Graveyards, Ghost Tours – Burial Sites
When I see cemeteries, I don’t hold my breath until I pass. The most famous Virginian graveyard is Arlington National Cemetery. I went there too but will tell you about it later in another article. Here’s some news about Alexandria’s Graveyards, Ghost Tours as a special Halloween treat.
Graveyards – Virginia Burial Sites
To me, it’s interesting to see how people remember their loved ones. Additionally, the churches, grave sites, and tombstones also teach me about local history and customs. I take the time to visit them to learn about the local history. You might ask, why visit graveyards when traveling? My reason for my visiting cemeteries is they teach me a lot about the past. My favorite sites are in the USA, UK, and Turkey.
Graveyard and Ghost Tour
Late in the day, I went with my daughter on the Graveyard and Ghost tour in Alexandria. We started our evening with a wine tasting and dinner at Sonoma Cellar. The restaurant is very west coast, a little pricey. We enjoyed our time relaxing and talking to our waiter. The service is excellent. Our waiter plays the sax on Wednesday nights. We heard he is pretty good, but, didn’t get to hear him play. There is a pretty little garden that has little white Christmas lights on the tree. So it’s feel kind of romantic. As a music venue, it is relaxed and intimate.
Graveyards – Virginia Burial Sites
Now on to our Graveyard and Ghost tour. Actually, our tour started before we finished dinner. From the restaurant window, we saw a man and woman in authentic colonial dress walking by us. It turns out they were our tour guides. The pictures below highlight the Graveyard and Ghost tour locations.
Alexandria Ghost Stories
The tour is different than we anticipated. Alexandria Colonial Tours should be called Alexandria Ghost Stories Tour. The tour is entertaining but when we went it was over 100 degrees at night. We don’t recommend going when it’s that hot.
Since the tour was more like story time, and because it was so hot we almost feel asleep. The guides tell mostly Alexandria haunted house stories, so if you like that – it will be fun.
Finally, At our last stop on the tour, at the “new” Presbyterian Cemetery. We visited a very old cemetery and the tour got interesting. We thought the Presbyterian Cemetery graveyard is the most interesting part of the tour.
Finally, at our last stop on the tour, at the “new” Presbyterian Cemetery. We visited a very old cemetery and the tour got interesting. The Presbyterian Cemetery graveyard is the most interesting part of the tour because it focused on the history of a graveyard.
We learned that in 1804, Alexandria’s Common Council stopped burials within the city limits of Alexandria at the Presbyterian Meeting House and Burial site. So, in 1809 a “new” Presbyterian Cemetery was established. It is on Hamilton Lane, about a mile west of the Meeting House. Today, the new site is known as the Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium.
Alexandria Colonial Tours
To see a review of Alexandria Colonial Tours, check out the information located on www.alexcolonialtours.com For times, check the website for tour times and cost.
For me, the highlight of the tour is the Revolutionary War Unknown Soldier Tomb. When the graveyard at Saint Mary’s Church was excavated, they found a body of a soldier in full military dress. They decided to move his body. His remains are now at “new” Presbyterian Meeting House. The cemetery has over 300 bodies buried on this tiny spot. It’s only 20′ x 20′. However, there are only a dozen tombstones. Where did they put all the bodies?
We walked down the street that once lined the 3rd largest colonial port in America. The street still has a view of the harbor. However, the most interesting part of the tour is how dark the streets are. Think about it, darkness is what stands out in my mind – not anything I actually saw or heard.
By the way, if you take the tour, expect to walk a bit. Wear comfortable shoes, and don’t forget to bring your night vision because the streets are very dark.
Some of the Sites
Best 5 Local Alexandria Grave Sites
Historic Churches – Grave sites and a brief history of Alexandria Historical Grave sites
- Old Presbyterian Meeting House: www.opmh.org
- Episcopal Church, Christ Church: www.historicchristchurch.org
- Ivy Hill Cemetery: www.ivyhill.org
- Alexandria National Cemetery, VA: www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/alexandriava.asp
- Freeman’s and Freed People Cemetery – www.freedmenscemetery.org/history/
- First Catholic Cemetery across from Freeman’s and Freed People Cemetery
More Historical Graveyards – Virginia Burial Sites
- Black Baptist Cemetery (African American Heritage Park)
- Bloxham Family Cemetery
- Cross Plantation Family Cemetery
- Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery
- Fort Ward Park, African American Burials
- Preston Plantation Family Cemetery
- Quaker Burying Ground
- West Family Cemetery
Alexandria at night is very dark
In colonial times, the road must have been really, really, dark. The night we were there, it was so dark it was very spooky.
Tip and Trick – Enjoy the time and ask before you do any charcoal rubbings.
Some locations do not allow taking prints; the church or cemeteries may consider making a rubbing of the tombstone disrespectful.
Ask before you do it.
I hope you enjoyed the Graveyards – Virginia Burial Sites
Happy Halloween – and Rest in Peace.
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