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Cemeteries are dying.

Cemeteries are dying.

When Cemeteries Die

Urban legend runs amuck with rumors of a haunted cemetery in Cobb County, Georgia that is so dangerous that police will arrive within minutes of your crossing the chains. Well, I’ve visited this cemetery and have found it overgrown and abandoned—not haunted. The company that “manages” the cemetery has stern words for the ghost hunting explorer: Keep out. Their Webpage goes on to state that the cemetery has been cleared and verified as harmless. But, still, do not enter.

So, I entered. And found the physical conditions appalling. I did not feel any evil spirits. However, I mourn those who were unfortunate to be buried there. Weeds have overtaken the area. Rampant ivy covers a majority of the property. Ants have built impressive mounds on top of some graves. This is not a haunted cemetery but a dying one. Forgotten. Abandoned. With the hopes that living relatives don’t visit and complain about the deplorable conditions.

Cemeteries need to be preserved. We need to celebrate the dead and maintain their final resting places. Programs are sprouting up in communities where civic groups adopt cemeteries and maintain them. Groups tend to the land while preserving the history. Although there are numerous Websites that have inventoried these cemeteries, the information is not complete and sometimes inaccurate. By adopting a cemetery, a group can also provide information to these Websites and help others searching for ancestors. Stop at a cemetery. Talk a walk. Sign up and adopt one.