Paranormal In Review

Cemetery Art


Birds–eternal life,resurrection

Butterfly–short life

Deer- Hart (stag) - represented either faithfulness,thirsting for God

Dog–good master worthy of love

Dolphin - portrays resurrection

Dove–innocence, peace

Dragon - being defeated by St. George depicts triumph over sin

Eagle - courage and possibly a military career

Fish - indicates faith, Christianity

Horse - Death. White horses represent good, while black horses represent evil.

Hummingbird - Often found on infants' gravestones. Usually just decorative.

Lamb–innocence, usually a child’s grave

Lion–courage, eternal guarding

Owl - suggests wisdom

Ox - Patience, strength.

Peacock - symbolized the incorruptibility of flesh,resurrection, beauty of soul, immortality

Phoenix - symbolized the incorruptibility of flesh,resurrection, beauty of soul, immortality

Rabbit - Humility, gentleness, self-sacrifice.

Rooster–awakening, resurrection

Serpent- shown swallowing its own tail it represents Eternity.

Squirrel with a nut - religious meditation or spiritual striving.

Winged Lion - Represents Saint Mark, one of the four evangelists.

Winged Ox - Represents Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists.

Hands and Body

Arms outstretched -the plea for mercy

Eye of God/All-Seeing Eye - symbolizes the all-knowing and ever-present God. The eye within the triangle, surrounded by a circle and radiating rays of light is used to symbolize the holiness of the true God.

Eye - Usually found in a triangle or within a sunburst. This is a masonic symbol.

Hands, blessing – blessing for those left behind

Hands, clasped – farewells or the bond of marriage

Hand, pointing upward – pathway to heaven

Hands, praying – asking God for eternal life

Handshake - symbol on a tombstone usually signifies a welcome into the heavenly world.--symbol of matrimony on the grave marker of a married couple.

Hand writing - Writing names in the book of life. Can also be found on writers' graves.


Heart Pierced by Sword - Virgin Mary, Christ, repentance

Heart Wrapped in Thorns - Promise of heavenly assistance

Heart, Flaming - Religious fervor

Joined hearts–marriage

Skeleton - Life's brevity

Skull, skeleton - Mortality, death

Skull, crossed bones–death

Winged face - Effigy of the soul of the deceased

Winged skull - Flight of the soul from mortal man


Anchor, sextant, or cross staff – Mariner---Christians as a symbol of hope and steadfastness.

Axe, steel knife, or cleaver – Butcher

Bible – Minister

Bowl and razor – Barber

Compasses – Shipwright

Coulter (hoe), flail, Swingle tree (rod for beating flax),Stalk of corn - Farmer

Crossed swords – Military, high rank

Crown, hammer, anvil – Blacksmith

Leather cutter’s knife, nippers, or awl – Shoemaker

Loom, shuttle, or stretchers – Weaver

Mortar and Pestle - Usually found on the gravestones of pharmacists, and sometimes doctors

Music - Usually found on the graves of musicians. The musiccan be from a song the musician wrote, or it could be the deceased person's favorite hymn.

Open book–teacher -- Can represent many different things,including the book of life, often represented as the Bible.

Palette and Brushes - Usually found on artists' gravestones.

Rake and spade – Gardener

Ship - Seafarer

Scales – Merchant

Wedge and level – Mason

Wheel – Wheelwright



Acacia - immortality of soul

Acanthus - heavenly garden

Bamboo - the emblem of Buddha, symbolic of devotion and truthfulness.

Broken flower - a life terminated, mortality.

Buttercup - cheerfulness.

Calla lily - symbolizes marriage or resurrection.

Century Plant - Represents immortality; everlasting life.

Cinquefoil - maternal affection, beloved daughter

Corn - Rebirth, fertility.

Crocus - youthful gladness

Daffodil - death of youth, desire, art, grace, beauty, deep regard.

Daisy - innocence of child

Fern - sincerity, sorrow

Figs, Pineapples - Prosperity, eternal life

Fleur-de-lis - flame, passion, ardor, mother

Flower - Frailty of life.

Forget-me-not - remembrance

Ivy - memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity,faithfulness, undying affection, eternal life.

Grapes - represent Christ

Grapes and Leaves - Christian faith.

Hawthorn - hope, merriness, springtime

Holly - foresight

Honeysuckle - bonds of love, generosity and devoted affection

Lalla - beauty, marriage

Laurel Leaves - Special achievement, distinction, success,triumph

Lily - majesty, innocence, purity, and resurrection. Often associated with the Virgin Mary and resurrection. Often used on women's graves.The use of lilies at funerals symbolizes the restored innocence of the soul at death.

Lotus Symbolizes creation and rebirth. Often seen on gravestones and mausoleums with an Egyptian architecture style.

Morning glory - resurrection, mourning, youth, farewell,brevity of life, departure, mortality

Mystic rose - Mother

Moss - merit

Mulberry - I will not survive you

Passion flower - the elements of the passion of Christ: the lacy crown—the crown of thorns; the five stamens—the five wounds; the 10petals—the 10 faithful Apostles

Pineapple - hospitality, good host

Pansy - symbolizes remembrance and humility.

Poppy - peace, rest, sleep, eternal sleep, consolation

Rose - love, beauty, hope, unfailing love, associated with the Virgin Mary, the "rose without thorns“. Red rose symbolizes martyrdom while a white rose symbolizes purity and virginity.


A bud symbolizes - normally a child 12 or under


Partial bloom - normally a teenager


Full bloom - normally in early/mid twenties. The deceased died in the prime of life


Rosebud, broken - life cut short

Rosebuds, joining - strong bond between two people, a husband and wife who died at the same time, parent and child.

Rosebuds, several on same branch - secrecy

Rosette - the Lord, messianic hope, promise, love.

Wreath of Rose - Beauty and virtue rewarded

Shamrock - Ireland as country of origin

Thistle - earthly sorrow, Christ's crown of thorns, Scotland as country of origin.

Vine - The sacraments, God's blood, God

Wheat - resurrection, bread and wine (Christian), fertility

Bushel - body of Christ

sheaves - The divine harvest, Often represents the aged.

Wreath or Garland - (Laurel) victory of the redemption,saintliness, glory, victory in death


 Angels–spirituality and tomb guarding

Angel, flying or trumpeting–rebirth, resurrection


Cherub–angelic innocence


Crown–glory of life after death

Cross–faith (There are many different types of crosses, and each may mean something different.)

Heart (sacred)–suffering of Christ


Star of David–Judaism

Harp, lyre - Praise to the God.

Holy books (1)–Christianity

Rod or Staff - Comfort for the bereaved


 Tree stands for life.

Tree Sprouting stands for life everlasting.

Tree Trunk stands for the brevity of life.

Stones shaped liked Tree Stumps usually signify that the deceased was a member of The Woodmen of the World

Cypress tree - designates hope

Dead leaves - sadness, melancholy

Dogwood - Christianity, divine sacrifice, triumph of eternal life, resurrection.

Fallen Tree - Mortality, Death.

Oak tree - hospitality, stability, strength, honor,eternity, endurance, liberty. Often seen on military tombs.

Olive branch - Mostly depicted in the mouth of a dove,symbolizes peace - that the soul has departed in the peace of God.

Palm - spiritual victory, success, eternal peace,

Pine - fertility, regeneration, fidelity

Weeping Willow Tree - Perpetual Mourning; Grief.

Willows - Earthly Sorrow

Yew tree - sadness, eternal life


 3 Books - Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants

3 Rings - the Odd fellows, friendship, love and truth

Apple - Apples represent salvation, sometimes sin.

Arch - Victory of life; or victory in death.

Arrow - Denotes mortality

Artillery - Artillery, such as cannons, on a gravestone usually represents military service

Beehive - Often used by the Freemasons. It symbolizes faith,education, and domestic virtues

Bell - Often symbolizes a church bell, and therefore religion.

Blowing a trumpets - Representing the day of judgment, and call to the Resurrection

Books stacked - Educated- scholarly

Broken column – Loss of family head or someone who died young or in the prime of life, before

reaching old age.

Broken Chain Link - Symbolizes a loss in the family.

Broken Wheel - Symbolizes the end of life; a break in the circle or wheel of life.

Broken ring – Severed family circle

Candle being snuffed – Loss of life

Cannon - Military service

Coffin – Mortality

Clock Mortality, death; the passage of time.

Closed book- Completed life

Clouds - Awakening to resurrection

Columns, with archway - Heavenly entrance

Cross and Anchor - Christian symbol referring to Christ as"hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sincere and steadfast"(Hebrews 6:19).

Crown and Cross - Symbolizes both victory and Christianity.Also, this symbol sometimes denotes a member of the York Rite Masons.

Doors and gates - Passage into the afterlife. Heavenly entrance

Drapery over anything - Sorrow, mourning

Eagle, Double-headed A Masonic symbol, symbolizing a 32nddegree Mason.

Figure with dart – Mortality

Flame, light, lamp, torch, candle – Immortality of the spirit, resurrection

Grapes - Blood of Christ.

Grim reaper – Death personified

Hammer - A hammer symbolizes the power of creation. It can also represent the person's profession.

Harp - A harp symbolizes praise to God. They are often carved with a broken string, representing a break in mortal life.

Horns – Resurrection

Horseshoe - Protection against evil

Hourglass – Time has run out

Hourglass, Flying - Time flies

Inverted torch - Extinction of life, death.

Keys - Cemetery keys stand for spiritual knowledge or, if held in the hands of an angel or saint, the means to enter heaven.

Knot - A tied knot symbolizes marriage and unity.

Menorah - A menorah, which is a candelabra with seven branches,is a Jewish symbol. It usually marks the grave of a righteous woman.

Moon - Rebirth. A crescent moon and star symbol like the one pictured here is also a symbol of Islam.

Obelisk - is a tall, narrow, four-sided, tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top. Symbol for the Egyptian god, Re,who held the power to recreate, hence, God, lord over all, creator.

Open book- Book of life

Plow - A plow symbolizes the harvest; the reaping of life.

Rifle - Usually found on the graves of military members and hunter

Rosary - Almost always found on Catholic gravestones.Symbolizes devotion to Mary and constant prayer for the deceased person.

Scallop - A symbol of birth and resurrection, a traditional symbol of the Puritans.

Scarab - An Egyptian symbol of spontaneous creation. Also symbolizes the renewal of life.

Shell - Baptism or rebirth.

Shoes - Empty shoes symbolize the loss of a child. Usually one shoe is overturned.

Scroll - Symbol of life and time.

Scythe – Death cuts us down

Sickle - death as the "last harvest"

Sleeping Child - A sleeping child is a Victorian symbol for death.

Spade, crossed spade and shovel – Death

Star - Stars stand for the spirit, in their triumph against the odds of oblivion. Five pointed stars represent the spirit rising to heaven.

Stars and Stripes Around Eagle -- Eternal vigilance and liberty. Often seen on military markers.

Sphere- Soul waiting for resurrection

Sun - A sun symbolizes the soul rising to heaven.

Sword - Swords represent martyrdom. Crossed swords are often seen on the gravestones of veterans, especially officers.

Trumpeters – Harbingers of the resurrection

Urn with Flame - Undying remembrance

 Soldier on Horse - A figure is seen on top a horse in memorial, there are the three meanings:

 1. Two or more feet raised - death in battle.

2. One leg raised fully off the ground - death from wounds suffered in battle.

3. Standing square or at rest - death of natural causes.