3.5
17 votes

The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery

1000 Brown St, Iowa City, Iowa 52245 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Thu 8a-8p

“Whatever you do, don't touch the Black Angel”

For years, the north side of Iowa City has been home to one of the most mysterious legends in the state: the Black Angel of Oakland Cemeter. As long as anyone can remember, locals have been whispering tales about the morose statue and the strange curses that seem to befall those who would dare to touch it...and if you're brave enough, you can tempt the fates yourself. There's a lot of urban legend that revolves around the imposing, eight-foot tall statue stands watch over the family plot of the Feldeverts, a family that had immigrated to America from Strimilov, Bohemia, but the facts are as follows: Teresa Dolezal Feldevert was a physician who worked in Iowa City, and lived with her son, Eddie, until his death of meningitisin 1891, at the young age of 18. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, where Teresa placed a large tree-stump monument.  After the death of her son, Teresa couldn't bear to stay in Iowa City, and moved to Eugene, Oregon where she married a man by the name of Nicholas Feldevert. Unfortunately, he too died tragically shortly thereafter. Reeling from the death of the only people she loved, Teresa returned to Iowa City where she hired Mario Korbel, a sculpter from Chicago, to design a memorial that would adequately symbolize her sorrow. The result was a shining, golden angel that would keep watch over her beloved. On November 21, 1912, the angel was installed. This is where things get murky... and more than a little scary. According to local history, Teresa died of cancer on November 18, 1924, and shortly after her ashes were placed beneath the angel, the strange stories began to circle the community. Within a few years of Teresa's death, the golden statue suddenly started to turn a black. The first to go were the eyes, which no longer shimmered in the sun, but were now the darkness of coal. The blackness began to run down the face, almost as if the angel were weeping tears of oil. Over the years, the darkness has spread to the rest of the angel, turning it completely black. Every attempt to return to the memorial to its original bronze hue has resulted in failure. While many explain the Black Angel's color change on the oxidization of metal, many more believe there is a more sinister side to the change, a change they blame on a curse. Some say that the statue turned black because Teresa was secretly a witch, while others say a freak lightning bolt struck the angel just after her funeral. Still others whisper that it was Teresa's promise to her dead husband, an oath that she would remain faithful to her marriage even after his death - one she allegedly did not keep - that resulted in the Black Angel's ominous shade. Despite the cause of the color, there is one thing that legends all agree on: that any who dare touch her are dancing with death. One story tells of a girl who kissed the angel's feet in the moonlight, only to be struck dead within six months. Another tale recounds the time that a highschool boy touched the angel on Halloween, only to have his heart instantly stop beating. A few years ago, the investigators of SyFy's reality series Haunted Highway investigated the strange tale of the Black Angel, and walked away with some interesting results. Not only did they capture some very strange audio phenomena, but managed to film a series of bizarre visual anomalies that floated through the cemetery. But that's not even the weirdest thing. Long after dark, in the cold of night, the investigators pointed there thermal cameras toward the statue only to find that it was red hot. Want to investigate the strange statue for yourself? Just head to the Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, Iowa, but remember... don't touch it.

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Reviewed by
breid7718

  • 24 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 18, 2017

According to urban legend, it's haunted. Golden angel statue that mysteriously turned coal black after the death of the maybe-a-witch who's buried there. SyFy's Haunted Highway captured audio/visual anomalies and documented it with thermal cameras as red hot in the middle of a cool night. Supposedly, anyone who touches it either dies right away or within months. We recorded it for a while, but saw nothing. And I touched it to prove a point, so if I kick off anytime soon you can all gather around and say I told you so.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
mcorrigan98

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 02, 2017
Rated 5.0

So beautiful!

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Reviewed by
TrishGrimsley

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
January 08, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful.

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The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery

1000 Brown St
Iowa City, Iowa
52245 USA

Hours

Open now until 8:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

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