Mississippi Moment: Deteriorating Cemeteries

Mississippi Moment

MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Halloween is probably the second most decorated event of the year, behind Christmas. You don’t have to put up decorations for Halloween. There are plenty of embellishments associated with it all over the place all the time.

One of the elements that’s always there are cemeteries, and cemeteries don’t have to be haunted to be interesting.

A few years ago, my friend and Madison County historian Charles Bowering showed me some photographs of a couple of cemeteries he had run across on the backroads of Mississippi. One of the pictures was of a weeping statue.

As high as the humidity gets here and with a statue made of cold marble, it’s not a miracle that dew condensed on its head and ran down its face to make it look like it was crying. When we went to see the statue, we found something to weep over. It had deteriorated beyond recognition. It’s hand was broken off, and its head was missing. Probably a vandal did it.

Not all deterioration is man made, some just comes from being in the elements. For instance, one headstone that Charles ran across was of a man who could have ben 132 years old when he died, if the dates are correct. It was a good thing he got the photo years ago when he did, because the headstone was almost illegible when we went to the cemetery to get new video of it.

As far as the actual connection of cemeteries to Halloween, there are still those people who spend the holiday cleaning graves and headlines the following day, which is All Saints Day. The roots of Halloween are deep in religion, lore and fright.

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