The Church with a Cemetery in the Basement

Welcome to Center Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut, where people are dying to get in… or at least, they died and THEN got in.  Let’s not give the church a big head, okay?

The odd tale of this offbeat church began in the early 1800s when the town decided they needed a new meeting house and that meeting house would be built on top of an old cemetery.   Rather that becoming the start of a horror movie, town officials actually took care not to disturb the resting places of the deceased pioneers, some of which had been laid to rest as early as the 1600’s.   The builders created an enclosure around the tombstones and then erected the building on top of them.

Although this sound altruistic, the fact is that only the graves in the building’s footprint received this special treatment.   Elsewhere on the grounds, the stones were removed, but the graves remained.  It’s estimated that Center Church on the Green sits on and around thousands of remains.

The crypt, as it’s called, is open to tours and houses such historical figures as Margaret Arnold, the wife of American traitor, Benedict Arnold, and James Pierpont, the founder of Yale University.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.