Tales from the Presidential Crypts A look at some strange incidents at presidential tombs: the skull of Washington, a guard driven mad by standing watch at Garfield’s grave, shots fired and intruders at McKinley’s tomb, and poltergeist-like activities at the Harding holding vault.
The life of a graveyard guard was a thankless one. He had to walk the grounds of a cemetery in the dark and in all weathers, ever vigilant for the dreaded body snatchers. More than one watchman was murdered by these ghouls or exchanged gunfire among the tombstones. It was no wonder that, in the 1880s, a new occupational disease emerged.