Even an uneventful town like Amersfoort, Netherlands, has it’s spooky little corners. Like the oldest cemetery in Amersfoort, the Rusthof.
Entering the cemetery, the first thing you notice is the frivolous entrance: a beautiful little gated building with small towers to top it off. There are two small apartments next to the gate that are currently abandoned. It would be kind of cool living in such a beautiful old building, but also a bit creepy perhaps.
Once inside, the peace and quiet can be a bit disconcerting at first. Especially in autumn, when the trees are losing their leaves, the weather can be a bit grim, darkness comes earlier. Is that whispering I hear? The graves here are old, some of the stones are cracked and covered in moss. Was that something moving in the corner of my eye? Part of the cemetery looks like a corner of the forest: big trees with natural-looking graves under them. Like this grave marked by a big rock.
It’s the grave of the poet Gerrit Achterberg. Every Dutchman will know his famous lines ‘…maar tussen droom and daad /staan wetten in de weg /en praktische bezwaren.’ (But between dream and action, there are laws, and practical objections.). It’s from Achterberg’s most famous poem, about a man fantasizing about killing his wife. Creepy, when you think about it, because the other thing that Achterberg is famous for, is killing his landlady/lover. Truth can be scarier than fiction.
Maybe it’s time to leave the cemetery and go back to the land of the living.