The Grave in the Parking Lot
Mary Ellis was buried in 1828 in the Ellis family plot on a wooded hillside overlooking the Raritan River in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The story of her life was a sad one. Apparently, she had fallen in love with a sea captain who had promised to come back and marry her. Alas, the captain never returned. Mary never let go of the memory of her lost love. Upon her death, she was buried at the spot where she waited faithfully for her lover to return.
Nearly 200 years later, she’s still there, though now the surrounding land has been turned into a parking lot for a series of retail outlets: most recently, an AMC Theater and a Famous Dave’s Restaurant. Ever since the area was re-graded for parking, the grave, undisturbed and surrounded by a chain-link fence, has stood atop a seven-foot-high pedestal of earth in the middle of the lot.