Ornate, whitewashed stone cemeteries are as much a part of southern Louisiana as the cypress trees and dangling Spanish moss. French Catholic tradition and the extremely high water table mean that many Louisiana cemeteries are built above ground. The jumble of crosses and melancholy statues definitely adds to the gothic feel of this strange corner of America, especially in New Orleans.
Just in time for Halloween, I find myself surrounded by some of the spookiest (and coolest) cemeteries in America. If you happen to be a fellow enthusiastic graveyard traveler, New Orleans offers some incredible opportunities for exploring cities of the dead. St. Louis 1 Cemetery is probably one of my favorites — in my opinion, it ranks right up there with La Recoleta in Buenos Aires and Père Lachaise in Paris.
When planning your trip to New Orleans, you should definitely check out Save Our Cemeteries, the local non-profit that works to preserve the city’s 31 cemeteries. They also offer some wonderfully informative tours.