Photographing Cemeteries: Cool or Creepy?

I recently visited a few local cemeteries to take a few shots.  I found them a bit eerie but also very intriguing and beautiful.  I’ve gotten mixed responses over the photographs.  Some folks love the shots and others are turned off by them.  I assume that could be said about most scenes.  Even your beautiful Caribbean beach will draw some criticism. (i.e. “Don’t care for the sun and shore.”) Yet, cemeteries draw the most “Eww that’s creepy”‘s. What do you think?  Beautiful or scary?

Hamilton Township Cemetery in Warren County, Ohio.

Union Cemetery in Symmes Township, Ohio

To see more of my photos, please visit my gallery.

1,388 responses to “Photographing Cemeteries: Cool or Creepy?

  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping to look at my posts. I happen to like visiting & photographing old southern cemeteries. Not at all creepy – actually respectful of the old ways and architecture! Nice work.

  2. I’m so glad you like my blog! Yours is lovely. Personally, I love cemeteries. There’s something peacfeul about them but I guess some people might find that odd.

  3. Another newbie to your fine blog. I’ve always found cemeteries pensive, sobering and reflective retreats. Wherever I travel, I try to visit local cemeteries. Savannah, Ga., has fantastic public cemeteries, as does Richmond, Va/

  4. I think the photo’s are stunning, I don’t see why people would think it is creepy. Just photograph what you love and you will find people who share your view too, i’m certainly a fan.

  5. very cool. I was in hardemon cty, Tennessee and I was floored when I was told and later took pictures of Bolivar’s “black” cemetery, and their “white” cemetery. They had separate mortuaries as well. Crazy!

  6. Not creepy at all! They are peaceful places usually, and every one has its own atmosphere. The older the site the more interesting angles and textures of stones. Great subject for paintings!

  7. There is so much history, culture and peacefulness in grave yards. It’s also a natural consequence and fact of life. I visited Ireland and the Celtic cross grave markers are stunning. Thank you for sharing these views from Ohio and Lebanon. Blessings, Lori

  8. Great photos. I photographed a small graveyard I saw in the Canadian countryside. It was so beautiful and intimate, very different from the vast military one I’ve seen at home.

  9. Cemeteries are some of the most beautiful and peaceful places I’ve found in my travels. I have some amazing photos of the public cemetery in Nuremburg, Germany. The raised gravesites are covered in brilliant flowers, ground covers and containers – truly outstanding. Thanks for visiting my blog, yours is quite interesting with great photos.

  10. Photography offers an opportunity to re-interpret your world, and cemeteries are within our world, though they whisper of another . . . . I favour the first image . . . so moody and evocative. Also, remembering that Lebanon has seen its fair share of prosperity and conflict makes the image more compelling. National history adds another layer of focus: — the life and times of a people.

    If your images aren’t irreverent, then why not?

    As you say, everyone sees this differently, which is why art is controversial at times.

    All the best to you, Seth Snap.//mm

  11. I love your photos. I think photographing cemeteries is both cool and creepy. They aren’t mutually exclusive in my world. Cemeteries were once visited and enjoyed by the public much like we enjoy parks today. It was common to see families picnicking and playing right there among the headstones. It’s a shame we don’t enjoy them like that today.

  12. Very nice and atmospheric, not creepy at all. I think grave yards are are alo part of life.

  13. I think humanity carries intrinsic knowledge of death as validation for life. You come from a long line of artists preoccupied with death; my hat’s off to you, sir. If you’re not familiar with the Dickinson poem “I died for beauty,” you should check it out– absolutely one of my favorites.

  14. This is awesome! I think it’s respectful to our deceased loved ones, actually, and beautiful.

  15. I think if taken during the day, it can be almost serene and contemplative. Taken at night, it’s a different matter altogether… Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw!

  16. i think your photos are beautiful. i like old cemeteries for the history and they are often beautiful places.

  17. Beautiful. I too take lots of photos in cemeteries. Some graveyards are more appealing than others, but all draw me in, each stone representing a life, a story.

  18. I do a lot of picture taking in cemeteries. My sister is tracing our ancestors and I take pictures for her to post on our family genealogy site. I do not find it creepy at all. I feel humble and thankful to all those who lived before us.

  19. Not creepy at all. Something about cemeteries is peaceful…and fascinating…there are so many stories there. Can’t you just sense them as you wander through?

  20. When I was in college I took a photography course. We had to do several themed photo studies and I did one on cemeteries. Seeing stones dating back to the 1800s was cool. Since my mom died, cemeteries have taken on a different meaning. But sometimes when I visit her grave and that of my grandparents I walk through the cemetery and look at other grave stones. There’s a story that’s often told on the stones. The story of a family, a war hero, or someone who was very special to their loved ones.

  21. I checked out your photos in your gallery titled “Afterlife”. Do you have anything from Spring Grove Cemetery? If not, you have to make a trip there with your camera!

  22. Not creepy at all. Before there were public parks, cemeteries were the only public greenspaces for folks to enjoy. I love to photograph there. (Some are so peaceful and lovely, I can’t believe people dont bring a book and their lunch to while away some time!)

  23. Thanks for the visit to my blog. I think cemeteries are generally very peaceful places, and are often havens for wildlife and plants, since they are largely undisturbed.

  24. Photographs of cemeteries will always bring me back to the place where I proposed to my wife… yes, proposed to my future wife, in front of a beautiful Russian cemetery. “Morbid”is not the only word to associate with such

  25. Definitely cool. There are a couple of amazing overgrown Victorian cemeteries near me in London, where nature has been allowed to take over again – I’ll be posting about them myself soon…magical places, and creepy in a good way!

  26. You probably know by now that I love cemeteries! I find them very peaceful, not spooky or creepy at all. Have you noticed any orbs show up in your photographs of cemeteries? And/or have you seen or heard anything ‘unusual’ during your visits??

    • ghostbusterbev-thanks so much. No, I haven’t noticed any orbs. And no, I haven’t noticed anything odd. Sometimes though, I get sick to my stomach feelings when I enter places for the first time. it use to happen much more when I was younfer.

  27. Great pics! I love cemeteries… and wandering through reading the headstones. It’s part of the cycle of life – makes you realise you’re not here forever, so you need to live in the moment.

  28. I love cemeteries!! I find the headstones amazing and always wonder about the story behind some of them. I like the peacefulness but I am sure some people think I’m crazy wandering around a cemetery with a camera!! You have inspired me to post some of my pictures!! Thanks! Your’s are beautiful!!

  29. In life you have to understand, you will never please everyone and in fact you may only please a few. Importantly you have to start with yourself, if you are please with what you do, then anyone else who is pleased or likes what you do is a bonus. Those that do not like, do not have to be counted or considered.
    Re your cemetery photographs i do find them very interesting, showing the various designs of Tombstones and the peaceful well kept grounds. During the day I do not find cemeteries eerie, but at night some can take on a different atmosphere.

  30. I think the photographs are lovely. They’re clear and beautiful, although the momento mori is easy to see, and a certain sadness permeates them–especially the second one. Still, I don’t think they’re creepy.

    Great blog, and thanks for stopping in to like my latest post at Backyard Philosophy. Keep up the photos. 🙂 Cheers.


  31. I think they are beautiful settings for photography and filled with potential stories. Cemeteries play on our emotions and some emotions are far less comfortable than others, thus, perhaps, the creepy, or sad, or scary responses. Or it could just be people watching far too many zombie movies. ; ) By the way, thanks for the like on my snow angel post.

  32. Not creepy at all. Cemeteries, especially family cemeteries, have such history in the markers, if you take time to read them. And the sun- and moonlight bring new beauty as they progress through the day.

    I especially like your pic from Hamilton. You’ve really captured a lovely moment.

  33. I regularly shoot cemeteries and gravestones, both in stills and on video. I don’t find them creepy at all, but rather beautiful and ethereal in some way, and depending on the location I manage to capture some incredibly artistic shots. Keep it up mate!

  34. It’s only creepy if you’re doing it as some weird death-obsession type of statement. I think cemeteries are often very interestingly laid out, and many of the headstones are beautiful.

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