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Saturday, December 6, 2014

3am in the City of the Dead

We chose the most fog filled night possible to photograph in one of New Orleans Cities of the Dead. In this modern era its rare to even be able to get into a cemetery after dark. The gates are closed and locked and no one communes with the spirits until the sun rises again.

But a few months back, one of our older neighborhood cemeteries in the Central City area was given a beautiful new wrought iron fence and for some reason, from that point on, the gates were never closed again. I've wanted to photograph here before some wise city official realized the mistake and began locking it once again.

This is not a fancy, high class cemetery. Its rather run down (except for its nice new fence) and rarely is anyone interred within it anymore. It's in what would be considered a  "bad neighborhood" so at night, wise folk rarely wander its streets. But my partner and I have never been too wise and the opportunity to walk the streets of a City of the Dead in the fog was too much of a draw for us.

So we made our pilgrimage at 3am when the fog was the deepest and nothing stirred. There were no feelings of trepidation or fear. Neither of us are afraid but rather exhilarated yet peaceful to be in this place. We are reverential to the spirits that dwell within and the photos taken are sparse so that we do not overstay our welcome. We see nothing that frightens us. No classic tales of ghosts rising from the crypts around us. No floating orbs moving skittishly through the tombstones. But we are watched from every corner of the vast City and those watchers warn us that this is no place to be foolish. We are there only a short time and with the blessings of those within depart and make our way home. We may return on another night and add  to these images.

(Click the image to enlarge)

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