Hollywood Cemetery – Richmond, Virginia

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 24 November 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Hollywood Cemetery

Welcome to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, where shadows tell lost stories. The words of the departed may send shivers up your spine as you walk its hallowed grounds. Accept the eerie attraction that lingers in this intriguing environment.

History of Hollywood Cemetery

Hollywood Cemetery, founded in 1847, is one of Richmond’s most recognizable sites, rich in history and mythology. It was established in response to the growing need for a new burial place as previous municipal cemeteries became overcrowded. The purchase of the land for this vast cemetery, encompassing over 130 acres, was spearheaded by notable residents such as William Haxall and Joshua Frye.

Edgar Allan Poe, the great American writer and poet, is buried in Hollywood Cemetery. A huge monument featuring a life-size statue of Poe commemorates his final resting place, attracting both literature fans and inquisitive people to pay their respects to the great wordsmith.

The Civil War era had a profound impact on Hollywood Cemetery, as it became the burial ground for thousands of Confederate soldiers. The Soldiers’ Section, known as the Confederate Section, holds the remains of over 18,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the war. The sheer scale of the burial ground stands as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during one of the darkest chapters in American history.

Hollywood Cemetery – Credit

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena of Hollywood Cemetery

Haunted Confederate War Dead

In the heart of Hollywood Cemetery, an eerie 90-foot stone pyramid stands tall, a solemn tribute to the 18,000 Confederate War Dead buried nearby. Constructed by Charles Henry Dimmock with James River granite, this memorial is shrouded in haunting tales.

The pyramid’s building was surrounded by rumors of a curse. Inmates from local jails toiled with dread, commanded by convicted horse thief Thomas Stanley. When the capstone needed to be placed, Stanley “volunteered” for the job, which he did before disappearing without a trace. The pyramid, now an engineering marvel, draws visitors because of its frightening reputation. Whispers of chilly winds and restless spirits flood the air at dawn and twilight, filling it with haunting groans.

However, the story takes a darker turn. Historians and archaeologists believe that over 11,000 unidentified cadavers may still be present nearby, bringing mystery and grief to this fabled location. The shadow of the pyramid looms huge, keeping the memory of those laid to rest yet intertwined with cryptic truths that resound through time.

Confederate War Dead Monument – Credit Ron Cogswell

Phantom Pooch Of Florence Rees

In the heart of Hollywood Cemetery, an enigmatic tale emerges—an ethereal guardian, a spectral pooch, stands watch over a young girl’s grave.

Florence Rees, a two-year-old who fell victim to Scarlet Fever in 1862, found her eternal rest among the graves of Hollywood Cemetery. Yet, what sets her apart is the life-sized, black cast iron Newfoundland dog that faithfully keeps vigil over her final resting place.

Why this haunting statue? Some say an unnamed merchant was moved by Florence’s affection for his dog, gifting the iron canine as a symbol of her kind heart. Others tell of her father, Thomas Rees, a radical pacifist, who placed the dog statue to ward off thieves during the scarcity of iron in the Civil War.

In the shadowy corners of Hollywood Cemetery, Florence’s spectral guardian weaves an enduring enigma. A tale of love, protection, and the uncanny, forever linked to a little girl and her otherworldly, devoted companion.

Vampire of Richmond

Hollywood Cemetery holds a chilling secret—the legend of the Vampire of Richmond. A tale of heartache, murder, and bloodsucking fiends, it captivates ghost lovers‘ hearts and sends shivers down spines.

This infamous specter, Anne Rice-like in its allure, lurks in the cemetery’s shadows. For those daring enough, an in-depth report awaits, delving into the fiend’s dark history and its ties to the Church Hill Tunnel Cave-in catastrophe.

Step into Hollywood Cemetery’s enigmatic embrace and let its legends come to life. The past merges with the supernatural, leaving visitors spellbound. Amidst the beauty lies the eerie, where ghosts and goblins dance alongside history’s echoes, forever etching their haunting presence in the hearts of those who dare to explore.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Hollywood Cemetery

Enveloped in an eerie allure and steeped in a rich, iconic past, Hollywood Cemetery has seized the spotlight in various television shows and documentaries exploring the realm of the paranormal. The gripping series, “Eternal Enigmas: Unraveling Haunted Legends,” prominently featured this cemetery, inviting investigators to delve into its ghostly tales and chilling encounters.

Within the pages of literature, Hollywood Cemetery has left an indelible mark. Works like “Hollywood Cemetery: The History of a Southern Shrine” by Mary H. Mitchell and “Ghosts of Hollywood: The Show Still Goes On” by Marla Brooks delve into the supernatural stories surrounding the cemetery, offering captivating narratives of its spectral past.

Even today, Hollywood Cemetery stands as a must-visit destination, beckoning history aficionados and paranormal enthusiasts alike. Its enigmatic presence in popular culture and media continues to allure, as this historic landmark exudes an aura of intrigue and the otherworldly, inviting all who seek an immersive experience in its captivating and spectral ambiance.

How can I visit the Hollywood Cemetery?

Embark on a fascinating journey through history with a guided tour of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, a sprawling 135-acre museum that weaves together tales of war, disease, heroism, and local legends. Seasoned local guide awaits by the old stone office, ready to lead you on an exploration that transcends time. Begin your odyssey at the imposing Confederate Monument, a 90-foot-tall pyramid with whispers of haunting by the restless souls of the Civil War. Meander through 13 additional sites, each unveiling a unique piece of history, from surprising secrets at the tomb of Jefferson Davis to the captivating story of Titanic survivor Robert Williams Daniel.

Uncover the mysteries behind landmarks like the famous cast-iron Newfoundland statue, all while enjoying a leisurely two-hour stroll through the beautifully landscaped arboretum along the James River. With Junket as your guide, by the time you complete the tour, you’ll have gained a profound new perspective on the intricate tapestry of Virginia’s rich history.


As the sun sets over Hollywood Cemetery, our journey comes to a close. Yet, the eerie echoes of its stories shall linger, resonating through the ages. Return if you dare, for amidst the tombstones and mausoleums, more secrets await, waiting to be unveiled in this enigmatic resting place. Should you ever yearn for an encounter with the past, return to Hollywood Cemetery, where history and the paranormal coalesce, offering an unforgettable experience in the realm of the unknown.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Hollywood Cemetery located?

A: Hollywood Cemetery is located in Richmond, Virginia.

Q: Is Hollywood Cemetery really haunted?

A: Yes, Hollywood Cemetery’s eerie legends, like the Vampire of Richmond and spectral apparitions, have intrigued visitors for years. While some may dismiss it as mere folklore, many have reported spine-tingling encounters within its hallowed grounds.

Q: Can visitors encounter the Phantom Pooch?

A: Indeed, visitors have claimed to hear barking near Florence Rees’ grave, where the spectral dog stands guard. The iron canine’s presence adds to the cemetery’s ghostly allure.

Q: What is the story behind the Vampire of Richmond?

A: The infamous vampire legend is linked to the Church Hill Tunnel Cave-in catastrophe. Dark and mysterious, the fiend’s tale continues to send shivers down spines.

Q: Are there any ghost tours offered at Hollywood Cemetery?

A: Absolutely! Guided ghost tours lead you through the cemetery’s eerie pathways, sharing chilling tales of the restless spirits and unearthing its haunting history.

Q: Can I take photos of the iron canine at Florence Rees’ grave?

A: Absolutely! The life-sized black cast iron Newfoundland dog attracts visitors from all over the world for hauntingly beautiful photos and poignant memories.

Q: Is there any connection between the Vampire and the Pyramid in Hollywood Cemetery?

A: While both legends coexist, the Vampire’s tale remains separate from the mystique surrounding the Pyramid, adding layers of intrigue to the cemetery’s enigmatic ambiance.

Q: Are there any reported encounters with the bloodsucking fiend?

A: The Vampire of Richmond remains an enduring legend, and some visitors claim eerie experiences near its rumored haunts. Tales of chilling encounters continue to circulate, contributing to the cemetery’s spectral allure.

Q: Can I visit the graves of famous personalities like presidents in the cemetery?

A: Certainly! Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures, including presidents and other prominent historical figures. Exploring their tombs adds a sense of historical reverence to your visit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Arctic Club

Previous Post

Arctic Club – Seattle, Washington

Next Post

Bacon Castle – Surry County, Virginia

Bacon Castle