There are few jobs we can think of with more creep potential than working with or around the dead.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the setting itself is usually pretty scare-friendly when you think about it. The quiet alone is enough to get minds playing tricks on you.
But are they just mind tricks? Or is something else happening?
Reddit user wildeyephenix asked:
From the responses, about half of the people seem convinced there's nothing to fear from the dead. The other half couldn't get out of there fast enough.
We won't pretend to have any real answers, we're just here to relay the information. It's up to you to decide what you believe based on these folks' experiences.
Surrounded By Bodies
My dad purchased a cemetery when I was in middle school, and I worked for him through high school graduation. I did yard work; mowing, weed eating, flower beds, ect. Aside from the occasional shadows seen out of the corner of my eye, seeing people who turned out to not be there, and hearing strange sounds, the cemetery was actually a quite peaceful place.
The strangest is when you have a burial in the crypts. Basically, you dig down about 4 or 5 feet to expose giant cement doors. You pull the cement doors off and drop down into a little room. These rooms can fit 2 coffins, OR years and years and years worth of cremated remains. So back in the 50s and 60s, families would buy one crypt and the entire fam would be cremated and put in it. Some just put the cremated remains in it and close her up, but others light candles and leave flowers and souvenirs and pictures and whatnot.
Its freaking creepy opening up one of those bad boys after 50 years and finding melted candles and old pictures of the people inside. Plus when you hop down in there you have a weird realization that you are at the same level and completely surrounded by bodies...
I used to do some odd jobs at the 12th century graveyard in my hometown.
12th century, as in the church and its surrounding graveyard had been in continuous use for at least that long. When you keep burying bodies in the same small patch of ground for that many centuries, eventually the soil has been turned over dozens of times and consists mainly of bone fragments.
You can't even plant flowers there without accidentally uncovering some teeth or finger bones or something, it's nothing but fragmented skeletons all the way down under the thin turf. The "soil" sort of resembles seaside shellsand, except on closer examination all the light-colored bits are bone fragments rather than crushed seashells.
Not really scary or unexpected, just a bit eerie until you get used to it. You learn to treat anything recognizable as human remains with respect, and just tuck it away out of sight under the plant or whatever else you were putting there.
I was a tombstone caretaker for a cemetery in rural Georgia. It was an easy summertime job for a 16 year old; nothing crazy, just cleaning off the grime of the elements on tombstones etc.
Now to just put a setting, the cemetery included one building that housed bathrooms for the 5 "staff members." Then there was a small simple mausoleum and other than that, flat earth with tombstones EVERYWHERE. The only surroundings were dense forests in the Georgia country.
Because of the eerie surroundings, I was always a bit paranoid. Plus I watch a lot of scary movies and so on. I know, bad combo.
So one night I was doing my rounds, and I had to go into the small mausoleum. We had some of the richer families in the areas entombed within and I had to go in to make sure all was neat and clean. Standards had to be upheld for these uppity folks.
So I approached and right off the bat something was off. The air was pretty damn cold during the summer in Georgia; that was odd. There was a light coming from the mausoleum and as I approached, I heard voices and laughter. Laughter from a child, a little girl.
I thought it was simply younger folks playing around, maybe? But I hadn't seen anyone enter or leave the cemetery, and the laughter sounded very young. As I got closer, the voices and laughter died - like almost instantly.
I pause. The light I saw had gone out.
I called the lone security officer, cause I'm not gonna go in alone. We will call him Officer Friendly. When Officer Friendly arrives we both go inside. We see one of the doors to the entombed remains of a young girl open. Nothing was disturbed within, but the door was open and a doll lay on the stone beneath it.
Me and officer friendly do a small sweep. We close the door to the girls entombment, and we both leave. As we walk away we get about 30 feet from the mausoleum and then all of a sudden - boom - the voices and laughter are back again.
I jump and officer friendly looks to me, looking pretty shaken, says to me "You hear it too?"
We look back and, sure enough the lights are back and the laughter is continuing. We don't go back. We just book it and run away. I found out the next morning that the door was open again. This time the doll was on the other side of the mausoleum from where we found it the night before.
I resigned the next day. I'm good lol
She Needed To Get Back
When I was in college I worked part time at a Jewish Cemetery in reception/office management. The cemetery was closed from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening for Sabbath. We sometimes stayed a bit later in the office on Friday afternoons to get bills out or checks processed.
One Friday we heard a loud commotion by the cemetery entrance, which was locked and only staff could get in and out. The office manager went to see what was going on and made me come with her. We went down to the gate to find an older woman (probably around 70) dressed to the 9's begging us to let her in. She kept saying she needed to get back.
This was in the suburbs of NJ so you needed a car to get around but we didn't see a car or anything, she was just there in this beautiful dress. We couldn't open the gate without the Cemetery Manager, so we went to go get him. We brought him back to the gate and no one was there.
We looked at video footage of the entrance and you could see us (the office manager and me) talking but there was no one on the other side of the gate. The cemetery manager thought we were trying to trick him. I swear to this day we saw a woman in a fancy dress outside that gate.
There were multiple cameras and not a single one picked up anyone on the other side of the gate and you could see the whole gate. All you could see was us talking. I don't know if it was a ghost or what. The office manager and I decided not to tell anyone else, but we would mention it to each other every once in a while.
Former funeral director for my families business here. One of our workers cleaned up after everyone had left from a visitation/viewing/wake. It was about 9pm or later and he saw one last guest walking around in the visitation room. He went to help escort the gentleman out but when he walked into the room no one was in there.
When he came back and told us the story he described the visitor. His description sounded familiar so we showed him some old pictures. He identified the man he saw in a photo we had at the funeral home; it was my grandfather who had recently passed.
A Different Kind Of Horrific
I work at a graveyard, and I just have one thing to say. Plastic.
Here in Norway graves are protected by law for 20 years, but after that the spots can be "reused". Usually a grave is fine to reopen after 20 years - the body is supposed to be decomposed and pretty much gone. Now back to plastic:
Between the 50s and 80s it was common here to be buried in plastic, to minimize "smell and leakage". I'm sure they thought it was a good idea back then, but once we started reusing graves in Norway we realized it is a curse. A lot of bodies are wrapped in plastic, and I've myself been part of what was supposed to be a burial at a reused site. The body was about 50 or 60 years old, and should be basically gone, but nope it was not. The plastic wrap it was covered by kept the body from decomposing, and it's basically just been marinated it its own juices for 50/60 years. The smell was awful, the sight was even worse.
I'm sure this is not the kind of story you wanted, but it's honestly the most horrific and bizarre thing I've ever been part of.
Screaming All Around You
It's not quite the same, but I had an uncle who tried "working" (as in selling and doing drugs) the graveyards between 10pm and 4am. He only lasted a few nights in that area then never went back.
What was it that scared him so badly that he felt his soul rattle in his bones, as his blood froze cold????
Prairie dogs.... Stupid little prairie dogs....
What's so frightening about simple ground squirrels you might ask? Those cute little fuzz balls that scavenge whatever they can... Well, apparently they like to randomly come out their holes in the middle of the night - and scream. If you've never heard a prairie dog scream, you should know it's high pitched and terrible.
Creepy, but that doesn't sound too bad, right? Imagine being surrounded by dozens of little rodents you can't see, in the pitch black of night, surrounded by the dead, tweaked out of your mind, paranoid as hell, and then suddenly hearing Hellish blood curdling screaming all around you.....
His little group scattered like roaches, and I think someone fell into a ditch, but he was convinced it was an empty grave. He never did that again.
I worked for a county cemetery department years ago. We would go to all the cemeteries in the county and mow or just do basic upkeep. Occasionally people (mainly farmers) would stumble upon some headstones in a field or a stand of trees and we would come out and prod the ground with dowel rods to find more headstones and reestablish the cemetery.
Shortly after I started working there we got a tip about some headstones a farmer found while clearing out a path through some trees for easier access to his field. It turned out to be the oldest cemetery in the county, dating back to the 1700's.
After investigating some of the names on the headstones it got really creepy. The story is that before the cemetery was there, a school house stood on that spot. The teachers were a husband and wife. It's not clear on what exactly happened but the students and the husband and wife all died in the schoolhouse.
The information we found kind of made it sound like an illness of some kind and they were all quarantined in the school until they all died. After that the school was demolished and the students and husband and wife were all buried right where the school stood. So yeah I'm sure it's haunted.
As a kid in '82, and Michael Jackson's Thriller was on everyone's minds.
One night it was getting late when we got caught in a big rainstorm, so we called it quits on our basketball game and went our separate ways.
The big cemetery I cut through must've closed up for the night and I found the gates locked. Going around would take forever so I decided to climb over the fence, only to land hard on the other side. It was muddy, so I not only wrenched my ankle pretty bad but took a giant mud bath.
I was covered in mud, limping, and groaning from pain when I reached the other side. As I emerged from the darkness, a couple saw me limping and groaning, while trying to squeeze through the cemetery's wrought iron fence.
I remember their screams to this day.
Former Funeral director here.
My partner and I had just gotten back to the funeral home from a house call for a 31 year old woman who died of cancer. As we were moving her body from the cot to embalming table we heard an audible click and the radio across the room turned on full volume of static. It's one of those old radios you turn the volume dial until it clicks to turn it on.
We both looked at each other. He was an extremely religious man and this event visibly shook him and he left not long after the incident. I shut the radio off as I typically used my phone to listen to music while embalming. When I'd finished the procedure and was attempting to move her from the embalming table to a dressing table I heard that click from that old radio and it turned on full volume yet again.
At that point I was fairly freaked out and made my exit not long after. My partner and I never spoke of it again and nothing like that ever occurred to my knowledge before or after.
I used to mow the lawn at a cemetery as part of my summer job. I always volunteered because it was the only place I could work with my shirt off and try to fight my farmer's tan. Anyway the only creepy thing is that coffins must break and fill with dirt over time because once and awhile you'll be walking and sink up to your knee in a small sink hole on top of a grave. Didn't really bother me unless I was walking at a good pace but some of the other people would get freaked out by that.
None The Wiser
My family owned and operated a funeral home and cemetery until my late teenage years. In the summers, I would work the cemetery cutting grass, weed eating, preparing graves for caskets, covering the caskets, assembling and placing granite markers, etc.
People would often come to visit the graves of deceased friends and family, so I thought nothing of it when they would come and go.
On this particular day, I was weeding with headphones all morning for maybe 4 hours. A truck came in pretty early and parked on the other side of the large cemetery. I never even really looked over to see the guy get out or get back in his truck. Didn't pay any attention at all to him.
Around lunch time my grandfather came out to the cemetery, and being the socialite business owner that he was at that time, went over to speak. Apparently the older guy had visited the grave of his wife, got back into his car and shot himself right there in the cemetery while I was none the wiser.
I was doing sales at a cemetery, and had lock up the mausoleum at night and make sure no families were in there.
One night I was walking through and heard something. It was gone in an instant but it was a scratching kind of sound.
It sounded exactly like you expect sometime clawing their way out of a mausoleum would sound.
I almost jumped out of my skin and ran out of there like a little baby, but I didn't want to turn around (the sound was behind me).
After about 3 days, and no further sounds I turned around and realized it was the automatic air freshener spritzing the place to not smell like dead.
I See You
Every summer I would work at the cemetery and it was fine most nights until a year ago, summer of 2018.
I was working a night shift and started to feel weak or dizzy if you must and I fell due to it, turns out I was sick and didn't wanna stay the night but previously I have been late, so if I left now.... I'd be fired, so I stuck it out for a few minutes when my phone went off and a text said; "I see you..."
At that point I was scared because this never happened to me before and nobody was around that I could see, so I called out for immediate family like, Mom, Dad and my 4 Younger brothers. Nothing
So I left after no response and moved out a month later, and never went back...