I know, not everyone likes cemeteries–not even during Halloween week. I get some weird looks when I tell people that I really enjoy visiting and photographing cemeteries. But I promise you, it’s not really because I have some sort of penchant for the macabre. I’m not in it for the spooky. I find cemeteries to be places where we are surrounded by history and I appreciate how loved ones choose to honor their ancestors. I’ll also admit that I find many cemeteries to be beautiful. It’s hard not to when they’re placed in such idyllic locations. Over the past six or so years, I’ve made points to visit, picnic in, or even have a martini in some amazing cemeteries. It’s gotten to the point that my sister snaps photos of interesting ones for me when she travels. I’m not ashamed. If you are, let Halloween week be your excuse. Here are 8 of my favorites so far.
8. Notre-Dame-des-Neiges | Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Oh, my conversation partner and I laughed when we saw the cemetery listed as “one of the best places to pick up girls in Montreal.” How awful of them, I thought. Yeah, okay, I still think it’s pretty awful, but after walking through it and seeing the groups of friends picnicking or the runners running, I might believe. It’s beautiful and calm.
7. Central Burying Ground, King’s Chapel, and Granary Burying Ground | Boston, USA
Okay, there are three of them. But this is where it all began for me. It wasn’t just one of these cemeteries that made an impression on me, it was all three of them equally. You’re surrounded by history in Boston, and the fact that cemeteries are history was really cemented for me on my visits to Boston.
6. Oakland Cemetery | Atlanta, USA
During our trip to Atlanta, we actually dined across from the cemetery, not in it, and then took a stroll through it afterward. Had we picnicked, we wouldn’t have been alone. Beautiful place.
5. San Juan Cemetery | San Juan, Puerto Rico
Hanging out just on the edge of San Juan Cemetery along the old fort walls makes for a nice Puerto Rican coffee and mallorca break. Such a gorgeous setting.
4. Recoleta Cemetery | Buenos Aires, Argentina
As the final resting place of Evita, Recoleta Cemetery sees its fair share of tourists. I’m often one of the only
creepers history lovers around with a camera when in cemeteries, but definitely not in this case. It’s a beautiful cemetery and definitely deserves more than a beeline to the grave of its most-famous resident.
3. Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 & 2 | New Orleans, USA
I went to New Orleans for a library conference, and therefore didn’t get the time I normally would have taken to explore more of the cemeteries in this city. Even still, I quite knew I was charmed.
2. Maimara City Cemetery | Maimara, Argentina
The cemetery in Maimara was such a close contender for the number one spot. Even as this post goes up, I feel a tinge of guilt for putting it at number two. I mean, look at the painted rocks of the mountains behind the cemetery. Look at the cardón cacti spread throughout the cemetery. Just look. So cool. Go ahead, click on that photo to view it even larger.
1. Bonaventure Cemetery | Savannah, Georgia, USA
And finally, Bonaventure. As much as I loved the Maimara Cemetery in Argentina, I just couldn’t bring myself to place anything above Bonaventure. Read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before you go. And then enjoy this beautiful view. Okay, this place might be a little spooky with all that hanging moss. But mostly beautiful.
Happy, non-spooky Halloween week!
Unless otherwise credited, all photos are my own and subject to copyright regulations.