Since starting my blog, my cemetery visits have increased. Thus, while the memories are still fresh, I want to gather my past visits and document them. Though, I’ll be returning to each site. I can never visit a cemetery just once, there are too many stories.
Harrison Cemetery (West Lafayette)
Located behind William Henry Harrison High School in West Lafayette, this cemetery is supposedly haunted. The Purdue student newspaper, The Exponent, describes these incidents:
Harrison Cemetery, also known as St. Joseph Cemetery or Lafayette Catholic Cemetery, is the second of Lafayette’s haunted locations. This site has been notorious for ghostly experiences. Some visitors say they feel like they’re being followed or watched whenever they go to pay their respects. Gravestones have also been said to move around the cemetery, appearing in different spots from time to time. Shadows can be seen stalking through the site and distant voices are occasionally heard. Most disturbing at Harrison Cemetery is the personal and strangely violent nature of the residing ghosts. Visitors have had things thrown at them while in the cemetery, and some have even felt the touch of hands.
My visit to the cemetery was quiet and I did not experience thrown objects or ghostly touches. My next experience may be a different story.
Greenbush Cemetery (Lafayette)
A fence separates this cemetery from the bustle of Lafayette. I am always surprised how city sounds disappear when you walk through cemetery gates.
The cemetery has beautiful Victorian design, but you can see the damage of years of neglect. Luckily, it has been the focus of restoration with the hopes of returning it to it’s once park-like state. In the future, I look forward to sitting for hours on a Greenbush Cemetery bench, writing in my notebook.
Notably, Greenbush Cemetery is home to 38 confederate prisoners of war and 22 Union soldiers killed in a train wreck.
Jewish Cemetery of Greater Lafayette (Lafayette)
What attracted me to this cemetery was the amount of foliage and shade. Also, it’s rich history:
Established in 1840, the Jewish Cemetery is 4 acres containing burials from the two Jewish Synagogues in Lafayette. The north part of the cemetery contains burials from the Temple Israel congregation and the south part holds graves from the Sons of Abraham congregation.
Although my time there was short, I am inspired to learn more about this space and the people buried here. Sometimes cemeteries can give feelings of fear or discomfort, but this cemetery’s wooded landscape creates a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.
McCormick Cemetery (West Lafayette)
My most recent cemetery excursion was McCormick Cemetery, located near the president’s house at Purdue University. I walked my dog miles to reach it, not knowing where it was (thank goodness for the Find A Grave app). I drove past it for years, but missed it because it is tucked back near the forest.
Among the old graves was a newer memorial for a past president of Purdue University: Arthur Hansen (1971-82). Notably, he was a Purdue alumnus when hired and he supported the establishment of the Black Cultural Center.
Many of the other grave markers were hard to read, but the designs were very interesting.