Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb in New Orleans’ oldest cemetery~

Actor Nicolas Cage has long been known for his eccentric behavior both in front of the camera and in the real world. Born Nicolas Kim Coppola and nephew of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, he adopted his stage name to avoid nepotism on the job and claims to have gotten inspiration from Marvel superhero, Luke Cage. As interesting as his acting career is, his personal life is equally enigmatic: his celebrity success has allowed him to buy everything, including private islands, dinosaur fossils, English and German castles, shrunken heads,…

Read More

The Hardy Tree: the churchyard ash tree surrounded by hundreds of gravestones placed there by author Thomas Hardy

Inside an ancient churchyard in London an ash tree is encircled with hundreds of overlapping gravestones, placed there by classic novelist Thomas Hardy. The cemetery, alongside London’s St. Pancras Old Church, is considered by many to be one of England’s oldest places of Christian worship, and it is the site of a number of fascinating stories. For istance, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the future Mary Shelley planned their elopement there while visiting Mary’s mother’s grave. Restored in the first few years of the 21st century, the graveyard served…

Read More

Everything you need to know about New Orleans’ Cities of the Dead~

There is no shortage of spooky graveyards in America, especially in the South and, it seems, when it comes to burying the dead no city does it better, and with more extravagance, than New Orleans. With row after row of above-ground tombs, New Orleans cemeteries are often referred to as “Cities of the Dead.” Burying the dead in a city that is below sea level and prone to flooding is no easy task. The dead prefer to stay dry and if not kept that way will make their displeasure known…

Read More

The mysterious “Turning Angel” monument in Natchez City Cemetery – Mississippi, to commemorate a local tragedy

It sounds a bit unusual to consider a cemetery a major must-see, but once you glimpse the beauty of the Natchez City Cemetery and to know the history of some of the characters buried there, it is easy understand why. One of the most famous monuments is the so-called Turning Angel. This beautiful angel monument is overlooking five headstones, each with the same date of death. The inscription at the bottom of the statue states, “Erected by the Natchez Drug Company to the memory of the unfortunate employees who lost…

Read More

The curious grave of Florence Irene Ford in Natchez City Cemetery – Mississippi

Natchez City Cemetery sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, with white tombstones neatly arranged on the green grass of Adams County. It’s a quiet final resting place, and home to a handful of notable graves. One of these is the tomb of Rufus E. Case, a large three-tiered structure that contains both his body and his favorite rocking chair. It seems that his child, or maybe grandchild, had died before him and he wanted to be buried in his beloved rocking chair beside the child. To accommodate his…

Read More

Mrs. Chippy Monument at Karori Cemetery | Wellington | New Zealand |

Early polar exploration was a lonely adventure, where sailors would be stuck on their ships for months, subsisting on barely edible rations among some of the world’s most inhospitable climates. However, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 was made just a bit happy by the presence of the adorable ship’s cat, Mrs. Chippy. Mrs Chippy was taken on board the ship Endurance by carpenter Harry “Chippy” McNish. “Chippy” is a colloquial British term for a carpenter, and the cat acquired its name because, once aboard, it followed McNish…

Read More

Milltown Cemetery – Belfast, Northern Ireland

We are in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, Ireland. Milltown cemetery is a sprawling graveyard full of history, conflict and tragedy. It has seen some of the largest funeral processions in all of Ireland and is the final resting place of more than 200,000 souls. It was opened in 1869 as part of the broader provision of services for the city of Belfast’s expanding Catholic population, when the historic Friar’s Bush Cemetery was becoming overcrowded, and only families with burial rights were allowed to be interred there. Although the Milltown…

Read More

#March 25, 1887: The Rahway murder of the “Unknown Woman”.

March 25th, 1887 was a day that changed the town of Rahway, New Jersey, forever. In the cold hours of the early morning, a group of four brothers were walking to work at the local felt mill by Bloodgood’s Pond in Clark. As they passed the Rahway River, they found a woman lying on the ground a few hundred meters from the Central Avenue Bridge. She was well dressed and had been carrying a basket of eggs. The woman appeared to be in her early 20s, and was described as…

Read More

Lee Chapel Cemetery – Virginia, and the county’s grisliest murder

The Lee Chapel was a Methodist Episcopalian church that sat at the intersection of the former Pohick Road and Mill Road (now Fairfax County Parkway and Lee Chapel Road). It was built in 1871 to replace Mt. Carmel Methodist Church, which had stood about a block to the south and was burned during the Civil War. Property for the church was donated by John Mahon, a prominent landowner of the day, and it is surrounded by a cemetery where the oldest grave is reported to date from 1887. The church,…

Read More

The curious grave of Sevilla Jones that names her murderer at New Boston Cemetery – New Hampshire

In 1756, when there were only 59 residents in New Boston, New Hampshire, a committee was appointed “to fix a proper place in or near the centre of the town for the public worship of God; and also for a public burying place, as they shall think most suitable for the whole community.” The resulted cemetery is the same still today and sits at the top of a hill, what was once the center of town. The oldest gravestone which can be found in the cemetery today is that of…

Read More

The splendid grave of the dancer Rudol’f Nureev covered by a rug like mosaic

A short distance from Paris is the Orthodox Cemetery Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, which houses many Orthodox Russians who died and were buried close to the French capital. Among these there is also Rudol’f Chametovič Nureev, one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of the 20th century, who rests in a decidedly particular grave. The sepulcher is in fact covered by a mosaic in the shape of a Kazakh kilim, a carpet of great value which is woven like a tapestry, because the dancer was an avid collector of beautiful carpets and antique…

Read More

Huis te Vraag Cemetery: a jewel hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam

When you wander among the ivy-clad graves that speckle this Victorian-era graveyard hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam, thoughts of long coats, elegant dresses, post-mortem photographies and unrequited love easily come to mind. Walking around at Huis te Vraag is like walking through the garden of an ancient fairy tale, and the beauty of the overgrown plants is simply stunning. Anyway the land has a long history. Huis te Vraag, which means “House for Inquiry” in Dutch, probably got its name because in 1489, Austrian emperor Maximilian I asked for…

Read More

Hi Jolly: Quartzsite’s legend of a camel driver~

The thing most people notice right away when they enter the Quartzsite Cemetery is a stone pyramid topped by a copper camel. There’s an insteresting story behind its presence. The monument marks the grave site of a man they called Hi Jolly, who came to this country in the 1860s to act as a camel driver for the U.S. Army during an ill-fated attempt to use the animals as beasts of burden for military purposes in the deserts of the Southwest. During the mid-1800’s when much of the southwest of…

Read More

The man who ate library paste~

I think as elementary school children, we all knew a kid who ate the glue. Maybe curiosity got the better of us, and we too imbibed. Even though it was pretty gross, and probably pretty weird, it wasn’t dangerous was it? It was fatal for a man, an unknown homeless who found himself starving on the streets of Goldfield, Nevada in 1908. Goldfield was a relatively new town, having just been laid out six years previously after pioneers from nearby Tonopah discovered gold deposits in the area. Over the next…

Read More

The “Merry Cemetery” in Romania: colors and irony to exorcise death.

For us cemeteries are places of mourning and sadness: these are places in which the dead rest. On the tombstones usually only the dates of birth and death appear. When someone dies, their memory generally enters a kind of idealized state in the minds of those who loved them. Often their flaws are forgiven and forgotten, and the way in which they passed (especially if it was unpleasant) often goes unspoken, and on their tombstone generalized niceties are written, often reduced to as little as “Rest in Peace.” But not…

Read More

Cruger, Mississippi: the Grave of the Lady in Red~

Cruger, Mississippi, is home to barely 400 residents. It lies within the confines of the large area of fertile agricultural lands known as the Mississippi Delta, and places nearby have unusual names, like Alligator Bayou, Mosquito Lake, or Mossy Island. Located near Cruger is Egypt Plantation, an active farming area of almost 2,000 acres in which heavy equipment during farming season are used. In summer of 1969, while farmhands were digging on Egypt Plantation, the backhoe operator felt a crunch: just about a meter beneath the topsoil, he had hit…

Read More