Cemeteries might be scary, creepy, terrifying and so much more. But can they be beautiful?
Well, these ones certainly are.
Take a look at 20 of the most beautiful and terrifying cemeteries in the world.
1. Cavtat Cemetery, Croatia
Cemeteries don’t tend to prioritise having amazing views, but this one does. The Cavtat Cemetery in Croatia looks out over the Adriatic and southern Croatian coastline, with resort views. The creepy part, to us anyway, is the use of stunning white brac limestone, which tricks the eyes into see ghosts!
2. Catacombs, Paris, France
There’s something poetic and artistic about the layout of the Catacombs in Paris, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t creepy. After all, when around 6 million bodies are your medium, it’s hard not to be scared silly. This unusual cemetery is a 200-mile-long network of pathways underneath Paris, filled with skeletons of the ages.
3. Lone Tree Cemetery, Telluride, Colorado
The Lone Tree Cemetery balances out gorgeous and creepy in a new way. The hillside spot offers gorgeous views of the Bridal Veil Falls and Bear Creek Preserve, while being filled with the graves of babies and children who died from influenza outbreaks back in the day.
4. Peksowy Brzyzek National Cemetery, Zakopane, Poland
You don’t often hear people describe cemeteries as ‘charming’ or ‘quirky’ but this one fulfills both descriptors. Although it’s still a sad cemetery (aren’t they all?), this one borrows from the style of the villages around it, which use a lot of wooden beams and logs. Surrounded by forests, the grave markers are more of a bird house than anything else, giving the entire space a wood nymph feel.
5. Waverly Cemetery, Sydney, Australia
Opened in 1877, the Waverly Cemetery offers views that many would kill for. It’s located close to the ocean, and from many spots within the cemetery, you can enjoy wonderful views of the sea. The resting place of 86,000 people, the cemetery is so gorgeous it has been featured in films, and contains the graves of many famed Australians.
6. Chapel Of Bones, Portugal
Again, not really a traditional cemetery, but this chapel is definitely full of bones. There are several thousand bodies embedded in the wall of this creepy chapel, which still manages to look stunning in a Gothic way. Oh, and did we mention the skeletons hanging from the wall? There are two, and one of them is a little child.
7. Kalaupapa National Historic Park, Molokai, Hawaii
Certainly one of the most beautiful and out of the way locations in the world, this is a cemetery like no other. It was once a part of the island’s leper colony, a place built in the mid-19th century to stop the disease in Hawaii. Around it are some of the world’s tallest sea cliff, and you’ll need a boat, a plane, or a donkey to get there.
8. La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Located in a neighbourhood of the same name, the La Recoleta Cemetery contains a whopping 4,500 vaults all of which are above ground. This style has meant that the cemetery looks more like a little town than a graveyard, particularly as many of the vaults are ornate and highly decorative. Creepy, but lovely.
9. Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo, Italy
When it comes to mummifying people and hanging them out of walls, there aren’t too many places where it’s creepier and more stunning than the Capuchin Catacombs. Named like the monkey, but without the barrel of laughs, the catacombs contain 8,000 mummified bodies organised in an artful way.
10. Highgate Cemetery, London, England
Highgate Cemetery is a burial place considered to have some of the finest funeral architectures in the country. A mix between park and grave site, you’ll find graves as far back as the Victorian era, and as late as WWII. There’s lots of winding paths, mossy rocks, and overgrown adventures awaiting.
11. Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia
This cemetery was constructed on the site of an old plantation located on a bluff along the Wilmington River. It became quite well known when in 1994. It was featured on the cover of a novel that became a film. With lots of oak trees and gorgeous surrounds, it’s got creepy charm.
12. Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague
This gorgeous graveyard takes the cake for creepy as well thanks to the sheer number of layers present in the ground. Layers? Yes you read that right, there’s thought to be 12 layers of graves in the cemetery, which has been used since the 15th century. Graves can’t be destroyed, and the tombstones can’t be removed, leading some 12,000 of them of various ages.
13. Lone Fir Cemetery, Portland, Oregon
The Lone Fir Cemetery was established in 1855 and is now home to more than 25,000 burial grounds. It’s famed as a place of rest, but it’s also Portland’s second largest arboretum with 500 trees of more than 67 species. It was named after a single tree that still stands in the corner of the cemetery.
14. Punta Arenas Cemetery, Punta Arenas, Chile
The Punta Arenas Cemetery in Chile is a really lovely spot, considering it’s a cemetery. There are lovely gardens and the graves and materials make the area stunning. It’s well known thanks to Sara Braun, a wealthy woman who donated money for the entrance to the cemetery. She requested that after her death, the central door remain closed forever, which it has.
15. Père-Lachaise, Paris, France
Another eerily beautiful Parisian cemetery is the Père-Lachaise, the largest within the bounds of the city. It’s known for being the first garden cemetery, as well as the first municipal cemetery. With gorgeous winding paths and oddly beautiful tombs, as well as the graves of famous faces like Jim Morrison, it’s a popular spot.
16. Cemeterio General, Santiago, Chile
Home to more than 2 million bodies, the Cementerio General is the largest cemetery in the entire continent of South America. You’ll find all manner of people inside, from commoners to presidents, and it’s an amazing place to wander.
17. Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York
A National Historic Landmark and one of the largest cemeteries in New York City, the Woodlawn Cemetery was first opened in 1863. It is the resting place of a number of famed American greats, as well as a gorgeous setting. The cemetery is often described as having the character of a rural cemetery despite being home to more than 300,000 people.
18. Aoyama Cemetery
Japan’s first public cemetery and Tokyo’s only cemetery for foreigners, the Aoyama Cemetery is also famed for something else: Cherry trees. Every year, when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the cemetery is filled with life, and many people come to visit and walk among the graves of Tokyo’s famous faces.
19. Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
A sacred and important place for Jewish people the world over, the Mount of Olives is also a cemetery that has been in use for more than 3,000 years. Around 150,000 people have been buried on the mount, so named because of the olive trees that once grew there. In several key events in Jewish philosophy, and in writings, it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven.
20. Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania
There aren’t too many cemeteries in the world that can be described as merry, and this one in Sapanta, Romania fits the bill. The cemetery is famed for its colourful tombstones that simply illustrate the person buried there, as well as scenes from their lives, poems and funny anecdotes of their lives.