"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Thursday, 4 December 2014

New Experience Challenge Week 48: Cemetery Tour

here's a big cemetery on the edge of our CBD called West Terrace Cemetery. Every Friday they offer group tours to tell the story of some of the amazing and mysterious characters that have been buried there. I turned up at the front office at 8:20pm. I didn't really know what to expect, but I'd heard that it was a bit more than just an old man waffling on about the price of land in 1922.

The man at the desk was a rotund middle-aged man who talked in a bit of a grand way.
'Hello! Welcome to the West Terrace Cemetery! You must be here for the tour!'
'Actually, I'm here to check in as a resident,' I replied.
'Hohohohoho!' chuckled the man as he checked my name off the list. 'Just take one of these lanterns, make sure to slip your hand through the strap, and make your way around the corner. We'll head on our way very, very soon!'

I headed outside to where some people were milling around. There was an older couple chatting to a tall young man with a healthy beard. He was wearing a yellow highway vest, and was clearly a staff member. I walked up to them and tried to slot into the conversation.
'You guys are here for the tour?'
'Yes, that's right. We've come down from Mildura for the week.'
'Oh, that's nice!' I turned to the staff member. 'And you must be the zombie.'
'Haha no, not yet,' he answered.

A few minutes later the rotund grand-man poked his head around the corner and said we'll be starting in a couple of minutes! Make sure you all get to know each other before we start! I turned to the nearest person.
'Hi, I'm Michael.'
'Hi, I'm Kelly.'
'Hi Kelly. Is this your first time doing the tour?'
'Well it is for this cemetery, but my friends and I do tours of all the cemeteries around Australia. One of the girls in our group is an actual medium.'

I was disappointingly cut off from responding at that point by a short woman with long frazzled black hair and wearing a black cloak. She made her way out of the front office, catching everyone's attention and without a word, she motioned everyone to follow her and started walking up the main path. The group of 15 people looked at each other excitedly and set off behind her. After a minute, she stopped.

'Welcome to the West Terrace Cemetery,' she said in  a slow, aged voice. 'This place is home to some of the most interesting, most violent, and most mysterious characters in Adelaide's history. There are over 180 THOUSAND people buried in this cemetery, and tonight, we'll meet just a few of them. Stay close behind. We wouldn't want you to get lost in here... We may never find you again,' and with  that, our lanterns all spontaneously lit up and the woman carried on up the path with a swish of her cloak.

We exchanged more excited looks and followed her as she turned a corner and came to a big marble monument.
'Our first resident is a young performer named Percy Grainger. He was a master of the piano and was one of the best-loved people of the 1920s. At the peak of his career, he made what is the modern equivalent of $140 000... a week (gasps from the crowd). His most famous tune was called (I can't remember the name).'
From of of the lanterns came an old-timey piano ditty that drew some nods of recognition. I'd never heard it before.
'Percy hated that song,' said the woman. 'He was a strong believer in music being free for the world to enjoy, and spent considerable time and money trying to create a synthesized sound machine - one of the earliest attempts at creating a synthesizer.  Percy died at the healthy age of 78, making all the news headlines around Australia.' The lanterns piped up again, this time with the voice of a news presenter.
'Beloved entertainer Percy Grainger died peacefully in hospital this morning. He was a master at his craft and will be sorely missed. We'll honour his memory by playing his favourite composition,' and the same song started playing again.


'Come along, there's a lot more to see!' We made our way off to a tomb with two names on the front. As we approached, the sound of shovels digging into the ground emanated from our lanterns.
'Colonel William Light included the West Terrace Cemetery in his plans for the city of Adelaide back in 1837. It is therefore the oldest operating cemetery laft in Australia. And this man, John Monck, was its first sexton. He lived on grounds with his wife in very poor conditions, overseeing the running of the cemetery and ensuring the respectful internment of the dead. However, Monck was not experienced as a sexton. And in the early days of his tenure, mayhem ensued.'

Suddenly a figure strolled out from the shadows. Has tall and bald, and wearing the kind of suit jacket and pantaloons one would expect to find in the 1800s. It was John Monck in the flesh.
'They say that in three years, we should start a death registry. Haven't they heard of the Holy Trinity's death register? It had enough details... I should know, I put them there. Sure, burial locations weren't recorded, but better than nothing, eh? Hehehe... Um, anyway. The board of trustees, they were no better organised than I was. They held an inquiry into cemetery operations. "Questionable burial practices?" Just because I didn't have a plan, of all the lots and leases on it. Just because I didn't know the location of every single unmarked grave. The denominational section of the cemetery didn't help either. And so what if I charged a bit extra for Sunday burials? Which I kept to myself. How could they blame me for a few lost graves? This, coming from the people who would deal with the long grass in the cemetery... by setting fire to it! Yes, we lost a few wooden crosses and gravestones in that time. And the practice didn't stop until 50 years ago!'

'Anyway, after my, er... "retirement", I left for Victoria, tried my luck in the gold fields.'
'You left your elderly father to look after the cemetery!' the cloaked woman piped up.
'And you want to talk about chaos... Okay, maybe not the best decision I ever made, but that was still no reason to actually force my retirement after that! Unfair if you ask me. If they'd given me some proper feedback, none of this would have ever happened. After my forced retirement, I moved down to Glenelg. Got elected for local council. You know what they say, if you can't beat'em, join 'em. Now where did I put that shovel...' and he walked off to enthusiastic but politely muffled applause from the group.


We made our way to the next grave site. On the way, I walked up next to a very small, very old, but very fit lady and introduced myself.
'Hi, I'm Michael.'
'Hi.'
'...What's your name?'
'Gwen.'
'Okay... Enjoy the tour,' and I peeled off.

'Now, the West Terrace Cemetery,' said the cloaked woman, stopping, 'Is full of Adelaide's most interesting and colourful  - if not shady - characters. And there's none more colourful than the man who holds the record for all the wrong reasons. James Patrick Hodge was a petty criminal with a major wrap sheet. With no fixed address, he was an early starter. He'd wracked up over 100 convictions by the time he turned 26.'

At that point, a ragged-looking kid rolled out of the darkness from behind us on a skateboard. We watched him eagerly to see what he had to say.
'Hi guys,' he said. Then a voice came out of the lanterns.
'Silence in the court!'
'Oh, sorry,' said the kid.
'Mr Hodge... back again? Last time you were here, you nearly caused a riot in my court room. You led some 500 people, somersaulting through the Adelaide Arcade, and when the police arrived, you jumped on a parked car, yelled at them to make way and did a running jump into the back of the police van.' We looked at the boy for an answer, but a new voice came out of the lanterns.
'Hehehe Well I just love seeing the smiles on people's faces. You know how it is, Your Honour.'
'It says here that since I last saw you, you've even tried your luck in Melbourne.'
'Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. The authorities aren't any more hospitable there. So I came back.'
'And why are you before me today? Public drunkenness? Indecent language? Begging? Larsony? Trespassing? Assault? Public nuisance?' A new voice chimed in.
'Your honour, the accused broke into Harvey's Winery with the intent of stealing wine for himself and his friends. To this end, he tapped what he believed to be a cask of champagne.'
'And how was he apprehended? Did he resist arrest?'
'Ah... On the contrary, your honour. The cask in question turned out to contain a sediment of 90% spirit. The accused was apprehended where he'd collapsed... after sampling approximately 10 glasses.'
'Mr Hodge! What IS to become of you?'
'Dunno, said Hodge. 'We'll just have to wait and see.'

The lanterns died down and the cloaked woman spoke.
'Hodge continued in his ways until death, wracking up over 400 convictions - EACH carrying with it a stint in jail. He was laid to rest not far from here... in an unmarked grave.'
There was audible disappointment from some of the guests as we went on to find the next grave. During our walk, Kelly caught up to the guide and asked.
'So what did the boy on the skateboard have to do with it?'
'I've never seen that boy in my life,' she said and we all burst out laughing and then caught ourselves with embarrassment.

We walked a bit more before the guide turned to us.
'Adelaide's streets have had their fair share of mayhem. None more so than the day four armed convicts escaped from Yatler prison. They eluded authorities for some time, until they were spotted near Payneham, and police gave chase. This day became known as the Battle of Enfield.'
Sirens and gunshots started blaring from the lanterns, making me wonder what people would think if they heard it from the outside.
'As the smoke cleared, two of the convicts - John Eustice Newchurch and Arthur Harold Haroldson - were found dead. Another was arrested soon after and the fourth later that night. The fourth had been found disguised in a dress and makeup - and was made to appear in court, wearing the same attire. 38 members of the police force received honourable mentions for their work, and four of them received King's Police medals. Newchurch and Haroldson were buried not far from here... in unmarked graves.'


This time there were heavy groans from the crowd. We wanted to see criminals! Maybe the next grave would prove more fulfilling. We plodded along, chatting about everything we'd seen so far.
'Come along you lot!' called the guide from a long way ahead. 'You'll be late to your own funeral!' She kept walking as we all caught up to her and circus music started playing from our lanterns.
'John Isaacs was a South African animal trainer. He gave his final performance in Gawler just over 100 years ago. Isaacs, who went under the stage-name "Gomez" had trained tigers for two of his 25 years, when he was given command of a tiger that had gone through its last five keepers. In only three years. "Duke", as it was known, was the largest captive tiger in the world, and had never known the jungle. Isaacs performed with the beast up to nine times a week - that is, until the fatal performance in 1898.' The circus music started back up, followed by the sound of a tiger roaring and people screaming.
'A reporter from The Observer Newspaper was present at the performance...' she said.
'The trainer Isaacs neglected on this occasion the usual precaution of firing the gate, or hurdle over which the tiger jumps. The tiger sprang onto his keeper, burying his teeth into the back of his neck. He lifted him over the hurdle as easily as a dog with a rat and deposited him on the cage floor, growling savagely. Staff distracted the tiger with poles until, bleeding, Isaacs rose to his feet and edged towards the now-open door. The suspense was terrible for those who had nerve to look upon it. The animal seemed on the point of springing again, but Isaacs had the presence of mind to fix him with his eyes, and when the beast sprang, Isaacs was out and the door closed. Despite immediate medical attention and his transfer to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, he died three days later from his wounds.'
'Investors proposed that Duke perform again the next day with a new keeper,' said the guide, to groans from the group. 'The police insisted that a constable be on watch during the performance with an order to shoot to kill at the first sign of any aggression. But in the end, they decided to scrap the act altogether. Probably for the best, wouldn't you say? Shall we?' We moved on. I thought about how cool it was to be hearing the names of all these local places. Every place she named, I could pick up and drive to if I wanted. We stopped walking in front of a huge poppy bush.

'Our next resident isn't famous. Or even infamous. She was the victim of a brutal crime. Her name was Zora Cusick. An immigrant from war-torn Europe looking for a new and safe place to call home...' A woman came out from behind the bush. She was once again dressed in old-fashioned clothing, like a woman of stature. I thought she looked remarkably like Adele with her her pulled back.
'So,' she said in a western European accent. 'You want to know about the murder do you? Don't say I didn't warn you. I'm told that as I traveled from Yugoslavia to Adelaide for a new beginning, my assailant was not far behind me. His name was John Balaban from Romania (so many Johns!). He had a history of violence and had already killed. I was no angel... I was, as you say... working girl. Balaban decided I was dirty. Immoral. Deserved to die. He slit my throat seven times until my head was nearly severed. And that isn't all he did to my poor body. Some things are best left unsaid...'
'He left me in a pool of blood in a small shack in Torrensville not far from here. The other girls went to ground and eventually, the police got their man. Or so they thought. Lack of evidence saw Balaban walk free five days later. In a few short months, the police would come to rue this decision. In April 1953, Balaban drank himself into a rage, attacked several people and returned to his family at the Sunshine Cafe. Already in a murderous mindset, he took to his wife, stepson and mother-in-law... with a claw hammer. He did not stop until he was sure they were dead. He was arrested at the seen and confessed to all his murders... even mine. And that of a young girl in Paris several years earlier. He had no regrets. He even went as far as to say that God had given him permission to do as he please with no fear of conscience. He was only tried for my murder and sentenced to hang. He was dead a month later. There were no protests against the evils of capital punishment that day!' she was getting worked up. 'No one mourned the death of John Balaban!' And with that, she spat on the ground and stormed off, turning back to make one last enraged point.
'You know, I don't understand how such an intelligent man could be such a murderer! He had THREE university degrees! He worked as an industrial chemist! And he pleads INSANITY??' Then she was done. She disappeared and the crowd aplauded. That had been a passionate and engrossing story.
'Poor Zora,' said the guide. 'She had a dangerous occupation. She paid the ultimate price. But while Zora can rest with justice being done, countless others were not so lucky. Let's go and meet one.


This is the mystery of Janet Williams. Prior to her death, Mrs Williams had been planning a trip to Melbourne. She'd withdrawn a large amount of money from her bank account, bought an array of travelling clothes and two traveling bags. We can also tell you that she was traveling with an unidentified man. Not her husband. Soon after, her partially clad body was found floating in the shallows near Glenelg Jetty. It was determined that she hadn't been in the water for very long and no signs of violence were found. The cause of death? Uncertain. They couldn't even tell how she'd gotten into the water. Public interest in her case grew and tongues began to wag...'
'I heard there was a fella involved!' said one lantern.
'And not her husband, either! said another.
'And I ask you, where did all her new clothes and luggage go?'
'Wouldn't surprise me if her conscience got the better of her and she drowned herself!'
'Suicide, you say?'
'I hope her husband's got an alibi.'
'When no further evidence could be found, the authorities resorted to consulting a boy prophet. The boy conducted a psychic experiment and concluded that the woman had drowned in the presence of a man. But who was this mysterious man? Less than a month later, the body of a Melbourne man was found, shot dead in Belair National Park. He was clutching an automatic pistol with three bullets still in the magazine. No spent cartridge was found nearby.Next to the body was an evening paper dated from the day that Janet Williams' body was found, and open to the page that described her death. Was this mysterious man the elusive traveler Janet had run away with? Was he also murdered? Or was he her murderer, and couldn't live with the guilt of what he'd done? Perhaps it was all just a big coincidence. But one thing we do know for certain, both cases remain unsolved. I love a good mystery, don't you? Let's go.'

The next grave:
'In the mid-1920s, the Broken Hill to Adelaide express train was preparing to leave the Riverton Station. All was calm, with the hum and chatter of people from all walks of life knowing that their journey would soon come to an end. Just before it was due to depart, a man appeared on the platform, calmly produced a handgun and began to fire randomly at passengers.' Sounds of screams and gunshots once again emanated from the lanterns. 'As mayhem ensued, an off-duty policeman started to return fire. His gun jammed. Suddenly, famous left-wing politician of the day Percy Brookfield, picked up the useless gun and charged at the gunman.' There were more gunshots, and then the sound of a man getting hit. 'Mortally wounded, Brookfield managed to wrestle the gunman to the ground as others cam to his assistance. It took four men to handcuff him. The gunman - Gormin Tamayev - was a Russian immigrant showing obvious signs of mental illness. Brookfield died, along with a local farmer who sustained injuries that day. Was Brookfield's a hero's death in an extraordinary situation or... Australia's first political assassination? Many find the gunman too erratic to have been planned. But Tamayev's erratic ramblings may hold the key.' A dirty Russian voice came out of the speakers.
'You no forget to tell judge I get a hundred pounds to shoot Brookfield, eh?' and he let out this unnerving maniacal giggle that faded into nothing. A second passed, and then-
'BWAHAHAHA!' shouted the guide, making half the group jump. Then she led us to the next place.

'Benjamin Ellis! He's a one-of-a-kind at the West Terrace Cemetery. He was the hangman at Adelaide Jail for ten years. It was a time of harsh measures, with punishments that were designed to strike fear into the hearts of locals. Ellis wasn't just the hangman at the jail. He was also the flajulator (the what?) - the whipping man. Proud of his work - and good at it - he never questioned the right from the wrong. He lived in the jail for a while, even spent time there as a prisoner. Everyone knew Ellis. Each prisoner that was to be put to death reported to him. He tied up their hands... Marched them to the gallows... Tied up their feet and looped the noose around their neck, with the knot always under the left ear.' The soft sound of whimpering reached our ears. 'Some prisoners maintained their innocence. Some whimpered until death. Some shouted abuse and rejoiced in their deeds. Some didn't even make it to the gallows. The overwhelming sense of solitude one feels the night before his hanging. It torments your mind, and your soul. Some people hung themselves in their cells the end the fear. Most of those people are buried here. Like James Slate, who murdered his boss over a pay dispute. But it was Elisabeth Wilcock who really got to Ellis. Changed him. She was convicted of poisoning her husband. But there were doubts and speculation. She was the only woman hanged in South Australia. And his hand was on the lever.' We heard the lever release and the trapdoor open, signalling the end of Wilcock's life. 'There was an inquest held into the cause of death of every person hanged. It seems strange, but they had to know - was it strangulation? A heart attack? Or the snapping of the neck upon falling? Each person was then buried between the inner and outer walls of the prison with their initials and the date engraved on a stone nearby. Their only legacy. Ellis himself lies at the foot of that tree over there. In an unmarked grave.'
'How did Wilcock change him?' asked Gwen nervously. We had all been wondering about that. I could see the guide hesitate uncomfortably.
'Because she was a woman,' she said. 'It... changed his way of thinking.' Gwen nodded, but she didn't seem convinced. Neither did I. The guide continued.
'We have met just a few of the enigmatic creatures that lay buried in this cemetery. But we've saved the best for last. The most mysterious... And intriguing... Let's go.'
She led us to our final stop. On the way, I thought I'd have another go at talking to Gwen.
'I was wondering the same thing,' I assured her.
'Yes!' she said. 'I thought there might have been some sort of twist!'
'Like she was dead the whole time...' I mused.
'Or she seduced him...' she fired back.
'She said "I'll come back for you",' I chuckled. We had a laugh as we reached our last grave.

'This is a story, worthy of a mystery novel. On the 1st of December 1948, the body of a man was found at Somerton Beach. His head was resting against the wall. His legs were crossed and his feet were pointing out to sea.' from behind us, we heard a voice.
'The body was discovered at 6:30am.' We all turned to see a slim man wearing a forties gangster outfit - a grey suit and slacks with matching fedora. I placed his accent from Chicago, which was befitting of the situation. But his accent slipped in and out at times while he talked.
'He looked to be in his mid-forties and there seemed to be no obvious cause of death. He had no identification and all the labels had been removed from his clothing. All that we found on him was a bus ticket, and an unused train ticket. We tracked down a suitcase at the station which we believe belonged to the deceased as again... no identification... and no labels.' He paced his way in front of the group, standing behind the head of the grave. 'An extensive autopsy was then performed on the body. But no cause of death could be determined. Not even poison. Six months later, a small piece of paper was found in a hidden pocket concealed on his trousers. This little piece of paper had been torn out of a book and only contained two words - Taman Shud. We traced this to Omar Khayyam's book "The Rubaiyat" and when translated, it means ended or finished. About a month after that, a book was found that had been concealed in the back seat of a car. The owner handed it into the police, and it proved to be a match to the piece of paper.'
'Now,' he continued, moving from the head of the grave. 'Here's where it gets complicated. You see, inside this book, on one of the pages, was a code.' He walked behind us and we turned to discover a stone tablet had been lit up with a series of dashes written on it. 'One that we've had no luck in breaking. Not even with the help of military code-breakers.'
He stopped talking, crouched down and stared at the tablet for a bit, then he sighed and got back up. He started walking back towards us, and stopped inches in front of my face.
'Why the code?' he said directly to me.
'I don't know...' I said nervously. He moved on to face each person in the group. 'And why tear out those two words from a book and go to so much trouble to conceal them in a hidden pocket? Why? Is he actually trying to tell us a message here? Is this a clue to how he did it or what he did? Was it to completely lead us off the path? Hmm?' He was looking at Kelly now, who shrugged awkwardly. 'There were other areas in the book that... let's just say, complicated matters even further. There's a lot of questions that we don't have answers to. And there's a lot of theories of course. Perhaps he was a jilted lover, who committed suicide.' Gwen leaned over to me.
'Maybe he was a spy!' she whispered. I smiled and winked as the man moved on to a sweet-looking man in his fifties.
'Or maybe he was a Cold War spy, murdered with an untraceable poison... By someone upstanding like you.'
'Maybe he was shot in the back?' said the nervous man. I nearly fell about laughing at the idea of cops in the forties looking at each other and thinking "Oh shit, we didn't think of that! Someone check his ba- oh yep, there it is. An enormous bullet-hole in his back. This case just blew wide open."
'Do you know him?' Asked the gangster of the man. The laughter that ensued from the group was intriguing. We all seemed genuinely nervous and captivated. He turned around and walked back to the stone tablet. 'To be honest there's evidence to support both of those theories among many others. Personally, I find it fascinating that there are people out there who have both the drive, and the ability, to do something like this and COMPLETELY elude the rest of society! But... the world does love a good mystery every now and then. This one right here... It's one of the best. He took one last sad look at the stone and walked off into the shadows. The applause we gave was much more enthusiastic this time. Either we had noticed the sound of traffic bleeding in from the city and didn't feel the need to keep it down so much, or we were so impressed by the man's performance that we momentarily lost our respect for the dead. The guide had no more to add. She simply said
'Taman shud... the end. Come, we must return.'



On our way back to the front office, we chatted excitedly about everything we'd just seen. The guide was up the front chatting away with one of the patrons. She'd obviously decided that her job was over and was free to break character. She was louder and more raucous than anyone else had been all night. She didn't get back into character until we once again reached the front office.
'Well this, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the end of our tour tonight. I- we... would like to thank you for your interest and for taking the time to meet some of the fascinating people here while supporting the West Terrace Cemetery. Before you leave, I have just a little food for thought. There is just a limited number of sites still available here at the West Terrace Cemetery for your consideration as your final resting place. You will be amongst fascinating company. And if you've led an interesting life, you might find yourself in a future tour. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. I'll see you in the next life.'

38 comments:

  1. Thank you, now I am fully traumatized. I think I will bookmark this and re-read it next Halloween.

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    1. I totally wanted to do this on Halloween, but I didn't managed to book it in time :P

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  2. What a clever way to do it. Certainly not dull. I wonder how they choose the people to feature - and how often it changes.
    And I love the boy of the skateboard popping in. A slighted resident perhaps?

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    1. I felt like bugging whoever I could until they let me be a paid actor on a skateboard for them.

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  3. Wow, that's the most sophisticated cemetery tour I've ever heard of, what with the lanterns, the soundtracks and the roleplayers and all. I've only gone on one cemetery tour here in Edmonton and it was pretty stodgy by comparison. Plus I got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

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  4. It's funny, because I would have thought a cemetery tour would be just that, a tour. I never imagined there would be actors in it. But what made me laugh was the guide telling you about people that died and were buried in unmarked graves. That part isn't much of a tour, is it, if you don't actually SEE the graves?

    But it sounds awesome. I would love to do something like that. I know they have these here in MIchigan, so you've made me want to investigate my options once the winter is over.

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    1. Luckily, the rest of them actually had gravestones. Otherwise it would have somewhat ruined the night :P

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  5. Damn, we have a very very weak one here compared to that. That is like the Disneyland of cemetery tours.

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    1. I didn't get around to mentioning that the lanterns changed colour depending on what was happening. When someone got murdered, they turned red... When police turned up, they became blue... It really helped set the mood.

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  6. I love the interactive lanterns that they used for the tour! I have always wanted to go on a cemetery tour, and have told my husband that if we ever get to New Orleans, I want to tour the graves there. Such old and spooky history there! We don't have anything that like in my area though so travel is a must to get to a tour like this.

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    1. I had no idea Adelaide has something like that either until a few weeks ago.

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  7. That would be a blast, sadly nothing like that around here. I'm with Theresa, I'd love to do a cemetery tour in New Orleans!

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    1. What happened in New Orleans that gives it such a spookier history than everywhere else?

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  8. We did a tour in Edinburgh, but it wasn't near as fascinating as this one! In fact, the one we went on was pretty cheesy, but we laughed about it in our group for days, so it was still worth the time it took to tour. :)

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    1. I would have thought that Edinburgh would put on a good show. It's the home of the biggest Fringe Festival in the world :P

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  9. I give you credit for remember all those details!! Geez, I'd be lucky if I remembered ONE of those names. I never heard of a cemetary tour before, but it does sound interesting. I love how the lanterns would play music and have sound effects. They should have used to randomly scare the pants off of all of you. That would have been funny. :P haha

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    1. Actually, after the first grave, I realized I wasn't going to remember much. So I turned on the voice recorder on my phone and kept it in my pocket as we walked around. Worked like a treat :)

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  10. This sort of event has become a major tourist attraction all over the world. In London you can go on a guided walk around the places where Jack the Ripper murdered his victims. Your guide wore the right costume but she looks too comely for the job. They should have hired a spooky old dude with a face like Dracula's butler.

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    1. I would have liked more jokes about evil stuff. Like "Don't dawdle! The last group got lost and you can still hear their screams!" Or "Adelaide used to be the murder capital of Australia. With our help, we can reclaim the title..."

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  11. I'm quite impressed that they have such a production for a cemetery tour. The only cemetery tour I took was just one steampunk lady (top hat, goggles, all that) who was still a good story teller, but why the steampunk motif? Same for a ghost tour I recently took. If it's not being lead by a steampunk, there are steampunkers in the crowd. Is steampunk the next progression of the goth teen?

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    1. That's not a bad idea for your next post.

      "First there were goths...Then there were emos... Now, brace yourself for...
      Whiny sad kids - the third generation!"

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  12. They don't have Cemetery Tours around the midwest that I know of. When I lived in Savannah, GA they had some. It was spooky because there is Spanish Moss hanging from trees, and steps that lead down to graves. Everything was old and foggy there.

    It sounds like you had a really interesting time! You have a great story to pass on. The teller sounds interesting to.

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    1. I don't think there were any mausoleums there. You're right, that would have been even spookier.

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  13. At first, it seemed to me like a corny excuse to get money, but the tour got much better. That's a very odd story about the guy with no labels and a code - intriguing, and it gives me chills. You're a brave man. Please do not check in as a resident any time soon or any time at all. Great challenge post!

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  14. Sounds like so much fun! One of my favorite cemetery tours here in the U.S. was in New Orleans, Louisiana...all kinds of lore about voodoo and such.

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    1. You're the third person so far to reccomend New Orleans! I need to make that a priority!

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  15. Oh, I love cemeteries. This was great.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it :) Is there anything like that in Belgium?

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  16. Oh my, this sounds rather spooky but interesting. Cemeteries at night would not be my choice of entertainment. I think it's funny that they threw in a little commercial for the still empty plots at the cemetery at the end--haha!

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  17. We don't have anything like this here. The most we have is a very lame tour guide who explains in a very dry voice the history of what happened... in other words, making it as not-fun as humanly possible. This sounds the exact opposite of not-fun. Whatever that word might be.

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  18. Sounds like an entertaining tour! I also got a kick out of the sales pitch at the end!

    Julie

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  19. This sounds incredibly spooky but really fun. I love how much I can already tell from your blog that you seek out new things, even if they're off the beaten path.

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