All Hallows Eve is a special time of year at the cemetery in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
That month and that month only, visitors can tour the grounds at night. If you’re a taphophile like me, you know that legal night-time visits are an opportunity not to be missed.
The local historical society gamely puts on Halloween fundraising tours to keep this beautiful, old cemetery alive and well. As groups wind their way through the grounds, costumed actors bring the people in the graves to life. No flashlights allowed. We walked by lantern and torch-light, each curve in the path ahead pitch dark until we rounded it, the crunch of gravel and the murmur of hushed voices the only sounds.
I wondered at the steely nerves of the actors who sat alone in the dark during the long gaps between tour groups. I bet they had a few interesting stories of their own.
The volunteers did a great job; respectful of the dead, historically accurate. This was NOT a chainsaw massacre spookhouse tour. Still, there’s a natural creep factor that I love in any cemetery at night. Although it was clear and cold, not all of my shivers came from the chill in the air.
Earlier, the guides showed us pictures in which lucky photographers had captured “spirit orbs” floating over graves.
They encouraged us to take our own photos. Just point the camera into the pitch darkness, click, flash, and hope you got something. I kind of hit the spirit orb jackpot.
If you visit Eureka Springs, go in October. The automn colors in the rolling hills are spectacular, and of course, you have to take the tour.