I've never found cemeteries to be creepy, or scary. I've always found them tranquil, thoughtful. As an historian & lover of history, I have been to many cemeteries. My sister & I visited Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, IL when we traveled across the country in 1995. (Yes, we rubbed his nose.) I keep meaning to go to Albany Rural Cemetery to visit Chester A. Arthur's grave.
However, most of the time, I go to a cemetery to look at the graves of non-famous people, like my relatives, or random people with interesting stones. Typical iconography like weeping willows, winged angel heads & urns are typical on early New England headstones. I saw a number of these in Salem, MA last fall. A good example of the willow motif can be found here in Section F.
|Greenwich Cemetery May 2013|
As a kid, my younger sister & I use to ride our bikes over to the Riverside Cemetery in Fort Miller. There are a number of large pine trees shading the ground, plus it was next to the Hudson. It was always cooler there, so it was the perfect spot after a hot, dusty bike ride. Reading the stones made me appreciate my life a bit more, especially when we noticed the markers of children who died young.
Before my daughter started school, she & my mom use to visit my dad while he was working at St. Mary's Cemetery in South Glens Falls. She would lay under the trees on a quilt & say the trees were talking to her. They we eat lunch, picnic style, then head home.
The idea of picnicking at a cemetery may seem odd to some, but it was very common in the 19th & early 20th centuries for many of the reasons I have stated above.
|Cemetery picnic early 20th century|
Also, check out Find-A-Grave. It is a very useful website to locate burial information throughout the country.