Updated 30 October 2018
By: Rebecca Cofiño/ Blogger
Time to raise the undead.
For most of the year, zombie fans are relegated to the sidelines of our society, but on Halloween, the spooky, the scary and downright creepy are thrust into the spotlight. Nothing is scarier than the thought of zombies wandering around the earth.
Unless you imagine them dancing with Michael Jackson in a graveyard to the beat of Thriller.
If you are visiting the Grove this October, you might just want to stop by the Charlotte Jane Memorial Park in Coconut Grove. This is the cemetery which is rumored to be part of where Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller video was filmed. It’s a unique cemetery for sure, with above ground tombs and crypts.
Of course, a cemetery isn’t just a place to make spooky fun for Halloween and music videos. It’s the final resting place of many people and deserves to be treated with respect. The Charlotte Jane Memorial Park is actually a historically significant graveyard. It was formed in 1906 as a place to bury Miami’s first Bahamian settlers. The five of the most important Bahamian families banded together to purchase the land for $140,000. The families included Joseph Mayor, who owned a bicycle shop and Daniel and Catherine Anderson who founded the Christ Episcopal Church. They are considered the Bahamian pioneers of Coconut Grove.
In fact, there was originally another cemetery for that population, but it was moved to this location when city officials realized that the original, Charles Avenue location was too small to serve the growing community. Naturally, moving a cemetery caused a lot of controversy and eventually the Coconut Grove Colored Cemetery Association was formed to oversee it. The cemetery is currently managed by the Coconut Grove Cemetery Association.
If you want to poke your nose around this graveyard for Halloween, you will certainly find it creepy (and, perhaps, familiar from the Jackson video). But it is also a place to come in the light of day to pay your respects to the people who helped to create the Coconut Grove we know and love today.
The Charlotte Jane Memorial Cemetery is located at 3575 South Douglas Road, Miami, FL 33231.