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3 Cemeteries To Unleash Your Macabre Side in Austin

This may just be me, but I think the Europeans have it right when it comes to cemeteries. I’m generally against the whole, “taking up valuable land for dead people” idea, but I live my life pretty non-judgementally, and burial rites are one of the first pillars of civilization, so I guess I can’t really knock it too hard.

I remember visiting these glorious cemeteries in London, Vienna, and Prague (though those were more catacombs). It was fascinating to remember the history of those that came before us, and to take some much needed quiet time and reflect on the very nature of existence within nature itself.

While Austin does have a few cemeteries, most of them lack the openness and grandeur of their European counterparts. But I have stumbled upon a few that might ignite your macabre side should you feel the urge to lead with your dark side.

Austin Memorial Park Cemetery

Austin Memorial Park Cemetery

The Austin Memorial Park Cemetery is in the lovely Shoal Creek neighborhood. An ideal trip here would be spent traipsing the aisles and then heading over to Russell’s Bakery down the street for a nice cup of meditative coffee and maybe a croissant.

While you’re drinking deeply and thinking deeply, dwell on the words of Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist and resident of the Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, James A. Michener.

If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life. -James A. Michener

Oakwood Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery

One of the oldest and best maintained cemeteries in Austin, Oakwood Cemetery has a lovely blend of rural cemetery design within an urban center. The creepy Weeping Angel-esque statues add a nice flair on an overcast day, effortlessly adding to the cemetery’s haunted ambiance.

Ranked one of the Spookiest places in Austin, make sure not to stay in the cemetery after sunset. Mostly because of the hours of operation, but also, GHOSTS. Whether there’s still daylight left to burn or not, a short walk will take you to one of the cities most beloved coffee shops – Bennu Coffee.

Order a chamomile tea to calm your nerves and mull over the words of famed Oakwood resident, Dr. Annie Webb Blanton. Blanton is known as a suffragette, an educator, and a tireless worker for education. Her words speak from beyond the grave.

Everything that helps to wear away age-old prejudices contributes towards the advancement of women and of humanity. -Dr. Annie Webb Blanton

Texas State Cemetery

Texas State Cemetery

The most obvious cemetery to make the list is, of course,  the Texas State Cemetery. Nestled near delightful east 11th street, this cemetery is perfect for grabbing a nice snack at the Quickie Pickie and heading over to stroll the grounds.

While a large number of the burials here are confederate soldiers, it’s also the burial place of the city’s namesake, Stephen F. Austin. This cemetery is also home to one of my personal heroes, Barbara Jordan. If you don’t know Barbara Jordan, I’ll just leave you with one of her quotes to ruminate whilst you walk the grounds.

For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future. -Barbara Jordan


Photo Credits:
Historic Austin Cemetery Tour Angel Statue
Austin Memorial Park Cemetery
Oakwood Cemetery
Texas State Cemetery


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