Six years ago, Trish Wilson’s alter-ego Elizabeth Black interviewed me about about my work on CemeteryTravel.com and the Death’s Garden project I’d started putting together on the final episode of her podcast The Women Show. She went on to contribute two essays to Cemetery Travel. One of them, her piece about visiting Edgar Allan Poe’s grave as an inquisitive child, will appear in Death’s Garden Revisited.
Trish Wilson, using the pen name E. A. Black, has written horror for numerous anthologies including Zippered Flesh 2, From The Depths, Wicked Women: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers, Teeming Terrors, The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories, and more. Using her real name, Trish Wilson, she is the Media Director for The Horror Zine. Check out her website at http://eablack-writer.blogspot.com.
What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?
I don’t hang out in cemeteries, but if I did, here is what I would love to do: Drink champagne with my husband and friends at night and look at the stars. It’s even better if there is a meteor shower. We’d enjoy a picnic and watch the heavens.
Tell me about your favorite cemetery.
Obviously, based upon my article, my favorite cemetery is the one at Westminster Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Edgar Allan Poe and his wife Virginia are buried there. It’s customary to leave a penny on the grave monument.
My other favorite cemetery is the one in Druid Ridge in Pikesville, Maryland (just outside Baltimore), the home of the statue Black Aggie. This statue is a life-sized figure (presumed to be female) of a seated woman dressed in a shroud. As far back as the 1960s (possibly earlier), rumors abound about that statue. Her eyes glowed red at night. If you returned her gaze, you were struck blind. Pregnant women crossing her shadow miscarried. If you said her name three times, she’d slash your face. Grass refused to grow around her.
I later discovered this very statue at the Dolly Madison House in Washington, D. C. She was stunning – and spooky. According to legend, if you left coins in her palms you’d have good luck. I left a coin. What is it about coins and gravestones?
Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?
Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. I want to see the Bird Girl statue that appears on the cover of the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I own a replica of this statue. She’s called “Little Wendy.”
I also would love to see the catacombs beneath Paris. Then there is Père Lachaise Cemetery, where Oscar Wilde is buried. I read he haunts the place. It would awesome to run into his ghost and hang out with him.
It would be great to visit the cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana, where voodoo queen Marie Laveau is buried.
I live in Massachusetts where there are all kinds of burying grounds that date back to the 1600s. I’d love to make rubbings of the tombstones and their symbolic carvings.
If you have anything to say about it, what would your epitaph be?
God, this is Trish Wilson. Try to not piss her off. (Apologies to the movie City Slickers LOL)
Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?
I don’t have a favorite song of that sort, but I love to listen to dark ambient music, which is perfect for cemeteries. It’s also perfect as background music while I’m writing horror. I’d recommend “Stalker” and “The Place Where the Black Stars Hang” by Lustmord. I also recommend “Nostromo” by Sleep Research Facility. Redshift is more good dark ambient music. I also enjoy Philip Glass. Then there are movie soundtracks like Jerry Goldsmith’s “Alien” and Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” and “Vertigo.” I like creepy music, which is perfect for cemeteries.