Tall Drink of Nerd: Ghost Writer

 In *Archives, Amy Robinson

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a blogumn by Amy Robinson

My husband thinks I am a secret emo-girl.  He is basing this label on my fascination with cemeteries.  Big or small it doesn’t matter, any cemetery we drive past makes me tug on his arm and ask him to stop so we can shoot some pictures of the Dirt Nap Motel.

img_8649Honestly, cemeteries just get my imagination going.  The hallowed ground could be in a big city or rural back-road, I will want to hop out and examine the histories, the abbreviated life stories.  In today’s terms, the headstone quote is like your final micro-blog on Twitter or Facebook status update: “Mother to Harvey and Edith”, “Angel in Heaven”, or the one I thought was odd as a farewell “No More Pain.” It could be your last thought or what your family thinks your last thought would (or should) be.

It’s no mystery to me why I’m relaxed in the cemetery.  My paternal Grandma died when I was 8.  Her resting place is just off the narrow park road that borders the wheat field to the west of our tiny town.  I visited her grave a lot when I was a miserable teenager, talking my troubles out to her and the deep purple marble that bore her name.  I got comfortable in the Haxtun burial ground, spending a lot of time reading headstones and imagining relatives, friends, loved ones who were lost.  There were lots of folks who’d lived full, long lives.  There were also plots that radiated sadness; many teens who had died in car crashes on our country dirt roads; rows of babies lost to the flu epidemic in 1918; so many stories, so many ordinary tales waiting to be told.

When I left town for college, I located the closest cemetery to campus and would drive there for a little peace whenever I felt overwhelmed or needed to practice lines for plays.

The only weird thing about my love for plots of land covered with marble statues and rectangles of newly laid grass, is that I am creeped out by the idea of ghosts.

This chilled-spine feeling isn’t a static thing.  Some days I totally do not believe in spirits, some days every mound of grass, crypt or angel statue is a vessel for the woe of the body planted beneath.

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Last week, I visited the Westwood cemetery for a creativity boost and to shoot some pictures of interesting memorials. The Westwood cemetery is a very eerie place, with graves dating back to the late 1800’s.  I’d estimate that 75% of the angel statues have lost their heads and/or broken their wings, which is spooky enough even in broad daylight.  Then I spotted a lone crypt in the field holding the remains of a husband and wife. When I moved in for about 5 shots, I felt my hair stand on end and my skin get clammy. Later, when I downloaded the pix, I noticed 2 orbs of light in the gated entrance of that crypt. GHOSTS! I got proof of ghosts!

I had to share my Ghosthunters moment.  When Seen got home from work, I showed him the pictures.  He took the creepy right out of me though when he pointed out that the orb light was in front of the metal crypt gate.

Oh and just in case I didn’t believe that, some other pics from that day had the exact same lens flare.  Apparently, I need to carry my lens hood.

I’m kinda bummed it wasn’t ghosts, but mostly relieved.  Hey, at least it gave me a good idea for a scary story.

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Showing 20 comments
  • Janicpanny

    You are a walking contradiction.
    My theory on cemeteries: While the living communicate in smaller chunks, our future gravemarkers will contain more – the departed's digital life story – just plug in your i-pod. That, unfortunately, removes the intrigue of cemetery browsing.

    • AmyQOTWF

      That is so Sci-Fi! Very Phillip K. Dick (who I love). I think it's a definite possibility, and their truth might be more interesting than the fictions I imagine for them.

  • Janicpanny

    You are a walking contradiction.
    My theory on cemeteries: While the living communicate in smaller chunks, our future gravemarkers will contain more – the departed's digital life story – just plug in your i-pod. That, unfortunately, removes the intrigue of cemetery browsing.

    • AmyQOTWF

      That is so Sci-Fi! Very Phillip K. Dick (who I love). I think it's a definite possibility, and their truth might be more interesting than the fictions I imagine for them.

  • Janicpanny

    You are a walking contradiction.
    My theory on cemeteries: While the living communicate in smaller chunks, our future gravemarkers will contain more – the departed's digital life story – just plug in your i-pod. That, unfortunately, removes the intrigue of cemetery browsing.

    • AmyQOTWF

      That is so Sci-Fi! Very Phillip K. Dick (who I love). I think it's a definite possibility, and their truth might be more interesting than the fictions I imagine for them.

  • Janicpanny

    You are a walking contradiction.
    My theory on cemeteries: While the living communicate in smaller chunks, our future gravemarkers will contain more – the departed's digital life story – just plug in your i-pod. That, unfortunately, removes the intrigue of cemetery browsing.

    • AmyQOTWF

      That is so Sci-Fi! Very Phillip K. Dick (who I love). I think it's a definite possibility, and their truth might be more interesting than the fictions I imagine for them.

  • ernessa

    Wait, I adore the idea of iPod grave sites. I think it would be so interesting to be able to press a button on a tombstone and hear the dead person's life story.

  • ernessa

    Wait, I adore the idea of iPod grave sites. I think it would be so interesting to be able to press a button on a tombstone and hear the dead person's life story.

  • ernessa

    Wait, I adore the idea of iPod grave sites. I think it would be so interesting to be able to press a button on a tombstone and hear the dead person's life story.

  • ernessa

    Wait, I adore the idea of iPod grave sites. I think it would be so interesting to be able to press a button on a tombstone and hear the dead person's life story.

  • keldoo

    On a somewhat similar note…Hollywood Forever Cemeteries do video eulogies. They are pretty cool, really.
    http://www.hollywoodforever.com/General/LifeStori

    One of the most fascinating places I have ever been to is La Pere Lachaise (sp?) in Paris. It's the cemetary with the burial sites of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison. The grounds are beautiful and I swear, it feels like you are walking into some sort of artsy/spiritual garden.

  • keldoo

    On a somewhat similar note…Hollywood Forever Cemeteries do video eulogies. They are pretty cool, really.
    http://www.hollywoodforever.com/General/LifeStori

    One of the most fascinating places I have ever been to is La Pere Lachaise (sp?) in Paris. It's the cemetary with the burial sites of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison. The grounds are beautiful and I swear, it feels like you are walking into some sort of artsy/spiritual garden.

  • keldoo

    On a somewhat similar note…Hollywood Forever Cemeteries do video eulogies. They are pretty cool, really.
    http://www.hollywoodforever.com/General/LifeStori

    One of the most fascinating places I have ever been to is La Pere Lachaise (sp?) in Paris. It's the cemetary with the burial sites of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison. The grounds are beautiful and I swear, it feels like you are walking into some sort of artsy/spiritual garden.

  • keldoo

    On a somewhat similar note…Hollywood Forever Cemeteries do video eulogies. They are pretty cool, really.
    http://www.hollywoodforever.com/General/LifeStori

    One of the most fascinating places I have ever been to is La Pere Lachaise (sp?) in Paris. It's the cemetary with the burial sites of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison. The grounds are beautiful and I swear, it feels like you are walking into some sort of artsy/spiritual garden.

  • BobSaid.com

    Having worked at Forest Lawn and Hollywoodforever (when it was Hollywood Cemetery) and preparing to start at Rose Hills next month, I know cemeteries. I love those in New Orleans. But if you want the ultimate cemetery experience, travel to Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Absolutely incredible!

  • BobSaid.com

    Having worked at Forest Lawn and Hollywoodforever (when it was Hollywood Cemetery) and preparing to start at Rose Hills next month, I know cemeteries. I love those in New Orleans. But if you want the ultimate cemetery experience, travel to Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Absolutely incredible!

  • BobSaid.com

    Having worked at Forest Lawn and Hollywoodforever (when it was Hollywood Cemetery) and preparing to start at Rose Hills next month, I know cemeteries. I love those in New Orleans. But if you want the ultimate cemetery experience, travel to Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Absolutely incredible!

  • BobSaid.com

    Having worked at Forest Lawn and Hollywoodforever (when it was Hollywood Cemetery) and preparing to start at Rose Hills next month, I know cemeteries. I love those in New Orleans. But if you want the ultimate cemetery experience, travel to Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Absolutely incredible!

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