Bill Standley, 82, was an Ohio man who really loved riding his Harley. The biker was buried in a giant Plexiglas and wooden box where his body rested astride a 1967 Harley Davidson. Standley’s sons constructed the unusual coffin for him.
Children’s graves are always melancholy places since they died young, but these graves in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis featuring stone sculptures of children in cribs are particularly heartbreaking.
J.W.C van Gorcum was a Protestant and his wife, J.C.P.H van Aefferden, was a Catholic, so they were not allowed to be buried together in the same part of their cemetery. Instead, they were buried on opposite sides of a wall and their graves are connected by a custom headstone featuring two clasped hands of stone.
In the Recoleta Cemetery in Argentina, a man is buried in his family mausoleum with a statue of him sitting on a chair. When his wife died years later, she requested her statue face in the opposite direction to represent their marriage: the two had not spoken in 30 years before his death.
Rosalia Lombardo died of pneumonia in 1920 at the age of two. Her Sicilian father had her body mummified and sealed behind glass in a coffin rich with nitrogen gas to create the permanent look of her having just fallen asleep.
Fernand Arbelot was a musician and actor who died in 1990 and was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris. He wished to gaze at the face of his wife for eternity, which is what his unusual headstone depicts.
Matthew Stanford Robison was confined to a wheelchair for most of his young life. His grave at Salt Lake City Cemetery has a statue of him jumping out of his wheelchair and overcoming his earthly burdens.
Elisabeth Demidoff, a princess of Russian nobility, had a loveless marriage and died as a slightly unhinged but very wealthy woman. In her will, she left millions to anyone who could stay in her mausoleum for a week without going completely bonkers. Many have tried, but they all failed and the fortune remains unclaimed. Where do I sign up?
Georges Rodenbach was a 19th century Belgian writer who wrote a story about a man mourning his dead wife. His tomb in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery features a bronze statue of himself emerging from the tomb with a rose in his hand.
When Thomas Chase was laid to rest in the family crypt in 1813 in Barbados, the grave diggers were shocked to find the coffins had moved around in the sealed tomb. In 1816 after the death of young family member, the sealed tomb was opened and again the coffins had been tossed about.
The governor of Barbados had sand placed on the floor to catch the footprints of the culprits and had the tomb sealed, but years later it was opened and the coffins had moved again and no footprints were found. The governor had the coffins removed and the crypt remains abandoned to this day.
Read more about The Moving Coffins of Barbados.
There are cages over most of the graves in the Logierait Parish Church in Scotland. The Victorian-era church folk were not afraid of a possible zombie apocalypse. Instead, the cages were placed over the tombs to deter grave robbers.
The Floral Hill Cemetery in Illinois is where you can find this grave with a pool table.
When Florence Irene Ford died at the age of 10 in 1871, her mother was so grief stricken that she had a glass window constructed at the head of the coffin and stairs that lead down to the crypt. The mother visited her daughter all the time, especially during thunderstorms because the girl was afraid of thunder. In 1950, the glass wall was covered with cement to protect it from vandals.
A boy named Ray Jr. had a dream of owning a Mercedes Benz, but he died in 1981 at the age of 15. His wealthy older brother commissioned a 26-ton granite sculpture of a full-sized 1982 Mercedes Benz 240 diesel limousine. The Mercedes tomb is located in Linden, New Jersey.
Inez Clarke was a six-year-old girl struck and killed by a bolt of lightning in 1880. On her grave is a life-sized sculpture of Clarke holding a parasol and a flower. The artwork is encased in a large Perspex box. Children who have visited the cemetery sometimes report playing with a little girl in “old-fashioned clothes.”
The Mary Ellis grave is an 1828 gravestone located in the parking lot of a former Loew’s movie theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It remains about seven feet above the rest of the parking lot. According to oral tradition, Ellis was a spinster who returned every day to this location to look for the boat in the Raritan River of the sailor who promised to marry her. He never returned because he loved the sea more.
Rufus E. Case is buried in his family crypt sitting upright in a rocking chair and seated next to his child’s coffin. Per his request, he is facing his home state of Louisiana.
In the Tana Toraja land on an island in Indonesia, babies in the community are placed in a special burial tree. If the child dies before it has started teething, the mother will wrap a baby in a cloth and seal it off in the tree. The people believe that the baby is absorbed by the tree as it heals.
When Sarah Milburn Davis died, her husband, John, was so grief stricken that he spent every penny he had on an extravagant grave featuring statues and marble stone chairs flown over from Italy. This all happened during the Great Depression, so the over-the-top grave understandably upset the locals. The Davis Memorial has become a tourist attraction in Hiawatha, Kansas.