Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan

Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan

Detailed Description

The scene: Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan, a picturesque plot of towering trees, its weathered headstones situated solemnly beneath the shadows of leafless limbs. Could tiny things be moving beyond the grave? A team of brave USGS scientists wondered if materials associated with decomposition and burial processes could affect groundwater quality downhill of the cemetery. They measured the amount of materials in the water that could be associated with burial, such as formaldehyde, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and bacteria that can be released through natural human decay. Formaldehyde and pharmaceuticals were not detected, but nutrient concentrations were elevated and trace metals like arsenic, manganese and aluminum were present in some water samples. Concentrations of bacteria like E. coli were also elevated and bacterial pathogens were present in several samples. The study did not raise the dead, but it did raise more questions and revealed that further research is needed to determine how greatly cemeteries might affect groundwater. But don’t all good ghost stories need a little mystery? 


Image Dimensions: 4000 x 5048

Date Taken:

Location Taken: Lansing, MI, US