Cemeteries have always held such mystery and romance. Did you know, however, that graveyards didn't become popular until the mid 19th century. Before the adoption of actual graveyards, people just buried their loved ones on the family property and marked the grave by placing rocks over the site. Later on, people began burying their loved ones in the courtyard of local churches where it was more desolate and protected by gates. In the mid 19th century, cemeteries became a necessity because the yards of the churches were becoming over populated with dead corpses. Below are a few more lesser known facts about cemeteries.
Mortsafes And The Undead
Many people who died prior to the 18th century had their graves completely covered in heavy stones or iron cages. These iron cages are known as "mortsafes." Mortsafes were constructed to protect a loved one's grave for four reasons: 1) to protect the corpse from grave robbers 2) to protect the grave from people sitting or walking all over it 3) to prevent animals from being able to dig up the corpse, and the most troubling of the bunch 4) to prevent the dead from coming back as a vampire of zombie.
You Get What You Pay For
Grave markers used to be made of wood and only cost a little over a dollar to purchase. However, things changed when people began to discover just how easily wood deteriorated. It only took five years for the wood to rot so much that people would have to purchase a new marker for their loved one. Deciding that the cost to continually renew the wood grave marker, people started turning to a more permanent choice: galvanized iron or marble.
The Soul Of The Damned
Unmarked graves were very common up until the early 20th century. Being unfortunate enough to be buried in an unmarked grave met that society believed that they were damned to hell and there was no reason to mark the grave of the damned and hopeless. If you have stumbled across and unmarked grave site, the deceased was either:
A bad person while living
An executed criminal
A pauper, or
Someone who just wanted to live out the eternities in complete anonymity
There are several people throughout history who have opted to be buried in an unmarked grave however. John Wayne, Mozart and George C. Scott are just a few famous people in history who wished to be put to rest without a marker.
Cemeteries have always had a way of captivating an audience with it's mystery, however, there are still many things to discover when learning the history of cemeteries. From the history of the grave stone to the mystery of unmarked graves, there is still so much to be learned. To learn more, contact a company like Romero Family Funeral Home Corp.