St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, La. Is Called the ‘Wrong Way Cemetery’—Why?
At first glance, you probably don't notice anything unusual about St. Joseph's Cemetery in Rayne, Louisiana but there is something strange about this Louisiana cemetery that makes it one of a kind.
To symbolize the beginning and end of life, most cemeteries in the United States face East-West aligning with the rise and setting of the sun. The sunrise symbolizes the beginning of life and the setting sun the end of life. At St. Joseph's Cemetery in Rayne, that's not how things are, which is why the Christian cemetery has earned the nickname the "Wrong Way Cemetery".
All the plots/graves in St. Joseph Cemetery face North-South, not East-West. What happened? How could this bizarre mistake be made? Did the first gravediggers have a bad day? Did they know tradition? Didn't they know the Bible states the origin of the second coming of Jesus would be from the East?
The cemetery is laid out so strangely, it grabbed the attention of "Ripley's Believe it or Not".
The only explanation we have today is that when the town of Pouppeville was moved to the new town of Rayne, the grave digger made a mistake when moving the graves. Maybe he "misunderstood" the instructions given to him. And by the time officials realized the mistake, it was too late.
St Joseph Cemetery is located just south of St. Joseph Catholic Church located at 401 S Adams Ave, Rayne, LA 70578.
KATC—Dave Baker Road Trip to St. Joseph Cemetery in 2018