Best disappointingly non-creepy cemetery (2008)

New York City Marble Cemetery

Some cemeteries' spookiness doesn't fade when the sun rises, even when the cheerful chirps of birds echo off moss-covered graves. This residual daytime creepiness is what one would expect when visiting the East Village's New York City Marble Cemetery during its once-a-month afternoon open houses. But if you're looking for a spine-chilling time, the place's lovingly tended green lawn and shady trees are a pleasant letdown. Perhaps it's the Victorian-style wrought-iron gate on Second Avenue that just screams "dropsy" or "consumption," or the shadowy passageway leading to the set-back half-acre plot that misleads passersby. Or maybe it's the whole interment thing. Most tenants were buried in the 156 underground vaults in the mid to late 1800s, when earth burials were banned to curb yellow-fever outbreaks. Marble slabs are placed along the cemetery walls with names of the deceased and their vault numbers, including recognizable New York names such as Varick, Mott, and Scribner. But alas, fantasies of being met by a grisly grave digger on visitors' day are dashed by the faces of friendly helpers with useful maps and people lounging on blankets. Overall, you're more likely to catch couples scouting the place for their weddings than lighting Wiccan love candles.


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