The Weeping Woman – Parkersburg, West Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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The Weeping Woman

A melancholy guardian doubles as a judicious godmother to this small town cemetery.  


Parkersburg has been dubbed proudly by its residents as “the birthplace of West Virginia.” This small city sitting on the Ohio River served as the Union’s very first invasion point into the Confederate states, changing the course of the Civil War. The state of West Virginia was born by those remaining loyal to the Union, Parkersburg served as a transit and medical hub until the end of the war. 

Considering its extensive 19th-century history, it comes as little surprise that the town is also the final resting place for many recognizable Civil War-era citizens. Many are buried in the Riverview Cemetery. Along the winding path near the back fence of the cemetery, secrets seem to emit from each tombstone. One in particular along this path never fails to catch visitor’s eyes. A woman, head laid sadly on her hands, with a sweeping white veil flowing down to her feet has been the focal point for ghost hunters, lore seekers, and wishful thinkers. 

Locals and travelers alike know her as the “Weeping Woman,” and she watches over the relatives of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson. However, if you believe the stories, she looks over everyone who pays her a visit. Her stone headrest has become an altar of sorts, adorned with everything from flowers, to coins and small bottles of wine. According to local legends, this effigy is said to grant wishes. 

Know Before You Go

The cemetery is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Free street parking on 13th St is first come, first serve.

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March 22, 2021

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