Haunted Cemetery in Fond du Lac
Rienzi Cemetery is home to several haunted legends, and may be one of the most haunted cemeteries in Wisconsin. Local lore suggests a gateway to Hell resides inside the old receiving vault, and the Witches Circle in the back of the cemetery is a mass grave for excommunicated nuns from nearby St. Mary’s Springs.
Rienzi Cemetery History
Rienzi Cemetery was once the home of the Tallmadge family – devout Spiritualists who believed they communicated with the dead there on that land.
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge bought the land and moved his family from New York in 1844 when he was appointed the third governor of the Wisconsin Territory. Tragedy soon struck the following year when Nathaniel’s oldest son William died unexpectedly at the age of 19. Nathaniel buried him in his favorite spot, the top of the hill overlooking the property that he had named Rienzi Hill (after noted 14th-century Roman leader Cola di Rienzo) just two weeks earlier.
The entire Tallmadge family can now be found buried atop the hill. They donated their property to Fond du Lac county for use a cemetery in 1853.