Karen lives in Jackson, MS, with her husband and son and works as an accountant. She enjoys writing, reading, and D&D role-playing games.
A Mysterious Crying Angel
Why would an angel cry? The Haserot Angel, who guards the grave of Frances Henry Haserot in Lake View Cemetery near Cleveland, Ohio, has permanent tears. It's haunting, yet still beautiful.
The Angel of Death Victorious is the official name of the statue. Staring straight ahead, she is life-sized and holds an extinguished touch upside down, which is meant to symbolize the end of life.
The angel mourns and presides over the quiet keep, having revered the dead for 80-plus years. Its macabre demeanor has made it somewhat of a Cleveland attraction with thousands now coming to visit the cemetery just to see this monument in its grim glory. The expression is solemn, steadfast, and honorable; it never changes—except perhaps when covered in snow or fallen leaves—and the tears continue to fall.
There are no words to describe the feeling that came over me the first time I viewed it. I wanted to comfort and embrace the angel since she seemed so real and so emotional.
The eerie tears come from the angel's eyes and drip down the length of her neck. It's a byproduct of aging and weathered bronze. Though eerie, the real emotion I feel looking at it was more "human." It's like the angel is experiencing the same feelings as us, and, in turn, perhaps God does as well. When looking at it I felt both sad and comforted.
As I stood in front of the large angel—one that has conquered death—I noticed she weeps like a human. The hollow eyes are like a beacon.
"Are you there?" she whispers, "do you hear my cry?" "Why do you weep, Angel?" I respond. Is it possible to comfort an angel? If so, that is my wish.
My friend in Second Life, Bittermuppet, shared a photo with me that absolutely took my breath away. It was a close up of the angel's face that made me stop and catch myself. I hope the introduction I've just given to this mysterious angel is as powerful as mine was!
Haserot and His Family
Francis Henry Haserot (1860–1953) and his family are buried here. The grandson of German immigrants, he was born and educated in Cleveland. He and his brother became partners in a wholesale grocery firm, eventually taking over the business and consolidating it into the Haserot Company. Haserot took over as president of the company in 1903 succeeding his brother.
The company saw a great deal of success with affiliates and business relations with companies all around the world. The business dealt heavily with the distribution of fruits and vegetables, seafood, dairy, canned meats, as well as food service equipment from various parts of the United States. Due to his success in business, Haserot eventually held prominent positions in Ohio like as president of the Cleveland Board of Education and as a director of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
He married Sarah Henrietta McKinney in 1889 and together they had four children. The angel presides over the entire family of six, the last having been buried in 1983.
Is it Haunted?
Some say the cemetery as a whole is haunted. With over 100 thousand people having been buried here, there's no way no one is haunting the sprawling grounds. And with so many famous people buried there, and with fame supposedly causing difficulties in passing through to the afterlife, there's a possibility.
I would have to say, at least for the Haserot Angel, the place is haunting, if not haunted. But without a doubt, the statues are phenomenal!
Lake View Cemetery's Famous Residents
Lake View Cemetary was founded in 1869 and is known today for its grand mausoleums and monuments to wealthy families from the Gilded Age. The assassinated President James A. Garfield rests here alongside his wife. The impressive memorial to the president was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The second site listed by the National Register of Historic Places is the Neoclassical receiving vault named the Wade Memorial Chapel. It honors Jeptha Wade, one of the cemetery's co-founders.
Business magnate John Rockefeller (the family's memorial is a prominent white obelisk) and Prohibition agent Elliot Ness also are laid to rest here and, because these big names draw so much attention, the Haserot Angel may go unnoticed.
When walking through the cemetery, the Angel of Death Victorious is like a hidden gem amongst a bed of diamonds. Those who led a more ordinary life, now live with such an extraordinary protector. If only we could all be so lucky as to be forever looked after by such a special work.
The sculptor, Herman N. Matzen, was a Danish-born artist who did the majority of his work in the United States. He is also buried in the graveyard.
Visiting the Haserot Angel
Visit the cemetery's website for visiting information and hours. The address of Lake View Cemetery is 12316 Euclid Ave Cleveland, Ohio, 44106.
There are maps available to help you navigate the sprawling grounds. If you are looking for the Haserot Angel go to:
- Plot – Association 9, Lot 14, SubLot 0, Grave 3
- Memorial ID – 7938304