Legend Tripping La Belle Cemetery, Oconomowoc, WISeptember 14th, 2011
A large, gorgeous statue of a young girl mourning beside a crucifix is the supposed center of this cemetery’s haunting.
As is the case with most good legends, details of the story vary from person-to-person. Some say the apparition of a young girl walks from the statue and drowns herself in nearby Fowler Lake. Others say the statue itself comes to life and “drowns” itself in the water. Other phenomena include the statue’s hands bleeding as well as various misfortunes caused by visiting the statue.
I first heard about the cemetery in Chad Lewis’s The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations back in 2006. My wife and I made an entire day of legend tripping and hit several locations from the book. The only visit that really left an impression on me was La Belle Cemetery. It was a warmsummer afternoon when we arrived. The grass was the greenest of greens and Fowler Lake’s proximity to the cemetery made it seem like a little island dedicated to remembrance.
We approached the statue and immediately noticed all the little trinkets and coins left in the granite woman’s clasped hands. I left a few coins as a thank you. She is rather beautiful, and she deserves it for doing her job of memorializing during all of Wisconsin’s various, and sometimes vicious, weather.
After a week of puzzling over what my first “Legend Trip Wednesday” location should be, I finally decided La Belle Cemetery was the now-obvious choice. I didn’t experience anything paranormal but I did experience a wonderful day out in nice weather, an exquisite peace of art (which stands vigilantly over the graves of the Nathusius family, by the way), and a gentle reminder of how delicate (and therefore wonderful) life is.
What more could you ask for? I know I know, seeing a ghost. Maybe next time.
Disclaimer: Always be respectful and obey laws while legend tripping. The author nor the website condones bad or unlawful behavior. Please remember when visiting a cemetery, most close at sunset.