Strange & Unusual Spotlight
The Vampire’s Crypt
Nestled in a lush green cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania, lies an unmarked tomb on the side of the road. There is no family name, no marker, nothing to signify who or what rests within. But according to local legend, the looming crypt, isn’t home to any mortal, but rather, a vampire.
Founded in 1851, Erie Cemetery has its fair share of unique and beautiful mausoleums covered in sacred occult symbols, but it is the nameless blackened vault with an ornate V over the door that has captured the imaginations of locals, paranormal enthusiasts, and those simply curious about the Vampire’s Crypt.
Some say the tomb belonged to a wealthy Romanian businessman, but after he was interned, dead bodies were found in the surrounding neighborhoods, drained of their blood with bite marks on their necks. Wealthy Romanian businessman? Looks like Count Dracula decided to settle in Pennsylvania after that whole Jonathon and Mina Harker affair.
There are dozens of legends and stories surrounding the vault. Some have to do with Satanic rituals summoning the devil which explains why this particular mausoleum is blackened. Other stories warn of trespassing in the crypt with claims of curses and death for anyone who shows disrespect to the vault and what lies within.
If you’re brave enough (or just curious), the Vampire’s Crypt is easy enough to find. When you enter the cemetery at the Chestnut Street gate, follow the road up a small hill to Section 19. If you follow the signs, the road will take you to the right, up, and around a bend, and the crypt will be in your left side. However, if you do what I did, and get overly excited when you see the crypt in the distance and you completely ignore the DO NOT ENTER sign and go up the road the wrong way, it will be on your right.
You won’t find the Vampire’s Crypt featured on the cemetery’s official website. However, there are plenty of spooky sites retelling the tale of the mausoleum and the legends that surround it. If nothing else, a (respectful) walk through the cemetery can offer a peaceful afternoon as the autumn leaves crunch beneath your feet.
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