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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

Haunted History: Manhattan's Smallest Cemetery

This small cemetery tucked away on west 11th street in Manhattan was founded in 1805, and is Manhattan’s smallest cemetery. The official name of this burial ground is the Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.

After it was first opened, this cemetery was reserved for those who died from infectious diseases, those who had recently immigrated to New York and people who had completed suicide. However, in 1823 city new ordinances meant that Shearith Israel could no longer use their Chatham Square cemetery for burials and this location became necessary to use for all burials.

After 1830, the city bought back some of the land, leaving only this small triangle. The remaining bodies are buried quite deep.

You can see that visitors often leave small stones along the fence.

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