If you read Haunted Chicago – Part 1, you’ll know all about Inez Clarke and my morbid fascination with the ghost stories that circulate around my city – many of them around Graceland Cemetery specifically. Today I thought I’d talk about one more local legend . . . the statue that marks the burial spot of Dexter Graves.
Dexter was a famous businessman and upon his death, a local artist was commissioned to sculpt a statue for his grave. The statue is officially called “Eternal Silence”, but is more commonly referred to as “Statue of Death”. It is a menacing figure – an ominous, hooded one that still stands today. But it isn’t the size of the statue that bothers visitors to Graceland.
It’s the face.
While the figure was once entirely black, the elements have removed virtually all of the color, leaving behind the green, exposed metal beneath. That is, all but the face. The face is protected by the deep folds of the figures hood and remains black – the only color left on Eternal Silence. The appearance is so unsettling to some visitors that a legend has spawned over the years – one that claims any unsuspecting person who attempts to look into the eyes will be show a vision of their own death.
I’ve actually seen this statue in person, but never was shown a vision of my death . . . thank god. I did however get a chill staring up at it. It IS sinister and with the silence of a cemetery surrounding it, I can see why it has mesmerized so many. Next time you’re in Chicago, stop by and visit Dexter and Inez. Trust me, no matter what the legends say, seeing them in person is spine-tingling.