Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Saint Pierre, part trois

I now present the third and final instalment of photos of the Saint Pierre visit. This is, of course, the topic the horror writers have been waiting for. The cemetery with its above-ground tombs in various states of disrepair. I don't know entirely why they are above ground, similar to New Orleans. If I were to hazard a guess it would be because the soil is shallow and very rocky much like many locations in Newfoundland.

I recall reading at some point during our visit that the cemetery was established in the late 1800's but has been relocated twice in its history. It is shown on the tourist map on the Saint Pierre website and listed as one of their attractions to visit. It's a strange feeling walking about the site, spread out across the top of the hillside west of the 'downtown' area.

The tombs are many shapes, sizes and colours much like the older dwellings within the town itself. Many tombs are well-tended and are no doubt often visited. Others are in complete disarray, perhaps because the family members have long ago left the community. There is a great view of the town and harbour from the cemetery (if the fog has lifted) and a view of the hillside that backs the town to the north. I'll stop yapping now and let the photos speak for themselves.

BTW, the banner above is a 'panoramic' shot of 3 photos stitched together by our camera...V likes to experiment with the camera. I thought it would look better shown up there rather than squashing it into a space in the post. For those who didn't get tortured enough enjoyed the photos, I will load them (and some that I didn't show) on my Facebook page over the next few days.





Does anyone know what the little 'port holes' are for?













Seeing that little window open kinda gives me the creeps...








This one kind of speaks for itself.


The End.

16 comments:

Cathy Olliffe said...

Lovely, eerie photos, Alan. I love cemeteries and this one is amazing.
So sad and so many are falling apart.
As for the portholes, I don't know - weird! Practically speaking, it might be ventilation for smell.... but they might also be escape hatches for the soul, or ghosts...

Laurita said...

That is such a great cemetery. I remember there being windows on the top of some of the graves as well, so the dead could see out. Maybe the port holes are so they can get out and stretch their legs at night, in ghost form.

That top picture is very cool. I'm sad that this is the last installment.

Jeremy Kelly said...

Great pictures, again. I wonder if the portholes are a safe dry place to put trinkets and pictures that may have meant something to the departed.

Laura Eno said...

Portholes, uhhhhh...
I would be especially worried about the open one.
Great pictures, Alan!

daniellelapaglia said...

Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing!

Kat said...

I love old gravestones...creepy, but cool.

K.C. Shaw said...

Cool! I love old cemeteries. I know the New Orleans tombs are aboveground because of the high water table. Could this be similar? Also, I wonder if the portholes are to let water out in case of a flood (but wait, if the tombs are properly sealed, no water should get in...). Dunno, really, but they're creepy-looking. Especially that open one.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Cathy- Yes, a lot of the graves were crumbling. Some had 'X'es in chaulk and I wonder if they were slated to be removed. There was a large concrete tomb in the cemetery with modern nameplates and dates of death. I wonder if they were being relocated to a central place to free up some space?

Laurita- Hmm...the dead peeking out of portholes and stretching their legs at night...sounds to me like you have another horror story brewing.

Jeremy- I had wondered that as well. Though, some of the holes had a grating behind them (inside the tomb) so things couldn't be poked in. I like Laurita's theory about them being windows for the dead to see out...

Laura- I'm worried too! Especially in light of Laurita's 'window for the dead' theory.

Danielle- Thanks a lot! You're most welcome.

Kat- Yeah, the place had a unique atmosphere (it was nice on a sunny day, but I wouldn't want to creep about there at night...)

KC- I don't think that high water is an issue there being up on a hill. Maybe there is a religious element to it. Or maybe they were sailors and the 'porthole' was symbolic. Sounds like more research is required.

John Wiswell said...

I wonder if some damage is the result of desecration, or if all is the result of time. Obviously the fifth down looks natural.

Alan, consider writing a story to explain those port holes?

Michael Solender said...

I think the port holes are so they can swap spit in the middle of the night, why let all the live wires have all the fun??

yogurt said...

after reading this post i can't stop thinking about the Portholes lol.

Danielle Ferries said...

Some great photos there, Alan. I love wandering through old cemeteries.

Alan W. Davidson said...

John- There were no 'obvious' signs of desecration, such as grafitti. I think that mainly the harsh weather conditions over years (and the use of poor materials years ago) is the main culprit. The wheels are turning for a story idea...

Michael- Eeewww! Though perhaps that could be a most unusual story idea, as mentioned above.

Yogurt- Those strange little portholes have a lot of people wondering. Definately unusual and d worth being put into a story.

Danielle- I knew that of all people, you would appreciate these the most. I've enjoyed the ones you've posted at your blog in the past.

kathryn said...

Dammit. An hour later and I still can't find anything online to explain those portholes!

Could you go back...and kneel down....and look inside? Maybe it's a viewing window. (Ew. Gross.)

Alan W. Davidson said...

That's funny, Kathryn, coz I did peak into a few of them and all you see is crumbly rubble inside. Some had grates so that things couldn't be poked in there...it's just a strange, old mystery...

David Barber said...

Love graveyard photos. Conjures up all kinds of ideas.......

The portholes are for hearing if anyone has actually been buried alive. :-) That's obviously not true....or is it?

Great trilogy, Alan.