The Catawissa Caged Graves – Catawissa, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

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The Catawissa Caged Graves

Catawissa, Pennsylvania

These hooded graves are the only of their kind in the United States. 


The Hooded Grave Cemetery, once known as Mount Zion Cemetery in the rural area of Catawissa, Pennsylvania, houses some unusual grave sites that have gained notoriety over the years.

Two graves remain housed by Victorian birdcage-style structures. It is documented that at some point there was a third cage, although it was ultimately removed due to damage in the 1930s. These are some of the very few known surviving examples of mortsafes, specially constructed cages designed to protect graves, in the United States.

Witches, werewolves, and vampires are all reasons given for the cages but more likely they’d have been used to prevent ghoulish grave robbing or are simply decorative. The caged graves belong to Sarah Ann Thomas Boone and Asenath B. Campbell Thomas, who died within months of each other.

Know Before You Go

The area is remote and the cemetery does not have a parking lot. You would need to park on the side of the rural road (there is not much traffic so it should be fine). This location is directly next to a residential house, so please be mindful of that.

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February 24, 2023

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