This story begins with the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport located in Savannah, Georgia. Something surprising happened back when the airport first expanded.
Back during World War II, the airport looked to extend runway 10. However, there was something preventing this from happening. An unexpected blockade.
The expansion would ultimately cause the runway to cross paths with a family plot that featured over 100 graves. The airport needed permission to move them.
The Dotson family ultimately agreed to move most of the graves over to an official cemetery. That came with the caveat that a few of the graves remain in place on the runway.
Before we go much further in discussing the details of this Savannah Airport surprise, you should know something. This is far from the only case of graves in unexpected places.
Take the Neptune Memorial Reef for example. The whole thing is made from a combination of cement and ashes. Relatives are allowed to scuba dive to visit loved ones.
This is a somewhat unsettling example for most. It’s the New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad. There, people can enjoy their dinner while sitting next to these graves.
This isn’t a random occurrence. It’s similar to the Savannah Airport story as the restaurant was built on top of an existing burial site. There’s also an interesting tidbit about this.
Unlike the Savannah Airport story, nobody seems to know who these graves belong to. Locals claim it is the remains of followers of a 16th-century saint but that’s not confirmed.
This might be the most interesting looking one at first glance. These coffins, each carved by one of the Sagada people, are placed on the side of a cliff in the most unique gravesite ever.
Another of the most interesting locations for a grave is inside of a tree trunk. Yes, you read that right. The Toraja people of Indonesia do this to allow deceased babies to be absorbed by nature.
We understand that the thoughts of a cemetery and fun don’t go well together. However, this Alaskan community allows small houses to be placed and painted over graves using the family colors.
It’s time to go back to the discussion of this odd happening at the Savannah Airport. As noted, the Dotson family agreed to move most of the graves but wanted to keep four around.
Of those, the main ones to discuss are that of the patriarch and matriarch. Richard and Catherine Dotson have their graves still firmly in place right on the runway.
This is a closer look at Richard’s headstone. You can see that he lived a long life and died before the 1900s came around. That tells you how long it has been in place.
As you may have noticed, Richard’s grave marker read “at rest.” Catherine’s is slightly different, reading “gone home to rest.” What about the other two graves that stuck around?
The other two graves belong to fellow Dotson relatives. They are for Daniel Hueston and John Dotson. Those are located off to the side in the nearby brush.
There’s another similar airport in Georgia. The Mathis airport actually featured a slew of grave markers on one of their runways. The airport is no longer active.
This is a closer look at one of the headstones embedded into the runway at Mathis airport. When it was built in the 1960s, the Anglin family allowed them to incorporate the graves into the runway.
With the Mathis airport closed, Savannah has the only active runway with graves. It even comes complete with ghost stories from those who have landed there at sundown.