Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Graveyard Book

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The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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America's Most Haunted Cemeteries
Luckily for young Bod he happened upon an abandoned graveyard that was haunted by benign, some would even say friendly, ghosts. Caspers, one and all. Apparently, not all cemeteries are so hospitable.

The Haunted America Tours website chronicles the ten most haunted cemeteries in the United States. Topping the list is the St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, Louisiana where forever resides the angry ghost of 19th Century Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau. Laveau's life story is as rife with voodoo lore and legend as is her death and subsequent ghostly incarnations. But several websites nonetheless feature photos purportedly taken of her ghostly apparition in and around her above-ground tomb.

Other haunted cemeteries on this top ten list include two in the Chicago, Illinois area that boast some incredible photos of truly melancholy or vengeful apparitions. Resurrection Cemetery seems particularly populated by young ghosts and it is said that a woman known variously as Resurrection Mary or Bloody Mary Smith flags down lone motorists seeking a ride to the cemetery's gate; a 12 year-old boy named Andrew Holcomb also haunts the grounds. Batchelor's Grove Cemetery is also a site of inexplicable spectral visions. Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery Central in Fort Lauderdale is the burial site of boxing marvel Rocky Marciano whose other-worldly feats have apparently become almost as legendary as his worldly ones.

Europe is also graced with its share of ghostly apparitions include many in Great Britain which are not limited to cemeteries. In fact, the vast majority are (no surprise) castles, churches and towers that were once scenes of violent bloodshed. Needless to say these ghosts are not of the kindly, taking-in-orphaned-children variety either. While there have apparently been no reported attacks on humans inside any of these haunted locales – why take the chance? I guess the moral of all these stories, even though it makes a fine fictional story, is don't let your babies grow up to be cemetery denizens.

Article by Donna Chavez

This article was originally published in October 2008, and has been updated for the September 2010 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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