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Cleveland's Craigmiles mausoleum's mysterious bleeding marble explained

Craigmiles mausoleumIn August 1864 a daughter was born to John and Adelia Thompson Craigmiles of Cleveland, Tenn. She was named Nina and was soon the apple of, not only, her father’s eye, but also of her grandfather’s, a Dr. Thompson. Dr. Thompson frequently took young Nina out for buggy rides, and it was during a buggy ride on 18 October 1871 that tragedy first befell the Craigmiles family.

For reasons no has ever explained or understood, either Dr. Thompson steered his carriage in front of an oncoming train or Nina was driving, as she was sometimes allowed, and lost control. Either way, the buggy was struck. Dr. Thompson was thrown clear of the accident and survived, but little Nina was killed instantly.

The entire family was crushed by the death of Nina, and her father decided that an appropriate memorial should be constructed. The local Episcopal congregation had no permanent meeting place, so John Craigmiles decided to erect a church in his daughter’s honor. Ground was broken the following August, and Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church was completed on 18 October 1874, the third anniversary of his beloved Nina’s death.

The family then began construction of a mausoleum in the rear of the church that would become a fit resting place for their daughter. Built from expensive marble imported from Italy, the mausoleum has four-foot thick walls, with a marble spire topped with a cross. The impressive memorial stands more than thirty-seven feet high, with a marble sarcophagus standing in the center of the tomb, surrounded by six shelves built into the walls. It was into the marble tomb that young Nina’s body was placed.

An unnamed infant brother followed Nina to the grave a few years later, followed in January 1899 by John Craigmiles, dying of blood poisoning following a fall on an icy street. Adelia remarried a Mr. Charles Cross but was tragically killed in September 1928 after being hit by a car while crossing Cleveland Street. She was laid to rest with her tragic family.

blood red stains on the Craigmiles mausoleumNot long after Nina was placed in the mausoleum, crimson streaks began appearing in the marble. It’s been said that these streaks have increased and gotten darker with each family member’s tragic death. Many claim the bloody streaks have never been explained and refused to be removed. 

However, some Italian marbles are known to contain minute traces of lead, which will turn red over time when exposed to the elements. While this explanation for the blood red stains isn’t as spooky or tragic as what is popularly believed, it’s most likely the reason behind them. 

It’s the job of a good paranormal investigator to look for every possible answer before declaring something paranormal. This is the case of the Craigmiles mausoleum. While the story is tragic, the red-stained marble is actually very normal. This mystery is solved.

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