Stepping into a cemetery is the type of experience that leaves a smear on the subconscious. It pulls you in, unwilling at first. But the need to enter, to see, to find out for yourself is stronger than the fear.
Once it has lured you inside it gathers you close, whispers its secrets, and reminds you with a cold slap to the heart that no one gets out alive.
Man, I love them.
Walking among the stone markers of the dead, you start to wonder. Am I really alone? Is that the wind that tapped my shoulder? Did I really hear the Gaelic whispered in my ear just before a flock of birds screamed into the still, silent morning sky?
There is only you, and the absolute quiet, so hushed you can hear your own heartbeat. The living fade into the background, and the wind that wasn’t there moments ago tugs at your hair, sends a chill racing down your spine.
You bend over to read the inscription on the gravestone, part of you knowing, just knowing that the inhabitant will be standing behind you when you turn around. The relief when they’re not leaves you giddy.
You whisper an apology as you tiptoe across the graves, because the cemetery is so old and crowded there are no formal walkways.
Or it is a city of the dead, glorious monuments rising above you, surrounding you, crowding you, until you feel like the only living person on earth.
I have explored cemeteries of all kinds around the world – from an unsettling, ant-infested boneyard outside Virginia City, Nevada to a windswept, haunted necropolis above Glasgow Cathedral.
Every one has affected me, in a way that imprints the moment on my soul like a photograph. They spook me, unnerve me, and sometimes scare the hell out of me. But I keep going back for more.
Really – who doesn’t love a nerve-shredding scare every once in a while?
Did I mention Halloween is my favorite holiday?
Yeah – now you’re starting to understand.
Do you have a cemetery or boneyard that knocked you out of your socks? Feel free to scare us here.
Until next time – keep looking over your shoulder.