As the leaves change, we get into october, which is a busy month for all cemeteries. I've been adding items to the events page on a daily basis. If you know of a cemetery event for Halloween, or any other event, you can send it to me from that page.
Also new is an article on "zinkers," those increasingly rare monuments of zinc.
If you didn't submit your story for the book project honoring the former caretaker of Riverside Cemetery in Denver, Cliff Dougal, you still have time! If you would like to submit a story Cliff told you, or tell one of your memories of Cliff, please use this submission form.
The Haunting of Cemeteries
I have always been skeptical of stories of haunted cemeteries. Most of the cemeteries I've visited, throughout the world, cemeteries have felt primarily like hallowed ground, a sacred place of quiet reflection.
Because I've never felt cemeteries were frightful places, it took me many years to understand that many people only think of cemeteries as places of fright, and might only think of them in association with Halloween.
Traffic on the site spikes every October. People are looking for ghost stories and scary places, and cemeteries hold the promise of both.
So, I started trying to find the scary things that lurk in cemeteries.
I found a few stories about haunted cemeteries in Colorado. I admit, I didn't find as many as I expected. There are many more such stories for cemeteries in other states. I have found a number of paranormal sites that post pictures of what they insist is supernatural evidence (mostly "orbs," which look like lens flares or dust to me).
This is not to say that I am someone who doesn't believe that there are such things as spirits, or that there is much more to the world than what we can explain.
I have been to places in which I felt uneasy. I have experienced strange things that have never been explained. None of those experiences have happened in a cemetery. At least, not yet.
This Halloween, paranormal researchers are setting out to collect evidence at the Masonic Cemetery in Central city, which has a well-known story of a ghostly visitor to the grave of John Cameron.
Perhaps they will, once and for all, get to the heart of this mystery. Perhaps it doesn't matter if they do.
What is clear to me is that, no matter what you believe, there is something compelling about these types of stories. They reflect our human need to explain they great mysteries of existance; is there something after this life? Have those that we loved gone to a better place?
Sometimes, it is more than just these mysteries that speak to us. sometimes, it's the timeless tales of love more powerful than death. Maybe its just that there are so many such stories, which is, in itself, proof that there is existence beyond death.
Or maybe they're just good stories. We love stories of all sorts. We especially like stories that we can share with others.
Do you have a story you'd like to share? Are you heading up to the Masonic Cemetery this Halloween? Share your stories! If you have a story to share, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the Web
The Colorado State Veterans Center Cemetery is expanding. Having been opened in 1891, the burial ground was nearly full, but, will now have some more space.
Aurora is looking to ban backyard burials. one of those holdover traditions from our pioneer days, Aurora Councilwoman just learned about it, and has decided the law needs changing.
The new veteran's cemetery in El Paso county is facing water problems. There's not enough water in the Fountain to sustain the planned burial ground.
A meditation on visitng cemeteries. It captures many of the things I like about taking the time to stroll in a cemetery.
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