Goat Bluff Cemetery, Hot Springs, Arkansas

The ride down a long, rough gravel road is worth it to get to this one.

The drive down a long, rough gravel road was worth it to get to this one.

I featured this little cemetery near Hot Springs, Arkansas last month just because I loved the name.

Hand-piled rock wall.

Hand-piled rock wall.

I didn’t find any clues there as to how it got its name, but I did find grave sites that were just as intriguing.

Gone but definitely not forgotten.

The graves at Goat Bluff said as much about the community of people left behind as they did about those they memorialize.

Grave sites like this speak volumes.

Can’t you just imagine the funeral services held in this shelter?

I think it still gets used, don't you?

I think it still gets used, don’t you?

Funeral service shelter

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Some Cemeteries Just Reach Out and Grab You

Goat's Bluff is near Hot Srpings, Arkansas

Goat Bluff is near Hot Springs, Arkansas

Okay, who wouldn’t slam on the breaks and turn down this road?

What a great road!

What a great road!

There are a million Fairview, and Woodlawn and Mount Olivet cemeteries. How many times do you see a great name like Goat Bluff? This well-kept little gem was worth the trek too.

Sway Back Cemetery is near Paola, Kansas

Sway Back Cemetery is near Paola, Kansas

Here are a couple more I couldn’t pass by.

This cemetery is one of my favorites and close to home in Kearney, Missouri.

This cemetery is one of my favorites outside Kearney, Missouri.

Have you seen more cemeteries with distinctive names? Let me know.

A Rare Night Time Visit

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.

See the orbs hovering in the upper left corner?

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.