in 1844, 75 years before the statue was created and 16 years before Graceland Cemetery was established. His body was moved from its original resting place. And over the reburied Dexter was raised this madness.


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Eternal silence

Based on traditional depictions of the Deathly Hallows, the bronze figure stands on a black granite plinth, providing contrast to the already heavily oxidized statue. And of course, Eternal silence it is surrounded by many legends. If not, the work is truly diabolical. People are not supposed to look the character in the eyes, it is said that the viewer will see his own death. It was also said that the eyes of the statue, covered in a hood, cannot be photographed, various orbs and strange reflections float around the photos.

In 1968, one architect even came with a ready-made idea – he redrew and designed a skyscraper (!) in the form Eternal silence, which was supposed to literally decorate Chicago. It is clear that the very ministry that dealt with the plan threw this vision on his head. A three-meter-tall terrifying figure is enough, even if this one stood in the streets of Chicago at a height of maybe 300 meters. And on purpose, who Eternal silence does he look you in the eye?


Photo: Chicago,_Illinois_Eternal_Silence1.jpg: IvoShandor/Creative Commons Attribution – share alike 3.0

Who will look you in the eye?

Mario and Maria – siblings in life and in death

The following monument is very nice in its own way. Statues of two young and beautiful people smiling at each other. The successful sculpture certainly does not give the impression of some kind of spooky scene. And yet – it is a tombstone. Mario and Maria Grazia Mazzone they were siblings. They are buried in the cemetery of San Miniato and Monte ve Florencewhich became the favorite final resting place of wealthy Florentines who “pre-purchased” their places.

Behind the beautiful sculpture is a story that is tragic. The sculptures were ordered for her children by a grieving mother in 1947. The boy Mario was kidnapped by the Germans, tortured, tried twice to escape until the news came that he had been killed by a bomb. Mother Emma was left alone with Maria, who fell ill with tuberculosis due to war hardships and died at the end of 1945.


Photo: Elisa Marianini/Creative Commons Attribution – share alike 4.0

Sometimes smiles turn into grimaces. Supposedly.

Emma’s mother had her daughter buried. And her son’s body was lying somewhere in Germany. By some miracle, the torn corpse of Maria was found, identified and given to the surprised mother – it was more like a pile of what used to be her son. Emma took this as a sign and decided to bury the children again, together and differently. Maria was exhumed, Mario was added to her coffin, a mass funeral was held with a large public presence, and stunning and beautiful sculptures began to grow over the grave.

This tombstone deviates, it is unconventional, lovers have meetings near it, just as we say: “under the tail,” when we mean Wenceslas, the Florentines say: “at Maria and Mary’s.” But. There is always a but. The statues gently caress each other, hold hands, but sometimes their faces are supposed to completely change into incredibly evil expressions.

They are also said to rotate slightly many times. The Florentines consider this a bad omen. And one must not “climb” between them – between their bodies. Maybe you could get lost forever. It is true that this particular tombstone clearly claims to be an urban legend.


Photo: Clara Polo Sabat/Creative Commons Attribution – 4.0

Mario and Maria

Anička from the Malostranské cemetery and the bishop with the book of destiny

Of course, we can also find tombstones about which myths and rumors circulate in our country. Mainly two, which are linked to a legend repeated hundreds of times, but still beautiful. It’s about Anička Degenová, which has its tiny tombstone in the cemetery in Prague. This little girl was supposed to be an angel. A real angel who was sent to earth by mistake – in the body of a tiny girl.

It is said that from an early age, Anna was mainly interested in poor people, she gave away her food and toys to ragged children, birds flew to her, and not a single animal missed her. But the angel in our world had nothing to do – Anna accidentally fell out of the window. Her tombstone is still widely visited – it is said that it fulfills wishes.


Photo: Mojmír Churavý/Creative Commons, 4.0/international

Anička Degenová – an angel accidentally sent to earth

It is worse with the bishop of Thun-Hohenstein, whose strange tombstone opens the entrance to the Malostranský hřbitov. The sculpture is beautiful, elaborated in detail. Too much. The bishop is kneeling and reading a stone book. And what do the legends say – no one is allowed to look in the book. It is said to be a book of fate and the brave could read the date of his death in it.

The stone bishop also comes to life, his head moves, his clasped hands are sometimes loosely placed. And it already belongs to the urban folklore that a drunken girl was supposed to climb on the tombstone, who died of shock – the stone bishop was no longer stone. You can read more about these two rumors here:


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/free license

Bishop with the Book of Destiny

There are hundreds of thousands of bizarre tombstones, statues and sculptures. It is difficult to choose not only the scary ones, but also the pretty ones, or interesting ones in a way. See you next time. And when you’re in a cemetery and you see something that absolutely captivates you, try to find the legend associated with it. You will see that you will be surprised. Every grave has its myth, its legend, its reputation, sometimes even a ghostly one. Even the most ordinary. It has a legend about the people who rest in it.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Scary bizarre tombstones world cemeteries


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