Cemeteries have always fascinated and frightened me with equal zeal. When I was a kid, my dad would take me on genealogy hunts which quite often included excursions to cemeteries throughout upstate New York. At a graveyard near Ithaca, we found a headstone that read:
"Kind reader as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
Prepare for death & follow me"
I remember that was pretty heavy for a ten year old, and it certainly stuck with me. That day, the information collected by my father cultivated my passion for history and the poetic verse imparted an early inspiration to write.
Continuing in the graveyard vein, Little d and I read in a newspaper of a famous cemetery in Rayne, Louisiana that faces the ‘wrong way’. I must admit, I never realized there was a ‘right way’ to lay out the dead, but apparently bodies are customarily buried in an east to west orientation. However, this particular cemetery made Ripley's Believe It Or Not! because it’s one of the only known Christian cemeteries where the dead are buried north to south. This little tidbit made it interesting enough for us to check it out. Local folklore about the cemetery's misalignment has been passed down over the years, but no one really knows why it doesn’t follow tradition. With my ace photographer in tow, here are a few pictures:
Next to the open 'vaults'.
Christ on the Cross, rising from the east.
St. Joseph's Chrurch on the north end of the cemetery.
Walking the narrow path.
Pictures originally posted on the Axiom Report on 4/8/2008.