Black Angel - Oakland Cemetery

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Strange phenomona occur here, seemingly revolving around two statues: the Black Angel and a young girl set on a pedestal. Folks have reported seeing strange lights and the Angel walking about as a glowing shape. It is said that the little girl statue will pick out one member of a group of cemetery visitors and stare at that person until they exit the vicinity. Also, it is said that the temperature changes in relation to the girl statue. The closer you get, the warmer you feel, and the farther away, the colder.

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    Geographic Information

    Oakland Cemetery
    Iowa City, Iowa
    United States

    Get Directions »
    41.67005390000001, -91.52218299999998
    Johnson County, Iowa
    Nearest Towns:
    Iowa City, IA (0.7 mi.)
    University Heights, IA (2.1 mi.)
    Coralville, IA (3.0 mi.)
    North Liberty, IA (6.7 mi.)
    Tiffin, IA (7.7 mi.)
    Hills, IA (8.0 mi.)
    West Branch, IA (9.1 mi.)
    Solon, IA (9.6 mi.)
    Frytown, IA (12.9 mi.)
    Riverside, IA (13.5 mi.)


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    Comments (14)

    1. Yea I’ve went to the black angel three nights with a Ouija board with some friends that also shared the same experience

    2. I’ve been to the Black Angel twice, both times being in the middle of the night. I take the long way to the cemetery by walking through a wooded trail which is about a mile or so long. The entire time I was walking through the woods I couldn’t help but feel like I was being followed. Once I get to the actual cemetery, I am constantly looking to my side searching for a figure that I can see out of the corner of my eye, but disappears before I can see anything. I’ve never seen the little girl, but when I get to the statue and if I get close enough I get extreme chills. The second time I went I thought I heard a whisper welcoming me back. It could have just been my imagination, but I’m a believer.

    3. That’s really cool, a friendly little girl who for some reason hasn’t moved on. I’m going to this cemetery soon it’s actually close to my house and I go by it all the time. I’mstayi ngaw ay from theblack angel thou gh, I do want to visit the little girl

    4. The Black Angel is beautiful and gives you a sense of calm and peace. It was created by a mothers love and an artists hands. If something is in the cemetery it may be one of the people who have hung themselves in the woods over the last decade. That is worth writing about. It is the woods–not the Angel. I know. I am a local. Many wooded areas in the Johnson County area why are there so many suicides that happen in these woods? I felt something in the woods as well. I actually got turned around on the trails and it was getting late in the day with no water left. I am an avid hiker and have actually been on these trails many times. I came to the woods to decompress and ended up getting almost lost! A simple prayer and I was out 5 minutes later from of rush of anxiety. Word from the wise–too many side trails near Hickory Hill and it is too easy to get turned around–DO NOT go into the woods alone at night. I know of three people in the last 7 years who have killed themselves on that land. Three very smart professional people with great souls. Something got to them.

      • I am a local as well, I agree that the black angel is a lovely monument and not ominous. However, the remains of the foundation of a local pest house are in the woods nearby. That may be a different story.

    5. It’s also said if you kiss under its gaze, both people will die in seven years, and if your young and walk under it’s wings, you will die young.

    6. I grew up in Cedar Rapids, we went to the Cemetery one Halloween and i kissed the Black angle that was over 44 years ago and so far as I know I’m still alive

    7. This is something that has freaked me out to this day. I once went to the Black Angel with two friends before going out downtown. It was my very first time there. Instantly I got a creepy feeling so we left. We went on to bars, parking on Clinton Ave in a fairly well populated and well lit area. When we came out to leave my passenger and driver’s side tires. We were able to get towed to a gas station, filled our tires up and left. (Still have not been back sense)

    8. I remember my grandfather telling me a story about the Black Angel when I was younger. This had to happen in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. He and his friends drive up to see the Black Angel. Being young teenagers at the time and not having a care in the world, one of his friends decided to urinate on the statue. With nothing happening, they laughed and decided to drive home. Along the way home they were in a horrible car accident resulting in one of them dying, 2 more severely injured including my grandfather. The one that died, you guessed it, the one that did the urinating. My grandfather suffered severe Epilepsy for the rest of his life because of this accident.
      I have never visited myself, but please if you do, respect the Black Angel.

    9. This is long, but hopefully you find it insightful. I have a unique and close connection to the cemetery itself, as well as the Black Angel. I was born in the early 1990s, and grew up across the street from the cemetery, on Church Street. When I was a child, my mother would take me for walks in the Cemetery, and we would make max rubbings of various headstones. This went on after my parents divorced, when I was around 8-10. As a teenager, I lived down the street on North Governor, and would routinely go up to the cemetery by myself and occasionally with friends. I remember, as a child, playing in the cemetery with a friend who lived next door. The house I lived in had a nice view of the cemetery, and although I try to tell myself that it was my imagination, I would witness things from my house that went on in the cemetery. I would routinely see a glowing figure, tall, radiant, beautiful yet terrifying, walking through the cemetery late at night. Sometimes I would see red lights off in the distance, deep within the cemetery. At one point, and I know this sounds ridiculous, but the memory is burnt into my brain, I saw four dancing skeletons. I’m not saying that to sound spooky, I actually did witness this when I was about 4 years old. I told my dad, but he shrugged it off…

      There is a cross roads in the cemetery, and as a young adult I always got a terrible chill in the fifty feet before entering the cross roads, across it, and in the fifty feet after, even in broad day light. I always felt as if someone, some thing, was glaring at me with hatred and demanding I leave. I could feel its gaze burning into the back of my head, into my neck, into my back…This went on for years, from roughly age 15 until I was 20. It ended when I stopped and spoke to it, and said that I grew up across the street and loved the cemetery. I said I meant no harm. I said I understand if it was distrustful of my presence – but that I meant no harm. To me, the cemetery was a safe haven. I felt, after that, relief and acceptance, and have not had that terrible cold hatred since. As a teenager (I was a goth, yeah, we all rebel in our own way haha), I would escape a troubled home life to spend time alone in the cemetery. I often fell asleep sitting on the base of the Black Angel – her staring down at me. I felt an almost motherly connection with her, and have always treated the statue with great respect. I would leave little gifts at times. While there are cold spots, the area where the angel is has always been a warm spot to me. Further up north, towards the edge of the cemetery (north-east area near a gazebo) is a problem area, as well as the crossroads area and where a couple mausoleums are. Just north of the Angel as well. I would recommend avoiding these areas, or making haste if you must go through them. From my experience, the spirits in these areas do not like men. Treat them with respect, voice it, and do not desecrate the statue, and you should be fine. One word of advice – keep an eye out for turkeys. No joke. The wooded area in the north-east section has wildlife, and while there in the early winter of 2014 I heard an angry turkey gobbling at me. They can really mess you up if they feel like it (wild ones at least – they are big birds), so if you hear one try not to linger in the area. The children’s section is very sad, and there is a feeling of deep mourning in this area. Don’t go there if you can easily feel energies. Be respectful of the graves, and of the angel – the curses are real, but you only get them if you are nasty towards the spirits. And if you happen upon the grave of Sam Forgy, please place a flower on his grave – he was a very nice young man, and he died far too young.

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.