Are You a Taphophile?

skull and booksWe all die, eventually. I have a fascination with death and cemeteries, which is called Taphrophilia. To quote Wikipedia – “Tombstone tourist (otherwise known as a “taphophile”, “cemetery enthusiast” or “grave hunter” or “graver”) describes an individual who has a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries.[1] This involves epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of (famous) deaths.”

I am not being morbid, but just love old cemeteries with their old tombstones and crypts, their haunting epitaphs, and the old trees that grace the oldest cemeteries. I am lucky to live in an old state, and about 30 minutes away is the old Harrisburg cemetery. The website does not do justice to this graveyard which has been around since the 1800s. Back when downtown Harrisburg and its churches were growing and being surrounded by new buildings and parking lots they moved the Revolutionary and Civil War and even a Nun’s cemetery reburied in rows of what is left of their bones and monuments out to this area up on a hill overlooking the river valley. Unfortunately it is now in the middle of a very dangerous ghetto so when i visit i have to go with a friend and armed. But the staff keeps the graveyard in really good shape. Around the back of the hill are crypts build into the hill which are rather dangerous to visit d/t homeless people and kids with guns roaming around. But despite all that the grounds have actually improved over the years with the staf being there 24/7 and video cameras to catch any wood be desecrators. Despite all that i have snapped some great photographs over the years.

But there are even greater older cemeteries in Europe and here is one called European Cemeteries which has some incredible photography to the author’s credit. Please look thorough all his great works of art as this is an excellent site. They just do not make cemeteries like this in the US anymore, truly works of art. And here is a video of the Cimitero Monumentale Milano in the rain which he made that is very atmospheric especially with the piano music.

Another blog i enjoy is The Cemetery Traveler which is from a guy who likes near Philly and posts every few days.

And another great site which has photos and poems is Secrets of the Dead.

And two Catholic sites which have last rites liturgy in English and Latin are Burying the Dead and Praying for the Dead which yes, are for Catholics, but the liturgy can be adopted to other religions.

And here are some of my photos and some few photos from the www.

3 thoughts on “Are You a Taphophile?

  1. Way cool pics and info…..I love visiting cemeteries as well…my fav so far was in New Orleans ..its very intersting to me….I read the head stones …take pics … and I would love to do some rubbings one day .

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