The So Called Vampires Crypt
Erie Cemetery is located in Erie Pennsylvania and was opened up for use in 1851, it has two infamous locations, of special interest to would be ghouls such as myself! The so called Vampire‘s Crypt (The Brown Tomb) and The Witches CircleAs cemeteries go if you, like me love 19th century Gothic cities of the dead, you would already be intrigued by the many fascinating headstones, with their many messages to the dear departed. But wander further along the lines of long forgotten head stones down a tree lined path and you will find yourself facing one of the many mausoleums carved from the ridge, the one known as The Vampires’ Crypt
As you gaze upon it, you will notice that there appears to be no name or visible date upon it. The granite it is hewn from has blackened, while strangely none of the other granite mausoleums have changed. It has no windows, only a locked iron gate. There are many horror stories include pagan rituals and, obviously, vampires. Pagan rituals were carried out at this tomb, and the smoke caused by them is what led to the blackening of the granite apparently. Though for many years it was known as The Brown Vault, there is no inscription but a strange V which was once part of an other lettering or inscription but has been eroded over the years leaving a V-like carving above the entrance, which is the only mark on the tomb, so local legend claim it houses a vampire .
The owner of The mausoleum is one Gertrude Brown, but there is no one by that name that lies within the dank enclosure. The first body interred within was GW Goodrich who died November 14, 1884 but several others would soon join him, three of which had been exhumed from a nearby non-denominational cemetery and moved into the crypt. Cemetery records show that over time there have been 7 individuals interred within the marble vault; some records include names, but the details are a little vague. What can be detected from the records is that majority of these individuals bore the name Goodrich, Gertrude Brown being one of the last heirs that outlived most of her family.
Many stories and myths surround the vault. One being that of a wealthy man who fell ill after a trip to Romania and soon after returning to Erie, died suddenly, he was interned in the crypt, but his undead corpse was blamed for ghastly happenings. Dead bodies were found in the suburbs that surrounded the graveyard, their blood had been drained and there were classic teeth marks on their necks.
An other tale recalls how young man broke into the vault to find a desiccated corpse in a rotted wood coffin, he stole a ring off of the withered body as proof to show to his friend that he had actually dared to break into the crypt. He rang his friend and told him what he had dared to do and invited to show him the next day round at his home.
The very next day, his friend plus several others went to pay the young man a visit, and to get a look at the ring, but when his mother went to fetch him from his room, she found him dead, colourless with eyes wide open and mouth frozen open in terror – with his ring finger literally ripped from his hand.
All glorious urban myths of course as in the case of The Witches Circle,
Also located in Erie Cemetery, a group of headstones formed in a circle, some burnt black. It’s alleged that the scorch marks are the result of Satan’s hellfire from the night he came he came to claim his Erie coven (the cemetery director blames acid rain, though it doesn‘t explain why the tombstones elsewhere aren’t affected. )
Also be on the watch for a big black dog that thankfully disappears before it sinks its’ fangs into you, and for footsteps behind you, especially when no one else is present. The stories state that two tombstones turned black the night the devil came to the graveyard to claim the souls of two witches buried there. There have been no documents to indicate any witches from the Salem Witch Trial were buried in the Erie Cemetery, even the dates do not match the period of the trials. Perhaps it is because these darkened graves are buried in a circle, although that was a common practice in many family plots in the 1800’s
The Witches Circle