El Campo Santo Cemetery
2410 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 220-5422
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
If you want to really get a glimpse into the past, here is a good place to stop by. El Campo Santo Cemetery began its story in 1849. There are 477 bodies buried here and unfortunately not all of them retain their tomb. Take a look at the sidewalk and street directly outside for grave markers. Yep, some of the graves are literally in the street! If that isn’t going to upset the spirits here, how about injustice and grave robbers!
During the falling of the Old Town period, the cemetery was abandoned and its brick chapel destroyed by fire. Just two years after the last body was buried here, a streetcar line was literally built through the graveyard, hence the reason for removing some of the tombstones. After repeated petitions to acknowledge the bodies that were buried beneath the street and sidewalk, white crosses were painted in their place.
These were later replaced with grave markers. Walter P. Temple, a grandson of the Workmans, successfully filed a lawsuit preventing any further desecration of the cemetery. In 1917, he was able to purchase the cemetery and the surrounding 75 acres and began restoration.
Haunted? The most widely seen apparitions in El Campo Santo cemetery are an Indian or Hispanic man in 19th century clothing. There is also a woman also dressed in period clothes. The man is said to float above the ground. Other paranormal reports have said that cars which are parked upon the graves will sometimes have their alarms go off, even though no one is in sight of the vehicle.
Make sure to check out the sidewalk and street immediately in front of the cemetery. Some of the graves are buried here as well! You can spot them from the grave markers: