When someone close to you dies, it's a very personal decision how to deal with their remains, and different people approach it in different ways. But few of us are as creative as the people behind these little-known burial sites.
Check out some 100% real tombs, graves and fortresses that were left behind by loved ones. They're sweet, sad, beautiful... and a little bit creepy.
Florence Irene Ford died at the age of 10 in 1871. Her mother was so filled with sadness that she had her child's coffin and tomb constructed with a glass window at the head. And next to the burial site she had cement stairs built that lead to the window, covered by a metal door. This way the mother could visit her child whenever she wanted. It's said she went there during every storm, because her daughter was scared of thunder. In 1950, the glass wall was covered up with concrete to protect it from vandalism.
Image via the Natchez Cemetery.
The Mercedes Grave
That is a 1982 Mercedes Benz 240 Diesel Limousine tomb. Ray Jr.'s dream in life was owning a Benz, sadly he died aged 15, in 1981. But his wealthy big brother commissioned a 26-ton granite full-sized Benz sculpture for his memorial. Very touching and sad, this stone car is located in Linden, New Jersey.
Image via Flickr user jag9889.
Parking Lot Memorial
Mary Ellis born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1750. She died alone, in 1828, and was buried in the woods — which is now a parking lot. Legend has it she was seduced by a sea captain who promised to return someday and marry her. This location was said to be the very spot she would stand and wait for his ship to return down the Raritan River. That never happened, but there she remains, seven feet above the parking lot that was recently regraded.
Image via Lansey Brothers Blog.
Buried Sitting Up
Ruphus E. Case wanted to be buried in his rocking chair facing his home state of Louisiana. His grave is three tiers, because one of his children died before him. When he finally passed, they entombed him sitting next to his child's coffin, in his rocking chair, facing his home.
Image via Ghostinmysuitcase.
In the Tana Toraja land on an island in Indonesia the youngest deaths in the local community are placed in a special burial tree. The "baby trees" are the final resting places for infants. If the child dies before it has started teething, the mother will wrap a baby in a cloth and make a hole in the tree. The baby is placed in the tree, and then sealed off. As the tree heals it's believed that the baby is absorbed by the tree. It's actually quite beautiful.
The Davis Memorial
This monument to Sarah Milburn was built by a questionably grief stricken widower John Milburn in 1930. After she died, he set out to blow every last penny he had on a memorial, erecting life-like statues, and having overstuffed stone chairs from marble flown in from Italy. Meanwhile the Great Depression was happening, and needless to say the townsfolk were pissed about this extravagant spending. There are a lot of contradictory reports as to whether John Milburn was spending his money due to grief, or because he didn't want Sarah's family to inherit their wealth. Either way, John did silently donate plenty of his funds to the poor, and brought in a lot of money for the city in the end, by unknowingly building a large tourist attraction.
Image via Detour Art Travels.
We've covered Jonathan Reed and his wife's Brooklyn tomb before, but it totally deserves a spot on this list. When Jonathan's wife Mary passed on, he was completely distraught and proceeded to move into the vault that contained his wife. Adding an empty casket (for himself in the future) Jonathan added furniture, a wood stove, paintings and more. About 7,000 people stopped by to visit Jonathan in his first year in the tomb. Where he was seen often speaking to Mary.
This particular grave site is remarkable, because of the story surrounding it. In 1816 in Alexandria, Virginia a young couple came into Gadsby's Tavern. The woman was ill, and the townsfolk suspected she had Typhoid fever. As the woman's health spiraled down the husband asked for the confidence of the town doctor and the the Tavern staff. He revealed their true identities, and then had everyone swear never to reveal who he and his wife were. The young lady died and the townsfolk took her identity to their graves. All that stands in her memory is an expensive table top headstone that identifies her as Female Stranger:
To the Memory of a
whose mortal sufferings terminated
on the 14th day of October 1816
Aged 23 years and 8 months.
This stone is placed here by her disconsolate
Husband in whose arms she sighed out her
latest breath and who under God
did his utmost even to soothe the cold
dead ear of death.
How loved how valued once avails thee not
To whom related or by whom begot
A heap of dust alone remains of thee
Tis all thou art and all the proud shall be
To him gave all the Prophets witness that
through his name whosoever believeth in
him shall receive remission of sins.
Acts.10th Chap.43rd verse
Victim of the Beast 666
Lily Edith Gray's grave of Ontario, Canada had many folks wondering what happened to this poor soul and what exactly was the beast. The closest the internet has come to deciphering this meaning is that it probably came from the troubled mind of her husband Elmer Lewis Gray, as he likely ordered the stone and was rumored to be a bit "off" at times. That or we all owe her our lives, because she stopped the coming apocalypse.
Image via findagrave.