By Robert DiGiacomo
What could be spookier than traipsing through a graveyard on All Hallows Eve? Visit one of these six famous cemeteries—all top attractions as the final resting places of several famous people—for a dose of fright-filled fun.
Highgate Cemetery, London
: A popular Victorian-era burial ground, Highgate Cemetery
boasts intricate headstones and grand tombs. Among the dead are Karl Marx, George Eliot, and ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed with polonium and is entombed in a lead coffin to prevent radiation from leaking out.
: The high-Gothic setting, replete with ivy covered tombs, shadowy woods, and decaying statuary, has served as a location for "Abominable Dr. Phebes," "Taste the Blood of Dracula", and other cult horror flicks.
Pere Lachaise, Paris
: Entombed at Pere Lachaise
are some of the 19th and 20th centuries' greatest writers, actors, composers and artists, including Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust, and Oscar Wilde, along with Sarah Bernhardt, Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison.
: Come the day after Halloween—All Saints Day—and join Parisians as they pay homage to the dearly departed and lay wreaths on tombs.
Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires
: You may—or may not—cry for her, but the main attraction at Cementerio de la Recoleta
, a sprawling "city" of mausoleums, is the crypt of the legendary Eva "Evita" Peron.
: La Recoleta is also the burial spot for Rufina Cambaceres, a 19-year-old epileptic who woke up in her coffin after being mistakenly buried alive and died while trying to scratch her way out.
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
: With its 478 acres of rolling green space, Green-Wood
proved a popular outdoor gathering spot for Victorians, and in 1860 had roughly half a million visitors per year. Its celebrated ranks include Leonard Bernstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Horace Greeley.
: Visit Wednesday for a free trolley tour, or bring a flashlight and take a regularly-scheduled special nighttime guided walk.
St. Louis Cemetery, No. 1, New Orleans
: The city's oldest cemetery, located just north of the French Quarter, St. Louis Cemetery, No. 1
offers a prime example of the above-ground crypts used in the early 19th century. Because of the city's high water table, buried bodies would float up during downpours.
: Don't get on the wrong side of Marie Laveau—the Crescent City's most notorious voodoo practitioner—who is buried at this historic site.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles
: For a walk back through Hollywood's Golden Age, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
you'll find Johnny Ramone, Rudolph Valentino, and Mel Blanc.
: Around Halloween, the cemetery celebrates Dia De Los Muertos, the Mexican festival the dead, with colorful costumes, art and music, and more.
Visiting one of these sites soon? Plan your trip with our destination guides:
Photo credit: courtesy BikoBikoBiko