We are inching closer and closer to Halloween, Quad Cities which means it's a great time to remind you of some of the haunted spots and spooky tales. This scary story is about a very real gravesite that no one has really any knowledge of. This is the story of the tombstone marked "Limb of Unknown Child" in Davenport.

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The Limb of the Unknown Child gravesite can be found at Davenport's Oakdale Cemetery on Eastern Avenue. Eerily enough, you'll find this headstone in a special section where children from the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home, later known as the Annie Wittenmyer Home or the Annie Wittenmyer Center, were buried.

According to the Davenport Public Library, they too know very little about the Limb of Unknown Child.

"We know very little about the limb. It is entered into the interment records of Oakdale as a boy’s leg.  No name or date is given."


The legend of the Limb of Unknown Child and the Ophans' Home burial section is that when you visit the area, whether it's in the day, at night, or on Halloween, you'll hear the sounds of kids laughing, singing, and/or crying, and feel the presence of the children.

In 2020, JT went to explore The Limb of Unknown Child and the Orphans' Home gravesite. He had a very spooky encounter that still haunts him. This was his encounter:

I went to this location on October 20th, 2020. The entire cemetery was empty. The vibe felt the same as last time, until I found the head stone of "Baby Boy Fear." I was surprised it was real. I said it out loud, and felt a cold rush that felt deeper than the wind howling around me.

I felt light headed which was strange because I almost never get that feeling. My car was still running on the dirt road about 50 feet away. but I could no longer hear the engine's hum. Every thing felt silent.

This next part will sound fake, but I will stand by it. My real name Is Jake Truemper, and as I tired to calmly walk back to my car I heard my name clear as day. It cut through the silence like a knife. I felt goose bumps. My full name was said clear as day in a child's voice. "Jake Truemper." In the middle of the day, with no one around.

As I set foot back on the road all the sounds rushed back to me, the loud wind, the birds, the cars from the paved road a few hundred feet away. I got back into my car and drove off.

Creepy. A writer for the Davenport Public Library also has a strange encounter which you can find here.

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What's really interesting about the gravesite of the Limb of Unknown Child is its location. You'll find the grave in section T-E of the Orphans lot, but according to the Davenport Public Library, the interment records have burial location is listed as T-F, the next row up from its actual placement.


What's even more interesting, is looking at the plot map of the Oakdale Cemetery, it looks as if the Limb of Unknow Child is in row U. I'm not sure how cemeteries are mapped and plotted, but something seems strange.

To get to the Limb of Unknown Child grave, it's a little difficult if you don't know where you're going. The Orphans' Home section isn't on the main roads in the cemetery. You'll need to go down a gravel path or get out of your car and walk to find the section.


While finding answers about the Limb of Unkown Child is difficult, we all have the same questions about the headstone.

  • Whose limb is it?
  • Why did they bury a limb?
  • What limb is buried?
  • When was the limb buried?


Will we ever get the answers to these questions? We hope so, but it doesn't seem likely. Either way, the Limb of Unknown Child and the Orphans' Home section in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport continues to bring mystery and occasionally fright to the Quad Cities.

Quad City Haunted Houses

Spooky season is here Quad Cities! Haunted houses are open and we know you want to get your scare on. We have the full list of Quad City haunted houses you need to visit before Halloween.

(Sources: JT, Davenport Public Library, Oakdale Cemetery, Iowa Gravestones)

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