The Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek Michigan was established in 1844 . Somewhere in the cemetery, adorning the grave site of one Johannas Decker is a beautiful statue of a Greek goddess. Through the years the legend has twisted this into a statue of the Virgin Mary, hence the title of the legend. As the legend goes, the statue of Crying Mary tells that at the stroke of midnight on Sundays, this statue cries. Some witnesses claim not only to have seen these tears, but to have felt them as well. The reports state that the statue never cries during the day and this has been occurring since approximately 1940 and continues on until this day. The residents of Battle Creek are quite familiar with Crying Mary, but no one has an explanation of why the statue cries.
Over the years, there have been a lot of stories concerning Johannas Decker, the woman buried under the statue. They range from saying she committed suicide to her killing her children.
After some research, I dug up the real story. Actually, Johannas Decker was a man. He was born in Ulster, New York in 1839. He later moved to Battle Creek and married Ruth A. Whitmore. Two children were born to the couple, but sadly they ied in infancy.
After Johannas death, out of her sorrow, Ruth had a beautiful statue erected on her husbands grave at his burial place. The bronze statue is said to be that of Ruth herself, done in the Grecian style and an actual working model of this same statue won first prize at the Art Institute of Chicago.
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