Monday, February 19, 2018

Incident at a Mausoleum: A True Story

On my honor, this is a true story.

Some years ago, my wife, sons, and I were visiting friends for the day. Going out into their backyard for a breath of fresh air, I noticed a cemetery just a block away on top of a hill. What struck my curiosity was the sight of a lone mausoleum sunk into the hillside.

Family name deliberately blurred out of respect and consideration
Fascinated by this solitary resting place separated from the other graves, I walked over to explore. Aside from a name on the padlocked iron sheet that formed the door, there were no distinguishing characteristics, not even a date of birth and death.

There were ventilation holes in the rusted door and curious, I peered inside to see if anything was visible.

Nothing could be seen but a dark interior. However, you can imagine my stunned surprise when from within the tomb, I heard the distinct sound of movement.

I jumped back and immediately scolded myself soundly for my overactive imagination. Carefully, I leaned toward the ventilation holes and once again, the unmistakable sound of movement came from behind the door, a sound like grave clothes brushing against stone.

My overactive imagination took full sway. Though I don't believe in ghosts, for one fleeting moment I entertained the possibility. I even considered that somebody may have been imprisoned within the mausoleum and left to die and I was hearing their desperate attempts to communicate.

Running back to my friends' house, I strode into the kitchen were they and my wife sat at the dinner table talking.

"That mausoleum over in the cemetery?" I began in haste. "The one you can see from your backyard?"

Oh, yes," my friend's wife said. "I've told my children to avoid it. It's completely full of snakes."

"Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?"
Addendum: I found myself back at the cemetery today to officiate at the interment of a very dear individual and when I saw the mausoleum, the memory of my encounter came back in a rush. I took some quick pictures and decided to share them on my blog.

I was able to research the mausoleum. It contains the remains of only one individual who was interred in October 1922.

If any of my closest friends and neighbors recognize the site, please, out of respect and consideration for the family, do not mention its location or the name of the deceased in the comment section of this blog.


  1. Really cool of you to share the story story, but I'm sorry for your loss.

    1. The parishioner over whose funeral I officiated was a true Renaissance man and if a normal man could have achieved just one third of the achievements of my congregant, he would have considered himself fully blessed. Unfortunately, my parishioner at the end of his life was crippled by dementia and his passing was a blessing.

  2. I'm sorry you lost someone.

    And that story! I would have been less worried by ghosts.