Is it safe to build an airport runway over a cemetery? Not safe in terms of flight safety, but in terms of bad karma, bad mojo, and bad luck. Here in Chicago our O’Hare Airport has acquired a historic cemetery that was in the way of building a new runway. They will pave a new runway over it. The news article is below:
If you use a Google satellite map for St. Johannes Cemetery you will see this tiny cemetery surrounded by the vast O’Hare Airport. Soon it will vanish.
Here is a quote from the article:
“That heavy equipment should not be in that cemetery in the first place because that is consecrated ground,” Karaganis said. “The only people who know where area markers and the religious headstones are the members of the church. So we’re hoping the appellate court will cease the damage and religious sacrilege being done at St. Johannes.”
I can understand an airport not wanting a small patch of cemetery blocking their plans. However something about this strikes me as wrong. Call me superstitious, but removing the graves from consecrated ground sounds a lot like inviting trouble of the spiritual kind. Who knows if all the graves will be accounted for? The desecration of a cemetery may not seem like much of a concern. Yet, desecration has led to the haunting of cemeteries such as the infamous Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. In Ireland and Iceland, roads have been diverted around a fairy mound or a sacred tree.
I don’t know if I’d want to be on the airplane that is taking off over a former cemetery. Sort of like whistling in a graveyard. Hopefully superstition is only superstition and all will be well. Regardless, let’s keep an eye on this particular new runway.