Miles and Miles: The Miles Mausoleum

Stephen W. Miles was a violinist with pretensions of greatness. Bit by bit, he purchased over a thousand acres of bottom land in Monroe County and made a small fortune. Eventually, he commissioned a mausoleum to be built on a bluff in Eagle Cliff Cemetery, where he could see his land “for miles and miles.” Completed in 1858, the mausoleum cost $25,000 and was made from Italian marble. It contained 56 burial vaults. Unfortunately, Miles’ son went bankrupt and lost his father’s estate. Only eleven individuals were ever interred in the crypt.

Sometime during the 1950s, vandals desecrated the tomb, stole jewelry, and damaged the bodies of the Miles family. In the 1960s, a Satanic cult burned the rest of their remains in a bizarre attempt to resurrect them from the dead. Today, the grand mausoleum sits empty, but it is marred by graffiti and widely believed to be haunted by the angry spirits of the Miles family.

Eagle Cliff Cemetery is located off D Road, just south of where HH Road intersects with D Road, in rural Monroe County. HH Road is accessible from Bluff Road, south of Columbia, Illinois.


Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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