Weird Louisiana: Cemeteries, Part 1


There are many things that are weird, strange or just plain ol’ different about Louisiana, but one thing that makes New Orleans stand out more than anything else are our cemeteries. Because of the water table for the city, in most areas, burial is not possible in the ground as one expects of a typical burial. Digging the requisite 6 feet into the Earth results in water seeping into the hole. When the city was first being settled, this resulted in many dead literally rising in their graves whenever there was a flood. After a time, crypts were built above the ground – massive single (and occasionally multi-) family structures were built to accommodate the dearly departed. As the cemeteries grew with these small structures, which often resemble houses, the cemeteries began to resemble a small city. So if you visit New Orleans and hear of our cities of the dead, don’t be too concerned; we’re only speaking of our cemeteries.
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