graveyard-generalIt’s 13 days until Halloween. Like the Freeform Channel, I’m challenging myself to have my next 13 blogs somehow relate to Halloween. Let’s see if I can pull it off.

For #13 I’m going to bring it back to Virginia, to a Manassas cemetery specifically. (I think photo shoots in cemeteries definitely count as Halloween-appropriate content.)

Why a photo shoot at a cemetery?

While touring Northern Virginia and taking pictures of places that inspired The Travelers, I thought it might be fun to check out the cemetery adjacent to my mother’s childhood farmhouse in Manassas, right near the battlefield. (Yes, I realize my idea of fun might not be the same as everyone else.)

The cemetery itself isn’t part of The Travelers, however cemeteries share sort of a thematic relationship to the book. They touch on the essence of it – life, death, you know just some lighthearted subjects. (If you have any interest in learning out more you-tubeabout The Travelers, check out my book trailer on youtube.)

So with my mother and daughter in tow, we wandered around the graveyard taking pictures. I spent a good chunk of time wondering whether or not this activity was overly morbid and scarring my daughter for life. (She assures me it didn’t. I think we’ll have to wait a few years to see if her future psychiatrist agrees.)

ella-in-graveyard

Any ghosts, ghouls, vampires, or witches in this cemetery?

Sadly, the cemetery was more interesting than spooky. It  felt like traveling back in time a bit, if there needs to be a fantasy equivalent here. Some parts of the cemetery were very fascinating, like a cross denoting a soldier from the Civil War and a headstone so old we could only make out a few letters. It certainly makes you realize the novelty and shortness of life. On the other hand, I also felt really young for the first time in a very long time. (Nearing 40 doesn’t seem so bad in a cemetery filled will 200+ year old dead people.)

So it was all just boring gravestones? Nothing scary?

There were parts of the cemetery that I found super creepy, such as a weird cherub baby sculpture thing (see collage below). That belonged in a scary movie for sure.

It was also nice to say hello to my grandparents , not literally (see headstone in collage). Of course seeing the headstone of her great grandparents spawned a long discussion with my daughter about burials and cremation and death (further scarring accomplished! I think I have now won mother of the year award.)

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