What do an automobile dealer, a hotel proprietor, a pharmacist and a steamboat captain have in common? They will all be “appearing” at this year’s Angels on the Bluff at Natchez City Cemetery. Scheduled for November 7-9 (rain or shine), Angels on the Bluff is one of the South’s most popular cemetery tours. Tickets are known to sell out fast, so call or stop by the Natchez Visitor Center now to get them.
You may recognize Natchez City Cemetery from local author Greg Iles’s 2005 book Turning Angel. Located in the cemetery, the angel monument’s story is a sad one, as it marks the gravesites of employees who died in the Natchez Drug Co. explosion of 1908. The owner was so devastated that he decided to memorialize his workers with the monument overlooking their five headstones.
“Turning Angel” refers to the monument appearing to turn when cars driving by the bend in Cemetery Road at night shine their headlights. During Angels on the Bluff, you’ll see the famous Turning Angel near the end of the tour and maybe even learn about some of its neighboring graves.
The walking tour theatrically tells tales of Natchez’s deceased residents and takes visitors through the cemetery by candlelight. Costumed locals and descendants are positioned in vignettes at various gravesites to act out the lives—and deaths—of everyone from reverends to attorneys, postmasters and the residents of some of the city’s most famous homes.
Angels on the Bluff takes place in the evening outdoors in the cemetery, and free shuttle transportation from the Natchez Visitor Reception Center is provided since parking is limited. While the outdoor cemetery experience is preferable, the event is moved indoors if it rains.
Call 1-800-647-6724 or 601-446-6345 for tickets, which are $35 each.
Read more about Natchez history and events here.