My Cemetery Bucket List

I just finished reading 199 Cemeteries to see before you die by Loren Rhoads. It’s a great read, showcasing beautiful and unique cemeteries all over the world. It has me thinking a lot about travel lately. Unfortunately, travel isn’t really in my future at the moment. We are currently in Step 3 of the Ontario Reopening Plan due to COVID-19. Restrictions have lifted a little and life is getting a little bit back to normal. But, I am not quite ready to do any major traveling just yet. This past year and a half have been hard, and my mind has wandered a lot—daydreaming of visiting far-off places and new cemeteries. 

Reading 199 Cemeteries to see before you die has been helping curb that wanderlust. A little bit. It’s been a nice escape, but my bucket list of cemeteries to visit just seems to be getting longer and longer!

Here are my current top 5 cemeteries I want to see before I die:

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York. This cemetery is 85 acres, and is most notably the resting place of Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This cemetery might be best known for its fictional dead people—as the namesakes for characters in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow come from this burial ground. Supposedly even the grave of the Headless horseman can be found here. This cemetery also offers walking tours; The Original Knickerbocker: Washington Irving & The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Classic Evening Lantern Tour. You can also pick up a free legal-sized map at the Cemetery office, or purchase a full color 17 x 20 map for self-guided tours.

Website link: Sleepy hollow Cemetery

The Old Burying Point Cemetery

Located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is also known as the Charter Street cemetery. It’s the oldest cemetery in Salem, and holds some connections to the witchcraft trials that took place there in 1692-1693. It has many beautiful slate and sandstone grave markers. I would love to see the detailed deaths heads in person. Some of the more notable people buried here are: Salem witch trial judge John Hathorne, and a passenger on the Mayflower, Capt. Richard More. There is also a memorial to the men and women who were killed during the witch trials. 

Website link: Salem.org

Fairview Lawn Cemetery

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This cemetery holds the graves of over 121 victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, that happened on April 15, 1912. They are memorialized with granite markers, laid out in the subtle outline of a ship’s hull. There is also a mass grave for the victims of the Halifax explosion that happened in 1917 and war graves of commonwealth personnel from World War I and World War II.

Website link: Atlasobscurea.com

Toronto Necropolis

Necropolis means “city of the dead” in Greek. This historic cemetery in Toronto Ontario, opened in 1850 and is the final resting place of many notable Canadians such as Toronto’s first Mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie and Dr. Roy Dafoe, of the Dionne Quintuplets fame. It is also the final resting place of George A. Romero, director of the horror movie classic Night of the Living dead. This large cemetery also contains a cremation chapel. The chapel was erected in 1872, with the crematorium added later, in 1933. 

Website link: Mount Pleasant Group

Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1

Located in New Orleans, this cemetery opened in 1789, it’s the oldest and most famous in New Orleans. Most of the graves are above-ground vaults, following Spanish custom due to the area having a high water table. The most notable graves here may be the Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau, and notorious slave owner Delphine LaLaurie. You can also find the future final resting place of Nicholas Cage here.

Website link: The French Quarter.com

Do you have a cemetery bucket list? Tell me about it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

One year ago today…

At this time last year, I was exploring New York City with my boyfriend by my side.

It was his first time visiting the Big Apple, and my second time. We did a lot of the touristy stuff; strolling in Central Park, walking along the Brooklyn Bridge, and admiring the twinkling lights of Times Square. It was an amazing trip, that was full of surprises. We visited an amazing restaurant called Ninja New York and enjoyed some sake and delicious sushi.

We had the good fortune of finding Obscura Antiques, the curiosity shop that was featured on A&E’s television show – Oddities. It was so fun to talk to Mike and Evan, after dreaming about visiting their shop for ages. It was good timing as well since they have now closed their brick and mortar location. I also had the chance to visit not one, but two graveyards, while in New York. We had taken the Big Red Bus tours and were making our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. We got off just down the street, close to the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street, and walked back towards the bridge.

I had to stop in and take some photos. I was a little unprepared as I had not brought along my DSLR with me on this trip, but I did have my iPhone with me. I saw some beautifully carved slate stones, with memento mori and deaths head skulls littered among them. Both Trinity Church and St. Pauls Chapel graveyards are filled with them. You may have noticed that I have a deaths head skull as part of my logo. The craftsmanship in these stones is so detailed and has lasted over 300 years. Looking at the iconography on old stones like this always fills me with so many questions. I will have to go back with my proper camera and take some time exploring the grounds.