I was about to start this post by saying that I couldn’t remember when my obsession with graveyards began. But as soon as I started typing I think I know.
I’ve always been a horror fan. I have a vivid memory of watching A Nightmare on Elm Street at age 16 with my friend and absolutely loving it. It was one of the first proper horror films I watched without an adult. Her mam and dad were out, we were left with popcorn, crisps and cans of shandy (that’s how we rolled in the 80s). All the lights were out. We were both determined to be the brave one. The one that wasn’t spooked.
That attitude has stayed with me. I’m probably now too sceptical, too quick to raise an eyebrow when the paranormal is brought up. That said, it piqued my fascination with the supernatural genre. Ghosts, poltergeists, demons and always trying not to be scared by any of it became my focus. Because of this, I find cemeteries to be incredibly calming places. I appreciate them for their role in horror, yet I understand that the association with the dead freaks other people out.
For me, they are often an oasis of peace in the midst of a busy urban landscape. Green-wood cemetery in Brooklyn for example is a sprawling 478 acres of grass, trees and pathways. It’s remarkably hilly and offers views of the Statue of Liberty, overlooking New York Harbour. It’s so beautiful: you can hear birds, watch squirrels and relax. There just happens to be a canny few dead folk around.
So, come, take a walk with me. It’s perfectly fine. Just don’t fall asleep.