During this festive time of the year, many Halloween-lovers will venture to haunted places to feel closer to the dead while still among the living. Cemeteries provide an eerie environment without the theatrical elements of a haunted house. Many famous cemeteries frequented by the public are designed by famous architects, some of which are buried there.
Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Green-Wood Cemetery attracts 500,000 visitors to its scenic landscape each year. Established in 1838, the U.S. National Historic Landmark is known for its rural beauty and reputation as a premiere burial location. There are over 560,000 people who reside in the 478-acre property, making it one of the largest tourist attractions in the state, according to its website. Architect Co-founder and former president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Richard M. Upjohn designed the striking entrance gates that protrude above the trees and welcome visitors. The gate, looking more like the entrance to a cathedral, bring Upjohn’s High Gothic Revival style of architecture to life. However, at night the gates fabricate a spooky ambiance that can make any visitor rethink their decision to enter.
Fun Fact: Laura Keene, an actress who was on stage when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C., is buried here.
Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum in Chicago
Established in 1860, the 30-acre graveyard in the city exists as the “Cemetery of Architects,” with respect to the famous architects resting among the thousands of permanent residents. American architect and engineer William Le Baron Jenney, also known as the “Father of the Skyscraper,” contributed to the design of the Windy City site, according to Graceland Cemetery's website. Architects Louis Sullivan, John Root, Daniel Burnham, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Fazlur Khan and Marion Mahony Griffon all reside in Graceland, along with its maker Jenney. For those brave enough to face it, American sculptor Lorado Taft's bronze statue Eternal Silence, also known as Dexter Graves Monument or the Statue of Death, will leave a haunting image of how you will die if you look into the hooded figure's eyes, whose face is the original black finish while the rest of it is green due to oxidization. Visitors who aren’t brave enough to face this statue can explore the vast cemetery, keeping an eye out for some of the celebrated architect masterminds.
Fun Fact: The cemetery is additionally known for its alluring gardens and rustic landscape as one of Chicago's most beautiful places to visit.
Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago
The sister burial ground to Graceland is the 350-acre Rosehill Cemetery, which was established in 1859 in the North Side of Chicago. As one of the largest and oldest burial grounds in the city, the American Victorian-era site possesses the Rosehill Mausoleum, a marble treasure designed by architect Sidney Lovell, who specialized in these structures and now resides in the graveyard, according to Rosehill’s website. Prairie school-style architect George W. Maher is buried inside the private mausoleum, along with other eminent Chicagoans. Another notable figure occupying some gravespace outside of this structure is Chicago Water Tower and the Old University of Chicago architect William W. Boyington dwells in the Rosehill graveyard, who designed the enchanting entrance gate made out of Joliet limestone
Fun Fact: The name of the cemetery is a result of an error caused by a city clerk. The graveyard was previously referred to as “Roe’s Hill" after a farmer named Hiram Roe, as stated on Rosehill's website.
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Assembled from land that belonged to George Washington Parke Custis, step-grandson and adopted son of George Washington, the Arlington National Cemetery was established in 1864. During the Civil War, the land, which was inherited by the Lee Family through the marriage of Mary Anna Randolph Cutis and Robert E. Lee, was confiscated by the federal government to accommodate the ""the increasing number of fatalities" which were outpacing the amount was outpacing the burial capacity of Washington, D.C. cemeteries in the war's third year. To meet this demand, 200 acres of Arlington plantation was set aside as a military cemetery, according to Arlington National Cemetery's website. The famous Greek Revival house, overlooking the Potomac River, was designed by English architect George Hadfield—who was also involved with the construction of the United States’ Capitol. With more than 7,000 funerals per year, there are bound to be departed souls lingering the grounds.
Fun Fact: There are at least three bodies of enemy soldiers from World War II buried at the Arlington National Cemetery
Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, N.C.
Famous for its romantic Victorian-era architecture, the Oakdale Cemetery is the ideal location for a moonlight stroll on Halloween night. Established in 1852, the 65-acre graveyard was purchased as North Carolina’s first rural cemetery. The graveyard is home to the haunted spirits of fallen Civil War soliders, victims of the yellow fever edpidemic, and several dog graves, according to its website.
Buried beneath the rural landscape lies the bodies of past mayors, politicians, artists and architects. Among the dead is architect Henry Bacon, who is famously known for designing the Lincoln Memorial, his final project.
Fun Fact: Wilmington was the first city in North Carolina to participate in the Rural Garden Cemetery Movement during the nineteenth century.