City Of Miami Cemetery

Posted by blogger in Miami Ghost Tours
City Of Miami Cemetery - Photo

Cemeteries as a whole have always been bound to the ethereal and otherworldly. Their very designs and many of their customs and idiosyncrasies are directly linked to the supernatural. They are havens and cabinets of curiosity for superstitions and bizarre rituals, most meant to keep the forces of darkness at bay or at least preoccupied.

Quick Facts on Haunted Cemeteries like the City of Miami Cemetery:

  • Most cemetery gates weren’t originally conceived to keep people and grave robbers out. They were crafted to keep the things that go bump in the night trapped inside.
  • Headstones were created to keep the dead from rising. A common belief across most religions is that when the end of days comes a-callin’, the dead will rise. Europeans believed this to be a fact, so they placed large stones over the deceased’s head just in case the zombie decided to start roaming a bit ahead of schedule. Other civilizations were a bit more straightforward and practical. They cut off the feet of their recently deceased.
  • Most cemeteries are plotted with the dead facing east. That’s because when God decides to call it quits on his creation and bring about the Apocalypse, the clarion call for the zombie awakening – according to beliefs – will come from the East.
  • Pallbearers were required to wear white gloves in Victorian Times because some were afraid of ghosts and restless spirits. He believed that the soul or essence of the dead had the capacity to infect the living and possess them.

Now, let’s dive right in and talk shop about the City of Miami Cemetery.


The History of Miami City Cemetery


Located at 1800 Northeast 2nd Avenue, this National Register of Historic Places holder has a rather bizarre chronology. The first recorded funeral was of a white man named Graham Branscomb, a 24-year-old Englishman who perished of consumption in 1897. However, it should be noted that way before Graham bit the big one and was buried on the spot, the land was already being used as a gravesite by the hundred or so African-American and black Bahamians that conformed the unincorporated Miami population. Sadly, there are no records of who they are.

One of the most distinctive qualities of the cemetery is that it is one of the few of its kind where the owners of the plot hold a deed to the land where the plot is situated. The only way someone can get buried is if they either have a deed or can prove a familial relationship. As such, it is an upper-crust cemetery whose inhabitants – past, present, and future – are basically a who’s who of Miami history. The headstones and mausoleums embellish this fact and try to highlight the pedigree of its inhabitants.


The Hauntings of The City Of Miami Cemetery


The City of Miami Cemetery is a madhouse of hauntings. There are many ghosts in this place, and that’s only some of the otherworldly mayhem that’s crawling around.

  • Julia Tuttle Was an American businesswoman who owned the property on which Miami was built. That’s why she’s referred to as the “Mother Of Miami”. Ever since she died in 1898, many people who have visited her memorial marker at the cemetery swear that they can feel the presence of another person, someone watching over them. Her spirit has been spotted various times by vandals and thrill-seekers breaking into the cemetery at night.
  • Carrie Barret Miller: By far, it is the strangest grave on the site. When Carrie died, her husband bought an altar, placed her body over it, and then just poured concrete over her corpse. No six-feet under, no casket, he just went and sealed her up in a bivouac cement sculpture for all the world to see. Her tombstone reads: “The body of Carrie Barret Miller was molded in this solid block of concrete. December 4th, 1926. Her sleeping form will remain after the body has gone to dust.” With that epithet, is it any wonder that people swear that every so often, they hear scratching sounds coming from inside?
  • The Military Section: 125 historical landmarks believed to have a “spiritual” Je ne sais quoi. At night, the custodians like to turn a blind eye to this section of the cemetery.

“You have Confederates, Union soldiers, and even veterans from World War I buried in that place. There’s something creepy. You sort of feel a deep emotional violence in the air. The former security guard loved to talk about the ghosts of this place, but whenever we got to the military section he would just button the hell up. ‘Never go there after dark,’ that’s all he’d say.”

  • Grave robbers: “Please, stop entering the crypt,” is just one of many notes found on one of the many graves in the cemetery. Grave robbers are one of the main concerns troubling the staff of the joint. Most come at night, desecrating the tombs and running off with bones and valuables. There’s a black market trade for body parts and skeletons; the loftier and more important the body it comes from, the steeper the price they can get. Most of the body parts are used for black magic rituals.

“Miami is a melting pot of thousands of religions and cultures. Santeria, voodoo, and other practices are just a way of life in this place. Most are law-abiding citizens and, in many cases, white or light practitioners, but there is also a dark breed that calls Miami their home. We normally see them in cemeteries and holy sanctified ground, trying to scare up something and cause a little havoc. They leave a stain in the aura of the place and disturb the dead. Whenever we get a ransacked grave, we just know that night and subsequent nights are going to be creepy and strange.”

For more check out our Ghost Tours of the Miami area and other hauntings of Miami.