Part of The Blog Cabin’s 31 Days of Spooky Fun 2017 Series
When I was younger, cemeteries terrified me. Now, they fascinate me.
Nowhere else can you get so much history, see some great art, or find such peace in a single stop.
This past May, my friend and I visited Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Forest Lawn Glendale is a massive 300-acre property just 7 miles outside downtown Los Angeles. There is a Great Mausoleum that looks like a castle. There is a museum. There are 3 European style chapels (Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman married in one of them). This is the final resting place for over 250,000 people.
Among Forest Lawn’s permanent residents: Humphrey Bogart, Nat King Cole, Walt Disney, Larry Fine, Michael Jackson, Louis L’Amour, Chico and Gummo Marx, Art Tatum and Elizabeth Taylor. Management gives visitors little or no help in finding celebrity graves.
We happened to be there on Mother’s Day and the people visiting the cemetery were having picnics, leaving flowers for loved ones that are no longer living, and playing frisbee and catch. They brought their children, they brought their dogs, and they had a great day amongst, well, the dead. I saw nobody weeping or distraught. It gave me a very happy feeling and I felt nothing but love throughout the complex. I have only seen such inclusion of loved ones passed in New Orleans.
There are some other really great cemeteries in the Los Angles area. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery (the final resting place of Chris Cornell, Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and hundreds more of Hollywood’s greatest stars) shows movies on their lawn and concerts in The Masonic Lodge on the property.
Do something different and check out the cemeteries next time you are in Los Angeles. Or anywhere for that matter.
1712 S. Glendale Ave.
Location: 34.12471, -118.2515