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The Spooky Story of What Lies Underneath a Runway at Savannah Airport

October 31, 2013 at 10:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Want to hear something spooky? There are two graves underneath one of the runways at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia.

If you know enough about airports to realize your flight is departing on Runway 10 (or your pilot requests the "graveyard tour" route from the tower), then you'll want to keep a look out the lefthand side windows for two rectangles patches in the tarmac that simply don't belong. In truth, these spots are graves, which belong in that spot more so than the airport, being original tenants from back when the land was a family cemetery.

The markers of the final resting places of RIchard and Catherine Dotson say "At rest" and "Gone home to rest," respectively. Stories of shadowy figures strolling the runway on low visibility nights circulate among flight crews who frequently land at SAV, so perhaps all the jet engine noise has awoken the Dotsons from their rests?

Still, the presence of the graves begs an explanation. Leave it to Wikipedia to have a hearty history:

Some 3,680 feet (1,120 m) from the west end of Runway 10 (the main east-west runway) are two concrete grave markers. A runway extension project placed the runway through a small family plot and the graves of the airport property's two original owners. Because the family did not want to remove and relocate the graves, the markers were placed in the asphalt runway.

Runway 10 is thought to be the only airport runway in the United States with marked gravestones in it. Federal law generally prohibits the moving of a grave without the permission of the next of kin. In this case, two graves of the Dotson Family, the earliest grave dating backed to 1857, were encountered during the construction of the runway. Since the next of kin could not be located, the graves were left undisturbed. Two additional graves are located off the runway surface.

Savannah may have the only graves under tarmac, but this cemetery abuts the runway at Gibraltar's already pretty infamous airfield.

So tonight, whether you're heading to a Halloween party or hunkering down at home to watch scary movies, you'll be able to share this very unique ghost story.

Happy Halloween!

[Photo: Google Maps]

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