Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hauntings at Lakeview Cemetary: Cleveland pt. 1. Garfield Monument

Recently I had the pleasure of walking through Cleveland Ohio's historic Lakeview Cemetery. Final resting place of famous Ohio sons like Elliot Ness and JD Rockefeller, it is also the location of President Garfield's memorial chapel and mausoleum. Not only is this monument an outstanding example of fine architecture and religious artwork, you can visit Garfield and his family under a gold dome. You may be taken aback when you first see the flag-covered coffin of Garfield, lying there next to his wife and the ashes of other family members, but the wrought iron gates that surround him give you a sense of the importance of this quiet and perhaps forgotten President.

It may be no surprise that President Garfield is said to haunt this location and show himself to visitors. He was assassinated, giving him that extra reason for coming back to a perhaps unresolved life. He is also said to have been very interested in the paranormal during his life, and often spoke of communicating with his deceased father via seances.

According to Cleveland writer Nathan Paige:

"Garfield, who would partake in seances to communicate with his dead father while in office, was said to have predicted his own death. Shot by an insane man in July 1881, only four months after having been sworn in, Garfield was even reported to have identified the killer and the method of murder beforehand.

More puzzling to doctors was the fact that Garfield lingered for 2 1/2 months before dying from the gunshot wound. Some say that Garfield's spirit had already left the body and had started wandering.

It has been reported that the wandering continues even today. Some stories may seem far-fetched, like the one where the ghost of Garfield partakes in a game of chess with John Rockefeller, moving tombstones like pieces on a chess board in the darkest hours of the night. (According to experts who have investigated the "Matter of Moving Tombstones at Lake View," this explanation has been determined to be the least plausible.)

Other stories, however, have been proven to be true. In 1979, it was reported that a man, identifying himself as Garfield, called the fire department to inquire about a fire on the grounds that had yet to occur. When a fireman mockingly scoffed at the inquiry, "Garfield" then said: "But I did not say that the fire had already happened--it is going to happen." Ten days later the maintenance roof caught fire at Lake View.

That day, visitors to Garfield's monument reported seeing a "brilliant force" streaming through the air. It was accompanied by two male voices, laughing."

No matter if you believe in the life after, the Garfield Monument and the Lakeview Cemetery are definitely worth seeing if you are in the area. Stay tuned for more ghost stories from this breathtaking location.

Click here to see Nathan Paiges original blogpost.


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