- Humans have been burying their dead for at least 100,000 years.
- Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead.
- It’s the ritual act of placing a dead person or animal, sometimes with objects, into the ground.
- This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over.
- It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.
- The location of the burial may be determined taking into account concerns surrounding health and sanitation, religious concerns, and cultural practices.
- Some cultures keep the dead close to provide guidance to the living, while others “banish” them by locating burial grounds at a distance from inhabited areas.
- Depending on the culture, the way the body is positioned may have great significance.
- Some religions consecrate special ground to bury the dead, and some families build private family cemeteries.
- Some cultures believe in an afterlife —and burial is believed to be a necessary step for an individual to reach the afterlife.
- Most modern cultures document the location of graves with headstones, which may be inscribed with information and tributes to the deceased.
Probably the scariest thing about cemeteries is that music they play in your head when you drive by one.
― Demetri Martin
Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
The sad intangible who grieve and yearn.
― T.S. Eliot
Now it is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite
In the church-way paths to glide.
― William Shakespeare
I fully believe in ghosts. I have, my entire life. The first house I ever lived in was haunted. There was a grave of a man in the backyard. I was just a baby then, but my parents would tell me that every night, at the same time, they would hear someone walking up the stairs.
— Meaghan Rath
The moon is hidden behind a cloud…
On the leaves is a sound of falling rain…
No other sounds than these I hear;
The hour of midnight must be near…
So many ghosts, and forms of fright,
Have started from their graves to-night,
They have driven sleep from mine eyes away:
I will go down to the chapel and pray.
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow