Monday, October 26, 2015
I feel as if I'm forever explaining and defending my love of cemeteries. I insist that I don't find them sad or creepy, but instead consider them peaceful, lovely places to spend a leisurely afternoon. I'm fascinated by their history and the histories of their residents; by the design of the stones and by the symbolism and trends that dictate those designs. And this is true the majority of the time, but every once in a while I do see things in cemeteries that creep me out or make me sad. I guess I sort of even like those things, and I definitely do seek them out even if I'm not entirely sure why.
I've been to Green-Wood cemetery more frequently than any other cemetery, and while I've still not managed to see it all, I've tried to explore parts of the cemetery that aren't as frequented by visitors and tours. Since it is Halloween week, I thought I'd share some of the things I've found on recent visits that have made me happy to have found something a little different, and creeped me out a little at the same time.
Statues and figures are always my favorite things to look at in cemeteries, and Green-Wood has some incredible ones. The more disfigured they've become due to age and weather the better. There's pretty much nothing creepier than a mourner or creepy child topping a headstone that's missing a face, or fingers or hands (or all of the above). Except of course the hooded mourner that I came across recently, which earns the distinction of being the single creepiest/scariest grave marker I've seen yet.
Then of course there are mausoleums and vaults, most of which are kept in impeccable condition at Green-Wood. I was surprised recently to find myself in an area of the cemetery that was more run-down than I'm used to seeing, with a handful of mausoleums that were bricked-up, over-grown and generally felt forgotten.
And because I always have Sleepy Hollow on the mind around this time of year, I was thrilled to stumble upon a plot for a Van Tassel—no indication that they're related to the real family that inspired Washington Irving, but a girl can dream.