Not what you would expect of a crypt. It’s neither dark nor dank nor Halloween creepy. Yet it’s a graveyard where visitors as well as residents are underground, though at different levels. With sometimes peeling whitewashed walls and modern pendant lamps, it’s a rather clean, well-lighted place where not only the bodies, but the tombstones never see the sun.
Hidden on the New Haven Green beneath the federal style redbrick Center Church with its elaborate pediment and soaring spire, the Crypt is passed by thousands every day though known to few. Although it is the final resting place for hundreds of unknown people whose burials are not marked, there are 137 gravestones dating from 1687 to 1812 below the church sanctuary. Congregants literally pray over these sheltered dead at every service.