Is it awkward to think of a cemetery as a dreamy place?

Because that’s exactly what the oldest cemetery on Cape Cod felt like on this sunny afternoon in May.

Uncle T paid a visit to the ancient burial grounds of Sandwich, Massachusetts’ Old Town Cemetery to pay his respects and bask in the salty air, not realizing how gorgeous and serene this spooky stroll would be. The hillside cemetery overlooks Shawmee Pond and reminded me so much of days gone at the sacred grounds of Camp TNUC.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the eeriest cemeteries I’ve had the pleasure of visiting due to the decaying graves dating as far back as 1639. Like so many towns on Cape Cod, this particular cemetery is filled with history. With such a large number of early settlers laid to rest at this location, I’m looking forward to some haunted happenings come this October when we revisit. (Stay tuned)

As a kid, I cherished riding bikes with friends through the local graveyards. Sometimes we’d be inspired to go after watching a good episode of Goosebumps, but most of the time it was just one of those routine routes we loved doing. Empty cemeteries with hilly, winding paths were ideal for racing around on bikes and a great place to get lost/get weird.

Zoom up the hill past the iron gates, under the maple trees, bike tires crunching over the dead leaves on the ground, the smell of fresh overturned dirt and smoke from nearby chimneys permeating through the air. Halfway through we’d dump our bikes on the lawn and stop at one of the moss-covered tombs, trying to get a peek inside. Then stroll through the graves for a few minutes, admiring the brittle yet somewhat legible 17th and 18th century headstones. On a very rare occasion, one of us would have brought a sheet of wax paper for some grave-rubbing before the old groundskeeper/gravedigger guy took notice and kicked us out.

As a full grown adult Uncle TNUC, when I’m not wandering around foggy graveyards at night in October blasting undead anthems on my ghettoblaster á la Return of the Living Dead, during off-months I sincerely enjoy taking strolls through these old reseting grounds. Especially the ancient ones that date back over a century ago.

An empty canoe sits at the edge of a graveyard. Could it be Manimal satisfying his insatiable thirst by claiming innocent victims way early before Camp season?!


  1. My favorite graveyard wandering is up in north shore. Salem of course, but Ipswich has a premo cropping of cemeteries as well just outside of downtown. Some family members and I make a habit of exploring them after bar-hopping, on our way home.

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