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40 Hauntingly Beautiful Photographs Taken In Graveyards

Graveyard Photography by Onkel Wart

Photo Credit: Onkel Wart

Last week, I spent a few pleasurably-languid hours reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.” Gaiman’s wonderful tale of a young boy – Nobody Owens – who is nurtured and protected by the ghostly denizens of a graveyard, transported me into another world, and made me contemplate about life, death and the afterlife.

I had experienced the same feelings once before.  That was while reading Emily Dickinson’s  “Because I could not stop for Death.”

We paused before a house that seemed

A swelling of the ground;

The roof was scarcely visible,

The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries; but each

Feels shorter than the day

I first surmised the horses’ heads

Were toward eternity. (Lines 13-20)

Graveyards are oases of tranquility in this chaotic world. They are places where some people finally find – in Earth’s welcoming bosom – the peace and solitude they craved for their entire lives.  Is there really an afterlife? No one really can tell for sure. But it sure would be great if there were one.

Here are a few images inspired by the evocative imagery that Gaiman conjures up in his book. All the images were released under various Creative Commons Licenses by their photographers.

Image Credit: Denise O’ Brien

Denise O' Brien

Image Credit: Smitty


Image Credit: Robert Catalano

Robert Catalano


Image Credit: Suzanna


Image Credit: Lucid Nightmare

Lucid Nightmare

Image Credit: Howzey


Image Credit: Sidereal

Image Credit: Casch52

Image Credit: Brandy Buck

Image Credit: Elephi Pelephi

Image Credit: Laura Burlton

Image Credit: Frederik M

Image Credit: Carl Jones

Image Credit: Onkel Wart

Image Credit: E3000

Image Credit: Hugovk

Image Credit: Snake Eyes

Image Credit: Bildungsr0man

Image Credit: Dizzy Girl

Image Credit: John Althouse Cohen

Image Credit: Sighthound

Image Credit: Rachel Sian

Image Credit: Shots at Random

Image Credit: Anders B.

Image Credit: Hugovk

Image Credit: Carl Jones

Image Credit: Mike Boehmer

Image Credit: La Cola De Mi Perro

Image Credit: Casch52

Image Credit: Orvaratli

Image Credit: Carl Jones

Image Credit: Andrew Lee

Image Credit: Autumn Sonata

Image Credit: Stuck in Customs

Image Credit: Sabriirmak

Image Credit: Zoriah

Image Credit: Remuz

Image Credit: Autumn Sonata

Image Credit: Lucid Nightmare

Update: Mark VanderJagt sent in this great photo that he took last fall in Denver, Colorado. Graveyard

67 thoughts on “40 Hauntingly Beautiful Photographs Taken In Graveyards

  1. We photograph cemeteries in Jefferson co NY

    … It would have been nice to know where these wonderful photo where taken…

  2. Ummm. Not all of these are in graveyards. And the one of the angel by Sabriirmak is obviously Photoshopped.

  3. G: these are beautiful whether you liked them or not.

    I especially liked the baby asleep between protective wings.

  4. the photos are only 2/3 of the product. photos like these usually have an effect added (i.e. focus, edge blur, increased saturation etc.) I do however admire the photographer's use of perspective in some

  5. You are free to use these images because they were all released under a Creative Commons License. But you can't use them for commercial purposes. To be on the safer side, however, check each photograph's usage terms before using it.

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  7. I have photographed over 5,000 tombstones because they fall into disrepair so easily and we lose all the information on the, if anyone would like to send me photographs of tombstones that are readable so that I can gather the information and make a database out of it I would love to have them.

    many thanks
    Eileen Goodall

  8. Hi I am making a database and collecting digital photographs of tombstones as they fall into disrepair we lose so much genealogical information, if you would like to donate any to me please do so it would mean so much to me.

  9. Good collection. Will consider using some of them.

    I am building my own collection – at – with the CC license which allows commercial use. Maybe will you find there anything useful for your set too..

  10. What a wonderful piece of serindipity. I was looking for images to create a trailer for Gaiman's Graveyard Book, and here they are! Many of those photos took me right back into the book!

  11. photoshop is a tool… nothing wrong with it. The hdr photo's are rad I like the surreal feel to them.

  12. Beautiful images, although some are a bit to over Photoshop-ed for my tastes. Would love to know where they were taken, which cemeteries etc so I could add them to my list of places to visit on my travels.

  13. thank you for including one of my photos amongst some other really fantastic ones..I think some people are missing your point about the feeling they invoke and not whether or not they are complete or have been creatively worked on.
    I also take complete photos old gravestones with the information on them for example I do have a shot of the one shown here with all the info. But the ones you have chosen here are to portray feeling and imagery .well chosen!

  14. eileen you should come to the graveyard on mansfield road nottingham. you will not be disappointed.

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  16. Beautiful!!!! BRAVISIMO! What type of camera do you all use? And how much would that cost?

  17. If I see yet another overdone HDR photo with halos and ugly colours, I am going to puke a HDR coloured jet frum my guts.

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