Interesting Cemeteries in North Texas, a guest post by Tui Snider

I’ve asked my friend Tui Snider to guest post for me today. She is a travel writer specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cultural traditions, and quirky travel destinations. Tui will be coming to Denton to the Emily Fowler Central Library on Sunday, June 8th at 2:00 to talk about fun things to do in North Texas (some of them are included in her Amazon bestseller called Unexpected Texas). I’d love for you to meet Tui, so come on down!

Interesting Cemeteries in North Texas

Hello! And thanks, Shelly, for letting me be a guest on your blog today. Shelly and I share an interest in historic cemeteries, so I thought I’d talk about some of the most interesting graveyards I’ve explored in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

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Weirdest Grave Marker: Aurora Space Alien Grave

The most unusual grave marker I have ever seen was in Aurora, Texas. I say “was” because, alas, this unique headstone was stolen in 2012. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s the story:

In April of 1897, a Dallas Morning News article claimed that a mysterious cigar-shaped object crashed in Aurora, Texas. According to the reporter, townsfolk discovered a tiny humanoid body in the wreckage and buried it in their local cemetery. Plans to have the body exhumed have been repeatedly stymied, partly because Texas State law requires permission from the deceased being’s next-of-kin. If, as many believe (and as the on-site Texas State Historical Marker claims) the little body buried in Aurora Cemetery is “not of this world” then finding its next-of-kin is going to be quite a challenge!

I recently met Steven Hudgeons of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and he said I’m one of the few people to have a decent photo of the alleged alien’s most recent headstone before it was stolen. For more information (including a link to a History Channel investigation) check out Alien Grave in Aurora Cemetery: The Roswell of Texas?

Most Playful Headstones:

All talk of extraterrestrials aside, Aurora Cemetery is a beautiful place full of shady trees and bluebonnets in the spring. Although most folks drop by to look for the space alien grave, Aurora Cemetery is home to other unusual grave markers. One is an over-sized cowboy boot made of stone that doubles as a large vase.

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If you head over to the newer section of the graveyard you can find other shoe-themed headstones. I’m not sure whether the Walker family was simply riffing on their name or if they just loved footwear, but one of their family member’s headstones features an English style riding boot, while the one beside it showcases a women’s pump style shoe, both made from solid black granite. For more information check out Quirky Headstones: These Boots were made for Walker

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Quirkiest Cemetery Statue: Jesus in Cowboy Boots

Speaking of footwear-themed headstones, there’s one in Paris, Texas that really takes the cake. It’s a 21-foot monument with a statue of Jesus, who – instead of being barefoot or wearing sandals – is clad in cowboy boots! Many theories surround this statue: Was it a joke? Blasphemy? Or was the sculptor simply bad at depicting feet? No one really knows, but if you are ever in the Paris, Texas it is definitely worth swinging by Evergreen Cemetery to see the Jesus in Cowboy Boots for yourself!

But wait, there’s more!

North Texas is full of fascinating historic cemeteries! I could go on and on… I could tell you about the pretty marble angels in Athens, buried treasure in a Fort Worth graveyard, a chilling murder memorial in Euless, or even how a historic cemetery in Boyd has links to the Mickey Mouse Club… but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I’d love to meet you. Come say hi on Sunday, June 8th!

tui-snider-author-2If you live near Denton, Texas then look out, because I am coming soon to a library near you! Yup! I will be in Shelly Tucker’s neck of the wood on Sunday, June 8, 2014. I’m giving a talk about fun things to see and do here in north Texas, so if you’ve been bored, antsy, or just ready for a road trip, pop over to the Emily Fowler Library (502 Oakland St, Denton, TX 76201.) At 2 o’clock sharp I’m sharing all sorts of fun things to see and do here in north Texas. I’m also giving away a signed copy of my book Amazon Best Selling travel guide Unexpected Texas to one lucky audience member. Hey, it could be you!

Check out my Offbeat Travel Guide

If you can’t make the talk, check out my Amazon Best Selling travel guide Unexpected Texas. It’s chock full of fun things to see and do within a day’s drive of Dallas and Fort Worth. Not only will it cure summertime boredom, but most of the places mentioned are very budget-friendly.

  12 comments for “Interesting Cemeteries in North Texas, a guest post by Tui Snider

  1. June 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Wow, this is right up my alley! Unfortunately I won’t be back in Denton until the end of October, but I’m planning to spend two weeks researching and writing! I’ll be on the lookout for any events planned around that time. Meanwhile, I’m bookmarking this page so I can follow/read all the links, and I’m sure her book will find its way onto my bookshelf via Amazon.

    • June 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Judy, Tui’s book is great fun. I pride myself on knowing lots of things about Texas, but she taught me a thing or two!

  2. June 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve come across some fabulous stories and mysteries in graveyards (often referred to as “bone orchards” in my region of the west), but your post has some of the quirkiest markers I’ve seen!

    • June 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      “Bone orchards.” I like that, and ahmona steal it. [sorry, had to talk Texan for a minute there]

      • June 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

        Love that you talked Texan to me! You can steal it! The full phrase is, “People are dying to get in to them bone orchards.” 🙂

  3. June 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Wow, I didn’t know about the Aurora cemetery. Love hearing about local cemeteries! I love to go out and explore and take photos of the more ornate stones. It’s way past time for me to branch out and explore some more! Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • June 5, 2014 at 5:49 am

      Get out that camera and go! There are tons of interesting cemeteries in this area … Tui just touched the tip of the iceberg.

  4. June 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I bought the book for my Kindle! 🙂

    • June 5, 2014 at 5:50 am

      Judy, I have both Kindle and paperback. As much as I love having it on my kindle, I love real books! Enjoy it, and I hope it inspires you to check out the towns Tui mentioned.

  5. Jodi
    June 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I did a Collin County cemetery “tour”–actually just a couple of friends–a couple of years ago. Audie Murphy’s mother (most decorated soldier of WWII) is buried in an old cemetery between Farmersville and the Nevada/Josephine area, Shady Grove. There are cemeteries with graves going back to the 1700s, and several Civil War soldiers.

    Near the Shady Grove cemetery, there’s a place, all grown up, called “Hainted Holler.” My grandfather used to tell us ghost stories about it.

    I live in Cedar Hill and there’s supposed to be a place called “Witch Mountain” not too far from where I live, but I’ve never been there. It may be covered with houses now.

  6. June 21, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Unfortunately, I have had to close comments on this post because the spammers are commenting on it. Hopefully those sad people will get real jobs.

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