The Hauntings of the Hollywood Cemetery

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Richmond, Virginia is filled with many different places to visit and scenic parks to explore. One of the most popular places amongst the city is located at Oregon Hill. This place is known as the Hollywood Cemetery. The Hollywood Cemetery is home to thousands of memorials, many of which are very famous. It is located within the heart of Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the state, and was created in 1849. After the Civil War was over, the government didn’t care what happened to ex-Confederate soldiers. The Auburn National Cemetery was made for those who died during the Civil War. The only problem was the government did not want to bury the Confederates in it. As a result of this, the South created the Hollywood Cemetery to properly bury the Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during a time of war.[1] The name of the cemetery comes from all the holly trees inside it. The name was established way before movies were being created in the famous Hollywood everyone knows today.[2] Landscaping was a very important factor to the citizens while creating the cemetery. The people of Richmond, Virginia take care of this place all the time and still do up to this day.. The area is kept up in many different ways and is open to the public daily.

Dimmock’s Pyramid[edit]

A memorial in the shape of a pyramid is dedicated to 18,000 Confederate soldiers which are buried near. It is well known as the Dimmock Pyramid. Charles Henry Dimmock created this 90-foot memorial in 1869. This structure took just about a year to complete, and many people were injured and killed during the construction. It is constructed from granite and rocks. The rocks were taken from the James River, or Bell Isle, which is located very close to the cemetery. Many people spent all day hauling rocks up the hill to create the structure. The pyramid is visible from all over Oregon Hill and is a massive structure. An abundance of visitors are attracted to this site daily because there are many stories of visitors getting hit with very cold winds. People have reported hearing soldiers crying for help when near the pyramid. Also, chills and very slight moans have also been reported while near the structure. People say that the moans and cries are from the 11,000 soldiers who are unidentified and are searching for help. These reports happen mostly around the time of dusk and dark.[3]

The Iron Dog[edit]

Not too far from Dimmock’s Pyramid is a rather unique grave. The tombstone is very small and has a dog statue standing over it (Sweeney). The statue is a cast iron Newfoundland dog which is black in color. Buried underneath the dog is a three-year-old girl by the name of Bernadine Rees. She passed away at a very young age from what was believed to be scarlet fever. Her grave is often covered with toys and flowers. Bernadine loved the dog statue her uncle owned. During the civil war, soldiers were going around collecting anything they could find to make bullets with. In hopes to save the statue, her uncle brought it down to the Hollywood Cemetery and placed it on her grave. Even during a time of war, cemeteries were respected and not used as scrap metal. If it wasn’t for her uncle, the statue would have been melted down and turned into bullets. Rees’ grave attracts many visitors because of the beautiful statue, the toys and flowers placed around the grave, and the history behind the memorial. Also, the grave is right on the corner of the road, by the famous Pyramid, making it almost impossible to miss. Visitors have reported hearing growls when getting too close to the little girl's grave. Also, some have even reported seeing the dog move. The dog continues to stand guard over her grave up to this day, and will remain there for a very long time.[4]

President's Circle[edit]

One of the better known areas of the Hollywood Cemetery is the President’s Circle. It is home to former Presidents John Tyler and James Monroe. Also, it is the burial sight to very well known Confederate leaders like J.E.B Stuart and Jefferson Davis (Sweeney). The park is located at the top of Oregon Hill and overlooks the James River. Also, many other families are buried here. This area is the most famous part of the cemetery, and is seen by almost everyone who visits (Sweeney).


  1. ^ Krick, Robert K. "Worthy Update For Hollywood." Civil War Times 48.3 (2009): 63. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Oct. 2016
  2. ^ Riggan, Phil. "Where Am I RVA? Black Dog in Hollywood Cemetery."Richmond Times-Dispatch. Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
  3. ^ Sweeney, Gary. "The Ghosts of Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery | The Lineup." The Lineup The Ghosts of Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery Comments., 14 July 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016
  4. ^ Carolinas, Strange. "The Hollywood Cemetery Black Iron Dog (Richmond, VA)." Strange Carolinas: The Travelogue Of The Offbeat., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.