Virginia law says to stay away from cemeteries after dark

Cheryl E Preston
No trespassing in Virginia cemeteries after darkPhoto byJohn ThomasonUnsplash

No trespassing after dark in Virginia cemeteries

After my brother William Jones III passed away in June 1993 his widow would often visit his grave in the Saunders Family Cemetery in Blue Ridge. My grandmother had two things to say about it. The first was to quote Luke 24:5 from the Bible "Why seek ye the living among the dead"? She said if the spirit is in heaven why are you talking to the dust in the ground?

Her second comment was that the white neighbors knew this was an African American cemetery so when they saw my Caucasian sister-in-law standing there after dark they would think she was a ghost. I don't know what time of day or night my brother's widow visited but if she went after dark she was violating a state code. § 18.2-125. Trespass at night upon any cemetery.
You can't tamper with graves or headstones in VirginiaPhoto byCross-Keys MediaonUnsplash

It's against the state law

If any person, without the consent of the owner, proprietor or custodian, go or enter in the nighttime, upon the premises, property, driveways or walks of any cemetery, either public or private, for any purpose other than to visit the burial lot or grave of some member of his family, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Halloween takes place on October 31 and anyone who is thinking of mischief in the Commonwealth, they might want to think again. In Virginia, it is against the law to enter a cemetery after dark and also to do harm to a grave or the remains in the casket. You can read the detailed ordinances by clicking on the above link.

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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