Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hooded Grave Cemetery Pennsylvania

So what do vampires, werewolves, grave robbers and the wealthy all have in common? No, this isn't a joke. They're all part of the mystery of the Hooded Grave Cemetery. Two of the gravestones in this rural resting place are encaged in what resemble large Victorian era birdcages. But why you may ask?

That's a question that holds much speculation. A few believe those buried in these graves may be vampires. Originally the cages had locks on them, leading to the assumption they weren't trying to keep people out but to keep the dead from escaping. Some believe these cages were installed to keep out werewolves. A few of the locals believed they were in the area, killing their livestock. They thought by caging the graves they would keep the wolves from desecrating the deceased bodies.

Most believe that the cages were built as a show of wealth. The cages are quite elaborately designed and quite ornate. The family members of the deceased in these caged graves were active in the iron ore business, a very lucrative business during the 19th century. But the most logical reason these cages exist is to keep out grave robbers. During the mid 19th century young corpses were in high demand. The city of Philadelphia at this time was the epicenter of medical science and studies. With well over 1,000 medical students a good corpse was often difficult to find. It became nearly a rite of passage for young medical students to rob graves of their corpses.

So what's the truth? I'll leave that up to you to speculate on, or you could read more in volume 20 of Outta the Way. Whatever your conclusion, you can be sure author Anne Rice would be greatly inspired by these mysterious graves from a past century!

Video of Hooded Grave Cemetery, click here!

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