Favorite Son

Within seconds, my life had changed in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. I never did leave my hometown. I don’t know who the new Cuddy Mangum would have turned into, but probably not the...

Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón

Though much of Colón seems frozen in time in the 1950s, or before―like much of Cuba―it in fact remains very active as an ongoing final resting place for more than 800,000 souls and...

The Every Day (of the Day of the Dead)

I relive this same sense of awe and terror whenever I lose a friend, a relative, or a friend of a relative to this day, or I become aware of a thunderstorm threatening, or, oddly, I fall...

Day of the Dead and Ghost Season

Shed leaves are everywhere, numerous as souls of the dead. They tumble and plunge in the cold shallow river, hurrying on to the black deeps of the dammed lake at the end. Some ride

African American Funeral and Mourning Customs in South Carolina

The grave was a charm or powerful talisman that controlled events in the spirit world (world of the dead), as well as the world of the living.

Upper Bay Settlement Cemetery

Each autumn, I make a solemn visit to a nearby churchyard, the Upper Bay Settlement Cemetery (est. 1853). The grounds are tucked behind the white clapboard church which has been unused for...

St. Louis Cemetery 1

Luckily, my easiest conversation starter is something I genuinely wonder about: what inspired you, in a city known for its nightlife, to set an alarm, ooze out of bed, and visit a cemetery?

The Curse of Old Town Spring

I, clearly, am not a sensitive and would be oblivious to a ghost walking through me. But my writing buddy is pretty freaked by the tree, and our guide mentions it’s her least favorite...

To Live and Die in the South: The Chinese Story

If they died, where could they be buried? Being so few in number, they could not afford to finance a cemetery for Chinese only.

In the Country

I felt the sorrow of the long life that had left us and I felt the hope and innocence of my child next to me as we lay still and in admiration.

Fall 2015

The chill in the air and the falling of leaves herald All Saints Day, Veterans Day, and the Day of the Dead, and thoughts turn to remembrance of those departed. Cemeteries become places of sacred pilgrimage for some, of  morbid tourism for others. In the American South, communities have adapted their age-old burial and commemoration practices, as the Chinese, the Mexican, and African American communities have done. But Fall is also ghost season, no more so than in Southern Gothic tradition, and in this issue we offer you some deliciously spooky stories with which to curl up in front of a fire. Enjoy!