Are you spooked by cemeteries? Or, do you walk through them to check out your own ancestral history?
Cemetery excursions often evoke fond memories of a favorite friend or relative. Some cemeteries are destination outings for those who wish to visit famous people buried within the hallowed grounds.
But sometimes, the visits are not about honoring the departed. Most European cathedrals have graveyards outside, but also house the remains of royalty beneath the slate and tile in the sanctuaries. Walking across the stones in certain corners of Canterbury Cathedral can stir a feeling of the presence of evil. The crowds that have worn away the stones over the centuries have not removed the sense of death and sorrow that seems to linger in the darkened alcoves.
We read about souls lost in between this earth and another dimension. We tell tales of being scared beyond rational thinking when stuck in a graveyard at night. Reports abound of an unnerving feeling, as if life-forces come out after dark to dance or moan soulfully of their own unfortunate, untimely demise. What if the dead haven’t yet crossed over to another plane and need to reach someone in this world in order to be able to rest in peace? It’s the stuff of novels and movies galore.
We have ghost hunters searching for restless spirits, cemetery researchers looking for the ancestors of a client, and the curious wondering what all the fuss is about. Whatever your belief system, it is possible to take cemetery walks all over the world, some for free, others at stiff prices for the privilege of being frightened in the name of fun.
The Oakwood Cemetery Saints and Sinners Tour (oakwoodcemetery.net/ ) The tour through this Fort Worth, Texas, cemetery features a reenactment of famous people buried there, and even has a section just for bartenders. Do the ghosts need a drink after death? Hmmm.
Fort Worth Spirit & Paranormal Adventures (dfwparanormalresearch.com/) takes small groups of ghost/spirit hunters through the area, stopping at famously haunted cemeteries. EMF meters and thermal scanners are supplied so that tourists/believers can see glowing tombstones and floating orbs. The Arlington tour promises active ghosts everywhere. Let us know what you see if you go. Pictures welcome. Yup.
During the Princeton University Ghost Tour the Ghost Hunter Guides train the attendees in the use of EMF Meters, dowsing rods, and therma-meters to allow for interaction with those that have crossed over. No mention of what kind of interaction that might be, but iPhones and cameras are encouraged. Not sure if it will make you jump and scream, but the tour is rated PG-13 because of its adult-ish content.
Because of the 2020 Pandemic, a Cary, North Carolina haunted cemetery tour will be virtual for Halloween. The Friends of Page-Walker, a local volunteer historical group, will explore Hillcrest Cemetery, one of Cary’s most haunted cemeteries, sharing its strange history and spooky stories.
Remember Ichabod Crane and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”? Sleepy Hollow, New York is the home of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery , the definition of spooky. There are tours scheduled for day as well as night and must be booked ahead. A Lantern tour at night promises to deliver on the scare factor as stories are shared about some of the inhabitants.
Salem, Massachusetts is well known for the Salem witch trials. One of the most famous judges from the trials is interred at The Burying Point cemetery. Spellbound Tours, delivers what they call Salem’s “original and best haunted tour,” and includes the cemetery on the agenda for the evening.
Check your town’s website to see what events will be held locally. If the Pandemic has caused cancellations in your area, set the DVR for Halloween movies and wear your costumes anyway. Whatever you decide for your Halloween observance, stay safe and have fun.