Halloween is only a week away and we are already feeling chills up and down the spine. If you’re a thrill seeker yourself, we dare you to visit one of these six infamous cemeteries on October 31. Enter at your own risk but remember to show respect.
Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NY)
The highest point in Brooklyn is home to many famous residents – but they’re deep underground. With a view of the Statue of Liberty from atop Battle Hill, Green-Wood Cemetery is a tourist attraction that once rivaled Niagara Falls in number of annual visitors. The popularity of Green-Wood led to the creation of many more urban public parks, most notably Central Park. But plenty of people still visit Green-Wood today to enjoy the scenery and find famous graves, including those of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and musician Leonard Bernstein.
How to get there: Visit the cemetery that inspired Central Park with a trip from Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and anywhere else across the country! After you get off the bus in Manhattan, take the MTA F train towards Brooklyn and get off at the Church Avenue stop.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Los Angeles, CA)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles attracts many famous Angelenos to their final resting place, but it also brings in the living crowds with cultural events, including movies projected on the side of a mausoleum.
Prolific film director Cecil B. DeMille is buried in Hollywood Forever, as are Johnny and Dee Dee of The Ramones, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. And, for Halloween, you’ll want to seek out the grave of Maila Nurmi, the original Vampira.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (New Orleans, LA)
New Orleans has numerous cemeteries, including one that you might like if you’re into vampires, but the oldest one is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, located just outside the French Quarter in the neighborhood of Treme.
Among the many above-ground tombs in this gorgeous graveyard is the tomb that houses Marie Laveau, a 19th-century New Orleans voodoo priestess. Until a renovation in 2014, hundreds of Xs literally marked the spot to Laveau’s grave, as many people believed an urban legend that anyone who wrote an “X” on her tomb would be granted a wish. If this was truly ever good luck, it certainly isn’t anymore, as you will now get a fine for desecrating the grave.
Graceland Cemetery (Chicago, IL)
The cemetery is full of famous figures who built the city of Chicago, from Marshall Field and Charles Wacker to actual architects Louis Sullivan and Mies van der Rohe. “Make no little plans” was the motto of Daniel Burnham, who created the Chicago Plan to preserve Chicago’s lakefront, and he carried that motto into his final resting place, a beautiful island in Graceland’s Lake Willomere.
How to get there: Graceland is just a mile northwest of Wrigley Field, so catch a ride to Chicago from Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit and even more cities, then take the CTA Red Line to the Addison or Sheridan stop.
Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA)
The Boston area has many historic graveyards, but Mount Auburn Cemetery stands out as the first rural cemetery in the country. Back in 1831, crowded urban cemeteries were becoming a problem, so Mount Auburn was founded as a lovely garden resting place for the departed.
Today, you can walk the winding paths in this idyllic space and appreciate Mount Auburn’s mission to let people truly rest in peace.
Bonaventure Cemetery (Savannah, GA)
The moss-shrouded oaks of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah are a beautiful backdrop to the Southern gothic gravestones – and the spooky setting of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
That has turned the cemetery into quite the tourist attraction, but it’s worth a visit even if you’re unfamiliar with the book and movie. Representing the Victorian era romanticization of death, the 100-acre space is a beautiful place to spend some time in the South.