© 2004 Bobette Bryan
Did you know that it's illegal to
operate a cemetery in San Francisco? In fact, it
has been illegal since 1902, a law put into affect by
the City and County
Board of Supervisors due to public health concerns,
crime, and limited space. Laurel Hill and
Calvary Cemetery, the largest cemeteries in the city
were ordered to move their eternal residents to another
location. A long fight resulted, but in 1942, the
last bodies were removed from the Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Today two old cemeteries remain in the city, The
San Francisco National Cemetery and The Mission
Dolores Cemetery, but neither are looking for new
Then what does San Francisco do with their dead? Thanks to
Roman Catholic Archbishop, Patrick Riordan,
a movement was started to give these residents a new
resting place in Colma five miles to the south of the city. Riordan
personally blessed what was a potato field as a new home for
the dead. Thousands of graves were exhumed and moved to vaults beneath a mound in what was to become known as Cypress Lawn Cemetery. A stone obelisk in the image of Father Time was put over this mound and near the base is inscribed
the story of Laurel Hill Cemetery. Colma has since
become a virtual city of the dead...a place where the the living are sorely outnumbered.
It may not be a good place to take a midnight stroll.
Do you have some comments or some personal experiences to add about this article? If so, write to Underworld Tales and share it with others. We will not use your real name.
Horror Stories | Dark Poetry | Articles | Ghost Stories
Classic Horror | New | About | Home
This page and its contents