Actually, it wasn’t creepy at all. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had opportunity to visit New Orleans over the winter, and one of the places of interest was the Lafayette Cemetery No.1, the oldest of the seven municipal, city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans.
Normally, when visiting a destination, Todd and I don’t do tours. We like to wing it on our own. But this time, I wanted an inside scoop and very specific information, so I arranged for a tour through Save OurCemeteries.
What I did not realize is that generations of families are entombed in many of the crypts. During summer, the insides of the tombs get exceedingly hot—our tour guide told us just how many degrees, but like most numbers, it went in, terrorized my brain, and fled. Suffice it to say, it’s hot enough to essentially cremate a body within a few years, making way for the next deceased.
The best thing about the New Orleans’ cemeteries is that they’re above ground. One of the brochures says, “It is only a myth that above-ground tombs were required because of the high water table in the city. Instead, early New Orleanians chose to bury above ground in response to their French and Spanish cultural history. Above-ground tombs just happen to be the intelligent response to the geographical realities of living in a swamp.”
One of the oddest sites was The Society for the Relief of Destitute Boys. It was decorated with all sorts of trinkets—actually, that was a little creepy, the photo bomber notwithstanding.
It’s kind of sad that so many of the tombs are deteriorating despite efforts to restore and maintain the cemetery. Just the same, the relative state of disrepair makes for good story detail, and interesting pictures. I found quite a few tombs that would be perfect for the story.