Oct 05, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Human Remains Disappear from Desecrated New Orleans Cemetery

New Orleans holds a special place in the American imagination. The city is home to a rich cultural heritage full of some of the darkest and brightest aspects of American history as well as being the home of voodoo in the United States. Louisiana Voodoo is a unique mix of folk traditions from the African diaspora rooted in ancestor worship, natural remedies, and magic charms. While Louisiana Voodoo and Haitian Voodoo might have similar origins, today they are wholly separate traditions.

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While Louisiana Voodoo traditions and objects have become somewhat of a kitschy tourist attraction, there are also still active practitioners throughout Louisiana.

With such a strong association with these spiritual and magical folk traditions, it’s no surprise that New Orleans is occasionally the site of strange and unexplained occurrences. Case in point: a river of human blood seeped from the ground in New Orleans last month, but was explained away as the result of some faulty plumbing at a funeral home. Now, a similar but much more macabre mystery is afoot and has some New Orleans residents terrified.

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I don't know about you, but I know a zombie outbreak when I see one.

The mystery began when residents of St. Bernard Parish visited the local Merrick Cemetery. What they found there shocked and horrified them: open coffins were scattered across the cemetery grounds, revealing the decomposing remains buried inside. Even worse, many of the remains were missing entirely.

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Smashed coffins and open graves at Merrick Cemetery.

Even more disturbing, human bones were strewn haphazardly throughout the cemetery grounds. One mortified witness posted a video of the scene to Facebook, where it quickly went viral and caught the attention of local news.

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Many of the coffins were emptied and left out in the open.

New Orleans news station WGNO reports that local authorities are investigating but there do not seem to be any more developments. One St. Bernard Parish resident, Angela Cantrell, posted a series of pictures to a local Facebook group describing the horrific scene:

As I got to the back of the cemetery it was clear that something horrendous had occurred. Coffins slew everywhere. Tops of temporary graves had been smashed and caskets thrown out or partially removed. That's when I realized, there were no bodies. None of these caskets had a body. Why? Why are the bones taken? Someone, something is evil. Why isn't this top news? Why isn't this being spoken of? This is unacceptable. Have they been stolen? Are they being used in some sick black magic ritual? 

Could these missing remains indeed be part of some voodoo black magic ritual? Or are the remains being sold on the black market? Worst of all, could zombies be afoot? Any guess is as good as any other at this point. Stay tuned, and sprinkle salt around your house.

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Some of the remains were left at the foot of an oak tree in the cemetery, possibly suggesting a magic ritual.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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