Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meet: Naufragio Bella, "In The Dark of the Moon Graveyard Rabbit"

The twenty sixth in a series

featuring a member of

The Graveyard Rabbit Association


As a child, I remember playing in cemeteries and churchyards. Now, I was always respectful so fear not. I grew up living across the street from a church and in the summer my grandmother had a camp that my sister and I would stay at. We would often go for long walks up the street to an old cemetery there. We would search for the oldest marker or the best quote among the stones. The cemetery was a quiet, peaceful place. Sitting amid the stones wondering about the lives of the people laid to rest there is a feeling I have never forgotten.

When my own children were young, I took an interest in the family history and visited a few cemeteries and perused some old church records. We also had impromptu lessons in burial rituals. Being especially sensitive to nature, my children didn't do well with the death of pets or other animals (cats catching mice or chipmunks, foxes getting hit by cars, etc) and so we explored methods of "closure" and grief including mementos such as the jewelry popular in Victorian times. Eventually we perfected our own death rituals and had quite a pet cemetery with everything from hamsters and buggies to the year old Lab/Wolf/Sheppard pup that got hit by a car and my 16 year old buried with his bare hands.

I've continued to wonder about the old cemeteries around here. Sometimes a walk in the woods brings you to a forgotten family site. Driving down the road one almost always passes a stone wall that leads to an iron gate or a chained off area on the side of a highway with a small plaque nearby. I have always thought about checking these places out, and now I have the perfect excuse! Instead of just being some odd cemetery loving person roaming about (although aren't we all?), I'm a member of an official group researching, exploring and recording findings.

Seen as a bit eccentric at times, I hold a different viewpoint to death, spirit, life and beyond than many who might be pursuing Graveyard or Cemetery research and exploration. I have interests in the paranormal but also remain a skeptic. Sometimes these metaphysical interests will flavor my posts and add a little bit of a different twist here and there, hopefully being entertaining and informative.My attraction tends to be the older cemeteries. Living here in New England, It is not uncommon to find graves that reach back into the 1700's and even 1600's if you are lucky. Sometimes there are areas where there are no longer markers but you can tell there were burials from the indentations in the land. It saddens me to think these people have been forgotten by time. Sometimes these older sites have a wonderful flurry of possible histories and stories. Indian battles, possible unmarked murder victim graves, madmen and magick and strange lights surround one of my recent favorites.

I hope to develop my skills in taking photos and gathering stories and histories of these places and some of the people in them. I often visit Salem Mass where there are some of the oldest. Everyone knows the most famous, but there are other cemeteries, just as old and beautiful in marking death and time. I want to document some of these less visited cemeteries. I also hope to visit other more forgotten sites that probably do not get many visitors.

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