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Ghosts In The Cemetery

A Photographic Journal of visiting spirits

I am pleased to offer here, the work of Rebecca Benjamin, noted cemetery photographer. These are real photographs. She visits cemeteries and has photographed the headstones over a period of many years. She says, "Old cemeteries are like outdoor museums or stone gardens. They have great character. The headstones and mausoleums are all that remain of the stone mason's art, and nature has weathered the stones, adding moss, age, and patina. The photos are shot in a pictoralist style, emphasizing the textures in the cemetery."

In Halloween In America, the period leading up to Halloween where the "veil" or separation between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes thinner. This thinning of the veil allows the spirits of the dead to pass over into the realm of the living more easily than at other times of the year. Hence, there are more ghost sightings during the month of October. Photographs are taken in October and what you see in the following pages, is from our new book Ghosts In The Cemetery (The cost is $19.95 plus postage ($3.50 in the US)).

The inspiration for the "feel" of Ghosts In The Cemetery is a book by Jorges Luis Borges called Labyrinths. Both books are designed to subvert, often with gentle humor, our comforting presuppositions about ourselves, our place in the universe, or the intelligibility of the material universe itself, that is, if it is in fact something other than a dream. There is no difference between fiction and fact; created reality is as real as observed reality and vice versa; any attempt on our part to describe reality is bound to be a fiction.

In most technical ghost hunting books, to prove the existence of ghosts, one must shoot on film. This is so the film can be examined to actually prove that the ghost is on the film and not just a fabrication. As these are shot on a digital camera they are not "proof" of ghosts, only photographs of cemeteries. These are offered as a tribute to the dedicated ghost hunters who brave bad weather, weird people, and exaggerated claims to capture some readings on their instruments and photographs of elusive ghosts. It is also a wake up call to those who take our old cemeteries for granted. They are beautiful places that deserve to be protected from neglect and vandalism.

The photos have been optimized to load on a web page. The originals exist in a higher quality 240 to 300 dpi "TIFF" format.

I hope to continue adding photos to these pages. For books or original, signed photographs. Individual photos are available for sale at $200.00 for (approximately) 8 x 10 inches. Each has been matted and framed. They can be ordered from Stuart Schneider, P.O. Box 64, Teaneck, NJ 07666. All photos are copyright 2000 through 2008.

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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, New York

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Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, New York


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Boothbay, Maine

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Edgecomb, Maine

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Quebec City, Canada

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Link: http://www.wordcraft.net/ghosts1.html
 
Pennsylvania, NJ & Arizona Cemeteries

There are different kinds of ghosts and ghost hunters have categorized them into types. Parts of the descriptions of hauntings are taken from The Ghost Hunter's Guidebook by Troy Taylor, 1999 Whitechapel Productions Press (http://www.prairieghosts.com):

The Intelligent Haunting - These are the ghosts of people who were once living, but because of a traumatic event or unfinished business, have not passed over to the other side. These ghosts have been known to interact with people. Stories exist of ghosts that led people to their hidden grave site or the proof of a crime.

Replay Ghosts or The Residual Haunting - These ghosts appear or cause smells or sounds, but do not interact with the living. Examples are footsteps on stairs or apparitions in a room. The possible explanation is they are like a tape recording, played over and over again. Somehow the places where they appear store up the energy of the past and allow it to keep replaying.

Cemetery Ghosts or Portal Hauntings - The entranceway to the other side. This may be location of the openings in the veil during October. Rebecca has found that cemeteries are one of the best places to photograph ghosts as they attempt to cross over into the world of the living.

Cemetery humor: Two young men were walking home from a dance when one suggested that they take a shortcut through the cemetery. The second protested since it was a moonless, spooky night, but the first talked him into it. As they were approaching the middle of the cemetery, they heard a tapping sound that raised the hairs on the back of their necks. The first suggested that they check out the source of the sound and the second reluctantly agreed. As they parted some bushes, they saw an old man chiseling something on a headstone. The young men said, "Mister, you nearly scared us to death, we had no idea what was causing that sound. What are you doing anyway?" The old man slowly turned to them and said "The idiots spelled my name wrong."

Original signed photos are available for sale at $200.00 for (approximately) 8 x 10 inches. They are matted and framed. They can be ordered from Stuart Schneider, P.O. Box 64, Teaneck, NJ 07666. All photos are copyright 2000 through 2008, Rebecca Benjamin & Stuart Schneider



Pennsylvania

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Oakridge New Jersey

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New Jersey and New York cemeteries
The cemetery theme touches people to the core. Eveready Flashlight company used it in its advertising to show the benefits of having a flashlight handy (I always carry one when I go to dark places at night). Here is a 1920s ad showing a boy walking past a cemetery, whistling and carrying his flashlight and a stick.

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Individual signed photos are available for sale at $200.00 for (approximately) 8 x 10 inches. They are matted and framed. They can be ordered from Stuart Schneider, P.O. Box 64, Teaneck, NJ 07666. All photos are copyright 2000 through 2008 Rebecca Benjamin



Ridgewood, New Jersey

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Sleepy Hollow NY

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Gettysburg Cemetery

But before Gettysburg came a cemetery in the town of Lafayette, NJ. The town was named after the Marquis Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette. Those photographs have vanished and now Gettysburg PA has taken their place.
Lafayette, the man: The Marquis de Lafayette boldly came to America, from France, in June of 1777, as a young man ready to fight in the American Revolution. His talents were recognized. Within a short time, he was appointed a Major General and assigned to General Washington's staff.

Lafayette paid his own way, buying food, uniforms, and supplies for his soldiers. Washington accepted him as the son he never had. Leading his men in battle, Lafayette was wounded at Brandywine in September, 1777. He went on to take an active leadership part in the American Revolution.

He was instrumental in persuading France to give money to support America in its battle with Britain. He also helped to lead France in its revolution. At the end of the war, he was offered a great estate in the United States, but chose to return to France to aid in its rebuilding after the French Revolution.

In 1824 he came back to tour the United States and was given a hero's welcome. He was called "The Guest of the Nation". Ribbons were created to commemorate his visit.

Towns were renamed after him and celebrations were given wherever he visited. One of the interesting side effects of his trip to the United States was that many of the Revolutionary War monuments and buildings were in poor shape before Lafayette arrived. Committees were formed to restore America's treasures - such as Independence Hall in Philadelphia that had fallen into disrepair over the years and was missing most of its windows - so that they would not be shamed to have Lafayette visit a decaying site.

Not only was Lafayette a hero of the Revolution, but he was also responsible for the restoration and preservation of America's early buildings and monuments. Here is a small group of commemorative silk ribbons from his 1824 visit.

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Individual signed photos are available for sale at $200.00 for (approximately) 8 x 10 inches. They are matted and framed. They can be ordered from Stuart Schneider, P.O. Box 64, Teaneck, NJ 07666. All photos are copyright 2000 through 2008, Stuart Schneider & Rebecca Benjamin