People who live beside or across from cemetaries: what could they be thinking?
I know there's the issue of cost but seriously why would anyone want to live across from or beside cemetaries; on a very cold day or in the middle of the night, you look across your house and you see tombstones.
PEACE AND QUIET. There's a lot to be said for it.
Lots of tombstones are very beautiful.
I lived a couple of houses away from a cemetery. The residents there were the quietest and best neighbors I have ever had. No screaming kids, no barking dogs, no garbage in the yard. It was a fantastic green space and pleasant place to walk. If I had the choice I would do it again. Frankly I don't understand your squeamishness. You know, there are no ghosts.
We couldn't agree more
A friend lives next to a cemetary, big old Victorian house with working fireplaces. He said it was cheap because cemetary-adjacent is a hard sell. I'd be tempted, I think. Quiet neighbors and no-one to overlook your yard and judge your patio furniture.
At least you know they aren't going to put a 40 story building across the street.
Yeah, what everyone else said. Cheaper. No neighbors. Peace and quiet. There's no such thing as ghosts, I really don't see a downside.
I visited the site of a WWII concentration camp outside Berlin. People lived ten feet from the camp's walls.
There is a street here in Brooklyn with houses across from a beautiful hillside of tombstones, monuments and old, majestic trees. I would love to live there. I happen to walk by often at sunset....just so beautiful.
I knew a family who lived across the street from a small cemetery. The tombstone directly across from their front door had their last name on it. That's a bit much, seeing that every time you opened your front door.
Actually it sounds ideal. I'm surprised in the modern age that it doesn't actually boost a property value.
[quote] I visited the site of a WWII concentration camp outside Berlin. People lived ten feet from the camp's walls.
That's fucked up. That's also a different thing. People suffered and were murdered there
The reason people didn't want to be near cemeteries in olden days is that corpses had infectious diseases they could pass on to the living, so there was always a public health issue. But some say that's been regulated away. Others say, it's only a matter of time before a cemetery unleashes a deadly plague on all of us.
I'd love it. Dead men are quiet and tell no lies.
I used to live in an apartment complex that had a cemetery on a small part of it.
It was an historic site or something and it couldn't be moved. The complex was gated and so was the little plot of graves.
I grew up across from a cemetery. It was great. We would catch frogs in the pond, walk through it on the way to the dairy for ice cream, played hide and seek there, beautiful leaves in the fall and a place to get away.
Wasn't Washington Square Park in NYC a cemetery, and aren't there still hundreds of bodies that they never moved still there?
I do believe in ghost but I still don't believe I'd have a problem, as long as the grounds were pretty.
OP, they might see a g-g-g-g-ghost!!!
Many years ago there was a small street in my neighborhood that was originally a cemetery. When houses were built on it, no one wanted to live there. My grandmother bought the first house on that site, she wasn't afraid and the prices were low. Once others saw that she and her family weren't set upon by demons, the other houses quickly sold.
I love to walk through my town's cemetery. The monuments date from late 1700's. The cemetery road winds up and down hills and the whole thing is beautifully maintained. More like a park that the typical idea of a cemetery. Peaceful.
Don't knock it. It's a great place to walk the dog. Also, got a hook-up there once in a car.
R17, Washington Square Park was once where the gallows was. Later a burying ground during the yellow plague.
100 years ago people used them as parks. They would spend the day there, even have picnics, and I've seen old photos of cemeteries in Chicago with crowds of people sleeping in them at night to avoid the crushing summer heat.
OP, you have figured out that you too will die, right? Or still in denial about that? Perhaps living next to a cemetery would be good for you.
Make your teacher blithe and merry, put no "a's" in "cemetery."
R26 is correct OP.
And always remember, you'll end up in a cemetery with "ease".
See what I did there? Ease and "E's"? Pretty slick.
r22 = Kevin Spacey
Public green space in old cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia were most likely graveyards at one time, and in some cases the bodies are still there.
R17, Philadelphia also has a Washington Square full of graves. 5,000 people. Most were Revolutionary War soldiers.
I love cemeteries. They're beautiful and peaceful, and the melancholia they often exude sometimes appeals to the maudlin side of my nature.
I'd buy a home next to a cemetery in a minute, if the propoerty were attractive.
I hate to give everyone the creepy crawlies, but in these rural areas where there is no city water and everyone has to drill their own water well----ummm...what about all of those melting bodies dripping down into the water aquifer? Blood, guts, embalming fluid and even radioactive stuff. Don't the house bordering the cemetery eventually suck-up those bodily fluids in their tap water?
If not, what would prevent it from occuring?
Mount Auburn cemetery in Cambridge is gorgeous and hasn't affected the property values at all.
R31 is right...water runoff from cemeteries is something to consider. Even now in modern times, caskets are not sealed and they leak, so it's not just an old cemetery issue.
But think of how often you could fill your house full of beautiful fresh flowers from all of those funerals! Roses! Mums! Daffodils! 12 months out of the year and that includes snowy January!
Think how wonderfully your house would smell all year long and all it would take would be a little midnight visit to the cemetery.
"on a very cold day or in the middle of the night, you look across your house and you see tombstones."
otherwise, you can't see tombstones.
Excellent opening line for a novel, R35.
r22 - Most cemeteries have a no dogs policy, for obvious reasons. Nobody wants to find shit on Gramma's tombstone, or be barked at during her graveside service.
But I always bring my dog and let her run around when I visit Dad at the cemetery if there's no one around. He was a dog lover.
Awful R34, stealing flowers people meant to be to honor their loved ones. If there were a ghost or demon to bring home, you would surely be the one to attract it!
It's the crematoriums that suck. During heatwaves they run night and day.
A good friend of mine in high school lived next to the cemetery in town. She saw ghosts all the time. Translucent, whitish figures roaming around the gravestones. Sometimes she heard voices too.
My elderly father lives on a street that terminates at a cemetery a few houses down from his. The view down the street is of mausoleums and tombstones behind a yellow street sign reading "Dead End."
How does someone go about finding a house near a cemetery? I would love it but it would be strange to tell the real estate agent what I'm looking for.
Depends on the cemetery. I live 5 minutes from Père lachaise in Paris and I've seen Oscar Wilde's ghost.
[quote] Others say, it's only a matter of time before a cemetery unleashes a deadly plague on all of us.
Don't worry about it. I got you covered.
Can you tell us more? How, when, where?
It's just in your head, isn't it. Cemetery, concentration camp.. it's all psychological, the objection to living nearby.
Beautiful cemetery, r41.
I'd like to live near Bonaventure Cemetery, except seems like the neighborhood isn't much to look at.
Was she the girl everyone bought their drugs from R40? Sounds familiar.
In the late '90s, I lived on the top floor of a six-story apartment building in Fargo. The main floor housed a mortuary and funeral home.
I was never particularly creeped out - dead bodies can't hurt you - but I will say that whenever I was in the basement laundry room, I made sure not to open any unmarked doors.
No, r49. She was a total straight arrow and honor student. I believed her because she wasn't the type to lie about anything.
I lived in grad school dorms at Dartmouth, just across a small street from a cemetery, which was on Dartmouth property. At first I thought I would be spooked, but you kind of forget about it. We would sometimes go in there with a bottle of wine and just relax. It was a lovely, old place, and I'm glad I was its neighour that year.
[quote]At least you know they aren't going to put a 40 story building across the street.
They did around Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles.
That an aversion to death isn't necessary and that they like the houses they are in.
I once saw a house made entirely out of tombstones (you can see it on the picture below, but they recently renovated the facade, so you can't see the tombstones anymore).
It was probably made in the 1930's, when a nearby WWI war cemetery was being renovated, so some people snatched the old gravestones and used them as building material.
Living next to the cemetery suddenly doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore, huh?
The entire planet is a mass grave...cemeteries are just a bit more organized. You realize that dirt contains dead, decayed organic matter, right? Your car runs on dead dinosaurs.
I grew up in a small town and one of my friends lived across the street from the oldest cemetery in town. His grandfather inherited the property across the street and he built a family home in the 1940s. My friend's dad inherited the house in the 70s after the grandparents moved. My friend was never freaked out by living next to the cemetery. The cemetery stopped burials sometime in the 80s.
I knew some folks who rented out the big (no longer used) caretaker's house on the grounds of a big old cemetery. Ran it as a gay group house, the bedrooms were rented out to guys usually in their early 20s. Municipal water, not ground water. I think wells tap into a lower level reservoir than just typical groundwater anyway, don't they? Of course no ghosts because there isn't such a thing. I always thought it was a great place to live, though I had my own place at that point so I never actually considered it for myself.
That's in Slovenia, Europe. The entire western region of that country was heavily damaged in WWI, so I can understand to some extent why desperate people used gravestones as bricks. But personally, I would rather be homeless than live in a creepy house like that.
Thanks for the response--I agree to being homeless instead.
It surprises me that once things calmed down, they didn't return the stones to the graveyard. Whoever the builder was must have attracted plenty of flack from the families of the people buried there.
I love cemeteries, and to the life of me, cannot figure out why people are so fearful of them.
The only thing that will creep me out is when on occasion I have seen the ground open up around a grave and can see into the hole and even the casket.
That's pretty bad, I'll admit.
I blame horror movies for people being terrified of cemeteries--you know, rotten corpse chasing you around, hand popping out of the ground to grab your foot, etc.
Prior to the 20th century, I think people were more comfortable with death.
[quote]a nearby WWI war cemetery was being renovated, so some people snatched the old gravestones and used them as building material.
I used to work next door to a building that had housed a tombstone carver for decades, and their entire storage yard, maybe 100 ft X 100 feet was paved with old tombstones. Some were mistakes or broken in production, but most were out of the old soft stone and had obviously been replaced due to erosion.
It was a little creepy to look down and read the names and dates, but it was also pretty neat.
The Franklin institute in Philly was built on an old burial ground for prostitutes.
I looked at a house that had a small family cemetery on the property. One of the front steps of the house was made from a broken tombstone.
On Father's Day there was a guy with his dog and a picnic complete with a bottle of wine, I guess the guy was visiting his dad's grave. Seemed like a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
[quote]It was a little creepy to look down and read the names and dates, but it was also pretty neat.
I forgot to mention the stones were covered with moss, and there was moss growing between them, but the best part was when it rained. I would walk by in the morning, and all the carved out letters and numbers would be filled with water, and you could watch the raindrops splashing into the 100's of little pools formed by the carving. It was very peaceful.
[quote]Prior to the 20th century, I think people were more comfortable with death.
Yes. Even in medieval times people didn't believe all that superstitious mumbo jumbo.
My favorite cemeteries are Père Lachaise in Paris, Bonaventure in Savannah, Old Pine Street Church in Philadelphia and Hollywood Forever in LA.
I'd like to visit Ferncliff in the Hudson Valley sometime. Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and many other notables are buried there.
R69, I think it has to do with the fact that prior to the 19th century, death was a fact of life for people and more accepted because every day was a crapshoot for survival.
People are afraid of death today because of modern medicine and our quest to beat death. People are living longer, healthier lives today, so slasher/horror films are far more terrifying for bringing in the variable of unnatural death. When we can't beat death, it's not just a blow to our ego, it's a reminder of what cannot be controlled.
Sorry, should have said prior to the 20th Century.
Same thing for seeing an elderly person. Scares the shit outta me, because I am confronted with what I might one day become.
When I was in Rome one time I visited that 'cathedral' made from the skulls and bones of the monks. The motto in tile on the floor (in Latin of course) - what you are now, we once were. what we are now, you will become.
Scary ass shit, y'all.
Most of you probably know this link, but if you want great cemetery porn, Seeing Stars is a fantastic guide to LA area cemeteries and the graves of the stars. One of the best time wasters on the internet:
Ingrid Bergman lived next to a cemetery when she first came to America. At least until she got divorced, that is.
Another useless fact that clogs my brain.
The Brönte sisters live next to a cemetery and were infected with tuberculosis because their water supply was polluted.
Quite neighbors, loved it, and it was so beautiful after a snowfall.
R77 is that true? WOW!
Hollywood starlets in the Golden Age LOVED to find houses adjacent to cemeteries. SO convenient to find corpses, just some body parts, or the odd religious relic to offer to the dark lord in exchange for fame and fortune. This was before Scientology, of course.
My coworker's baby died a few years ago, and I went to the funeral. She was heavily drugged up, and her 5 or 6 year old son was running around going nuts. No one was paying attention. He fell into the hole that was dug for the baby's casket. Lots of screaming and crying. It was horrible.
That's awesome, R81! Hilarious!
R81, did they pull the boy out or turn it into a double burial?
[quote]Of course no ghosts because there isn't such a thing.
You couldn't be more wrong.
No ghosts, sorry. They are your conscience or memory.
If there were ghosts, believe me they'd have visited me.
R.Hess, Spandau Prison
A modern cemetery with mow-over markers and plastic flowers everywhere? No, they're too unattractive.
A handsome Victorian example of the Rural Cemetery Movement, or an 18thC churchyard cemetery? I can think of few better settings (or neighbors.)
I grew up in a house with a cemetery at the bottom of my street AND a Jewish one at the top of my street. we had a blast growing up there. tons of room to ride bikes with zero traffic, hide and seek, "ghost hunts", drinking and pot smoking as teenagers...
when Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered she was buried at the Jewish one at the top of the street, all the neighborhood kids were on A Current Affair or some similar show.
Is there is cultural difference between the way Christians and Jews think of cemeteries?
I'm wondering because probably the most famous old cemetery in Chicago is Graceland, home of the Marshall Fields and the Potter Palmers and the like, and it's beautifully maintained. Nearby is a Jewish cemetery everyone calls Jewish Graceland, and it looks abandoned. It's obvious no one cares much about the graves inside, and while the people buried there aren't as famous as the ones at Graceland, you can see that in their day many were wealthy and powerful people in their own right.
Do Jews not place as much importance on graves as Christians do?
It's tempting, particularly for that musical spectacular that is "Grim Grinning Ghosts".
ROFLMAO @ R81's story!
Once you're dead, you're dead. Despite any news to the contrary.
R89 -- I think that there's a Jewish tradition of letting graves return to nature, so there isn't all the compulsive flower-planting, candle-lighting and grass-mowing going on that you see at some Christian cemeteries.
I totally agree with this idea, both from an aesthetic and from a philosophical perspective. I find the little petit-bourgeois postage-stamp graveyards where every grave is carefully delineated from its neighbors to be such a depressing continuation of the pettiness of these people's lives.
My European partner is from a very traditional town where people will gossip about you if your family graves have weeds or aren't freshened up every few months. So his mother goes to the cemetery almost every day to water the grass and pick at or replace the flowers on her family grave (but only on her own family's -- no free labor for someone else's grave!) Now admittedly, his mother is bored anyway these days, but this was a priority for her even when she had small kids at home.
Talk about warped priorities...