Gift Guide: Cemetery Lovers
I love wandering around cemeteries for many reasons—they’re quiet, peaceful, uncrowded (with the living, anyway) places full of beautiful imagery, typography and history. You can learn a lot about a city by visiting its cemeteries, and I try to seek them out whenever I can. Although cemetery tourism might seem like an oddball hobby, I’m not alone in my macabre interests. So grab some flowers or stones and browse this gift guide for the living who feel at home among the dead.
2 / Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography is great little book to take with you on your cemetery strolls to help identify what you see along the way.
3 / Wicked Clothes has several t-shirt designs that I love, but this one is my current favorite.
4 / Show your love for the paranormal with this cute 5” x 7” screen print.
5 / BoneBox is the gift that keeps giving—each box includes various osteological specimens such as skulls, claws, teeth and baculum—all year long.
6 / These cremated remains labels are free from the USPS, but I’ve ordered them twice now and never received them. Maybe the third time will be the charm, or maybe they know that I’m not actually affiliated with a funeral home.
7 / Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was one of the first death-related books I ever read, and I loved it so much I read it twice.
1 / I’m always surprised that you can find cheap medical models on Amazon, and this numbered skull is under $30.
2 / I saw this pouch in person last weekend at the Oddities Flea Market, and I was delighted to find that it had a black-and-white striped interior and looked/felt even better in person.
3 / If you’ve ever wondered what happens to our some of our most famous dead, Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nations Leaders is entertaining, informative and might make you want to plan a trip to visit the graves of our departed leaders.
4 / George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo takes place mostly in a cemetery and is a moving and imaginative novel about grief and the meaning of a life.
5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / Creepy Co. has too many great pins to choose just one from their Macabre collection, including classic winged skulls, “Just Buried”, All Men Are Cremated Equal, Funeral No Parking and Yearn for the Urn.
1 / I don’t have the space for a full-sized skeleton, but that hasn’t stopped me from putting it on my wishlist for the future.
2 / When I lived in Brooklyn, I was a member of Green-Wood Cemetery and it was great. Individual memberships are only $50 a year and include free tickets and discounts on talks and events. Also, nothing says Good Morning! like a cemetery mug.
3 / Carry around a bottle of this cleaner to tidy up some headstones while you’re exploring.
4 / I’ve never done gravestone rubbing, but this kit looks like it has everything you need to get started.
5 / Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them): A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying is a great book to help you prepare for the inevitable death of you and everyone you love (Merry Christmas!)
6 / This Handbook for the Recently Deceased is actually a blank journal.
7 / I have one of these cardboard funeral signs and I love how simple (and cheap) it is.
8 / I’m always wondering if I should start wearing earrings again and these little skull studs are tempting me.
If you’re really in the giving mood, buy your cemetery-loving friend an actual burial plot! Space is limited in New York City cemeteries, but plots can still be had at Green-Wood starting at around $21,000 (holds three burials, what a deal!). Chances are, if you or someone you know enjoys wandering around cemeteries, they will also like this gift guide for your weird friend or be interested in following along as I attempt to visit every cemetery in the five boroughs.