Oakland Cemetery

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Mass graves can lead to restless spirits…

Spirits annoyed by unmarked graves may haunt this cemetery.

 

DESCRIPTION

Oakland Cemetery is a truly beautiful place of rest, full of beautiful gravestones marking the graves of the departed. Gently rolling hills of grass with lovely oak trees and other vegetation truly seems to be a place of peace and rest; for both the deceased and their survivors. The original gates are glorious, and this historical gem is well maintained. It has been on the NRHP since 1977.

People from all walks of life and all ages can be found here mostly in marked graves with the family or by themselves. They died from a variety of circumstances: disease, war, accident, execution, childbirth, natural circumstances, and unnatural ones; at the hands of another person.

Yellow fever was a huge killer in the outbreaks in Shreveport in 1853, 1858, 1867. The worst outbreak was in 1873, when 800 people died and buried in a mass grave. This mass grave have a lovely marker, explaining that Yellow Fever victims were buried here and when.

This historic cemetery has seen eras and eras of history, and is the final resting place of many people.

Many people who were honored and movers and shakers in Shreveport. “Its notable burials including sixteen of Shreveport’s mayors as well as officials from every level of government from the antebellum period, the Confederacy and Reconstruction.”

“Its notable burials including sixteen of Shreveport’s mayors as well as officials from every level of government from the antebellum period, the Confederacy and Reconstruction.

The Oakland Cemetery further states on their web site about these notable people of status and fame.

“Among those who rest here are Colonel Leon D. Marks, a hero of the defense of Vicksburg who fell in the siege of that city; Justice Thomas T. Land of the State Supreme Court, and Mary Cane, an early businesswoman said to be Shreveport’s first female settler. Also buried here are two grandsons of President Zachary Taylor and nephews of President Jefferson Davis; sons of Confederate General Richard Taylor, they died in Shreveport in 1863 but their graves are unmarked. Additionally, in unmarked graves are Martha Bowie Sterrett, sister of Jim Bowie who invented the Bowie knife, and her husband Sheriff Alexander B. Sterrett, the first sheriff of Caddo Parish.”

 

HISTORY

In Shreveport, LA, in 1836, it was a rather wild frontier town with a lax law system. “Rough Pioneers” with short tempers combined with a vey weak law enforcement; (no town is perfect in 1836). It soon became evident to the Shreveport town council the first thing on the agenda was to establish a cemetery. Perhaps they should’ve invested in more law officers as well to handle the motley crew who lived in the town.

Fanin Street Cemetery sprung into being. However, it wasn’t big enough because it was filled in ten years. What to do? On the edge of Shreveport, 10 fine acres were purchased from the gentile Mary Bennett Cane and her father, the good Dr. Samuel Bennett in 1847. After building classic entrances, and a caretaker’s house, the new City Cemetery opened asap.

Both the Fanin Street Cemetery and City Cemetery were open but the last burial at Fanin Street was in 1851. After the Civil War, the city council of Shreveport decreed that all the graves from Fanin Street Cemetery be moved to City Cemetery; Uh oh; perhaps not perfectly.

In 1858, one acre in the north corner of the ten acres of the City Cemetery became the Jewish section, bought by the Hebrew Mutual Benevolent Association.

In 1893, a huge cemetery of 70 acres, called Greenwood Cemetery opened as the City Cemetery was full. Interestingly, City Cemetery was renamed Oakland Cemetery in 1905 after it was closed to new burial plots; only to people who had empty family plots.

Oakland Cemetery is a beloved Shreveport Landmark, and is well maintained by the city who values historic places.

 

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS

Victims of murder can be restless if their murderer is not brought to justice by escaping their just desserts.

Nathan Goldkind was a Polish immigrant who was killed because he cheated in a Card game. His murderer, Gus Logan, was pardoned from death row, probably because he was related to the Logan Family.

Spirits who appreciate the ladies while alive, sometimes still do as a spirit. Nathan Goldkind loved the ladies while alive and still does as a spirit. It is a nice distraction from his annoyance about his killer.

Victims of a catastrophic epidemic or massacre at the hands of another that are all dumped into a mass grave with no individual names can become restless as spirits. Many people died of a Yellow Fever epidemic and quickly buried in a mass grave. Spirits of these victims are restless.

When the living tries to move graves from one sport to another, sometimes headstones or wood markers are lost, and coffins are reinterred without identification, which can make spirits confused and restless.

Sometimes headstones disappear over the years, or wooden markers dissolved with age, or the graves went unmarked.

These spirits may also be restless; annoyed that the living dolts failed to remark their graves, or even replace wooden markers with stone ones.

 

MANIFESTATIONS

Boatloads of paranormal experiences have been reported for years.

While I couldn’t find any hard evidence shared online, paranormal groups have caught evidence proving the existence of restless souls.

Spirits of Yellow Fever Victims

Shadows and apparitions search the area where they were buried, looking for a marker with their names, very puzzled why they were not remembered individually, even on the plaque that only generally reports their deaths.

Spirits of individual unmarked graves

May also add to the restless spectral activity. Shadows and apparition wander the cemetery, looking for their grave, being annoyed and confused.

Spirit of Nathan Goldkind

Spirit of Nathan Goldkind haunts the area around his grave with appearances, cold spots.

His restless spirit also “aimlessly wanders the cemetery, still distraught that he never received the justice he rightfully deserved.” True, he tried to cheat, but he didn’t deserve this death consequence.

Womens’ hair gets stroked, and patted when they pass by his grave while visiting the cemetery or on a ghost tour.

STILL HAUNTED?

Yes Indeed! Personal experiences abound by participants of ghost tours and visitors. Hard evidence also exists, through mediums and paranormal groups. No justice, not excepting a death, and a quick mass grave after a horrible death as well as failing to maintain wooden markers are all the causes of not at peace spirits.

 

LOCATION

Oakland Cemetery in Shreveport
1100 Milan St.,
Shreveport, LA

It is located on Milan Street, just east of the Municipal Auditorium that is just across the street.

SOURCES INCLUDE

  • k945.com
  • shreveporttimes.com
  • oaklandcemeteryla.org

 
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Louisiana