We've got some pretty incredible legends in the Acadiana area, but have you ever heard about the "Glowing Grave of Wilderness Trail"?

glowing grave of wilderness trail
Google Maps

Glowing Grave of Wilderness Trail

The Lafayette Memories Facebook page recently had a post from Lynnette Hebert asking "Does anyone remember the glowing grave on Wilderness Trail?", and it seems many people do.

It's still there. In fact I lived on the property about 4 yrs ago while remodeling a trailer the owners of the property gave my son and I after I lost my trailer to a fire. - Lynnette Hebert, Facebook

It appears that this grave is the subject of an urban legend.

One of the stories told involves a man, his wife, and his mistress. Lynnette Hebert shares the story she was told as to why the grave glows:

I was told by the people that live there now that an old black man is buried there with his wife and mistress and the mistress died first and had no family or money so he buried her there, then the wife died and he placed her body with the mistress and they were fighting in there causing it to glow. - Lynnette Hebert, Facebook

Of course, dead people can't fight, so why does the grave glow?

It appears that some men didn't care why it glowed; they used it as a way to scare girls that they drove to the cemetery:

I used to live on Wilderness Trail and we would bring girls there to see it and then stall the car telling them we couldn’t start it . We would also make them believe that they saw and heard things that weren’t there ‍♂️ fun times - Michael Mark Catalan, Facebook

The grave site can still be found in the 2100 block of North Wilderness Trail. Craig Zimmerman chimed in, saying that the cemetery is the Strauss Family Cemetery.

Google Maps
Google Maps


Phyllis Cortez did her homework and found the grave on the Find-A-Grave website. It claims that the grave belongs to a Mr. Joseph Cleopha Strauss (may he rest in peace):


So, why does the grave "glow"? Well, this explanation from Margaret Lynch might be the "Velma-ripping-the-mask-off-of-the-ghost" moment:

I live right down the road from it. It is for or at least the grave marker is a Stroud family member. I don't think it really glows as people say....whoever cares for it paints a lot of silver... therefore when the younger ones go to see it is after dark. And of course headlights give it a glow. Not sure the dates on it. Has always been well cared for. - Margaret Lynch, Facebook

Silver paint on the grave. That explains a lot. Not everything, but a lot. Now, let's hope that they saved some of that silver paint for a bullet.

Also, judging by some of the comments on the story: it seems that graveyards and cemeteries were THE places to drink and puff back in the 70s.


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