St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, La. has a big mistake

At first glance, you might not notice anything unusual about St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, Louisiana, but there’s something odd about this Louisiana cemetery that makes it unique.

To symbolize the beginning and end of life, most cemeteries in the United States are oriented east-west, aligning with the rising and setting of the sun. The sunrise symbolizes the beginning of life and the setting sun the end of life. This is not the case at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, which is why the Christian cemetery is nicknamed the “Wrong Way Cemetery”.

Cemetery St. Joseph

Google Maps

All beds/graves in St. Joseph Cemetery are oriented north-south, not east-west. What happened? How could this bizarre mistake have been made? Did the early gravediggers have a bad day? Did you know tradition? Didn’t they know that the Bible says the second coming of Jesus would come from the east?

The graveyard is so oddly laid out that it caught the attention of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not.”

The only explanation we have today is that when the town of Pouppeville was moved to the new town of Rayne, the gravedigger made a mistake in moving the graves. Perhaps he “misunderstood” the instructions given to him. And by the time officials noticed the mistake, it was too late.

St. Joseph Catholic Church


St. Joseph Cemetery is located south of St. Joseph Catholic Church at 401 S Adams Ave, Rayne, LA 70578.

KATC – Dave Baker Road Trip to St. Joseph Cemetery in 2018


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