Part spooky, part historical, the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is a town and campus landmark everyone knows. Relaxing in the daytime, it takes on a sinister character at night.
The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery was one of my favorite places to hang out in when I was at summer camp as a kid. We would often play tag or hide-and-go-seek in the graves and then eat snacks in the gazebo there. Recently, as I’ve begun university here, I’ve studied the history, ethnography, and socioeconomic geography (why people are buried where, based on class and wealth) for an English class on paper writing methods. While there, I took some pictures I used for our presentation, and I’ve been going back often since. It’s a great place to be alone, not a lot of people walk through and it’s very calm during the daytime. At night though, it’s not very well lit and then it’s creepy. I’m not sure which I prefer, but I spend a lot of time around it, it’s really beautiful in its own tragic way.
There isn’t really a best way to enjoy the cemetery, but I can certainly suggest a few. Namely, get a picnic basket or at least some snacks and enjoy a fall afternoon in the gazebo with some friends and maybe a significant other. Sit in the shade and enjoy the falling leaves in the afternoon. On a warmer day, maybe just enjoy it in passing as you cut through it to get to the gym or another part of south campus. Or, late some cold, chilly night, you might take a slow stroll through the graves and imagine all sorts of scary things. It’s all up to you, but make sure to remember to bring a camera!
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