Tag Archives: snow

Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis

Hilts Bronze Angel

All winter long I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect day to return to Bellefontaine Cemetery under snow cover. I’d been once before, though things were much greener then, and I didn’t have my new camera, or the photography skills that I’ve gained this year.   

Hilts Bronze Angel

Opening in 1849, Bellefontaine (pronounced “bell fountain” by most St. Louisans) was designed by Almerin Hotchkiss (Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York) and consists of 314 acres of park-like beauty with mausoleums as far as the eye can see. It truly is a small city. Among other big names from the region, you’ll find the resting places of Adolphus Busch (beer giant), William ClarkSara Teasdale, and the infamous Lemp family.

 

Since it was 28 degrees and I knew once I made it there I’d be on foot for a few hours, I bundled in layers and prepared as if I was on a journey to climb Mount Everest. The always-kind and wonderful workers in the office mentioned that the roads were drivable, but they didn’t seem too confident in that statement, so I decided to walk. They encouraged me to take a map and keep the office number on hand. I guess that’s what they do when they see out-of-shape fat guys drop by for photos in the winter. I figured I’d stay close to the main entrance and photograph what I could until it got cold or I felt I was going too far into the cemetery. I didn’t know until later that I’d walked a pretty massive circle that covered most of the popular and historical monuments on the driving tour.

 

 

As I bravely started out, I couldn’t help but notice that my car was the only guest car in the lot. It appeared I was going to be very alone on this journey. Awesome! It was also very quiet, other than the crows flying around, keeping their distance, and warning others of my presence. It was creepy and cool at the same time.

 

With every hill I kept finding beautiful excuses to keep going further. I was impressed that I found a few sites by memory, such as the famous “Girl in the Glass Box”. Even as I detoured off the road and trudged through snow as I found interesting shots, I felt confident I knew where I was and what direction I’d need to head once I decided to go back. I never pulled out the map, or my iPhone, for that matter. 

The famous Luyties “Girl in the Glass Box”

I’m not entirely sure I can describe to you how pleasant and enjoyable this was for me. I mean, I obviously enjoy spending time in cemeteries a little more than the average person, but to be alone (truly alone, I never saw another guest) in the middle of such a beautifully massive city of buried souls, in the middle of winter, enjoying the peace and quiet, with the added risk of getting lost or frozen before dark, was truly an amazing experience. I suppose this risk of being found frozen Jack-Nicholson-in-“The Shining” style could be why one of the workers came by in a cemetery truck as I was on the opposite end of the cemetery an hour and a half later… just checking. I waved and smiled and continued on.

Tate Mausoleum

 

Close up of the Tate Mausoleum doors

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The Francis Grieving Woman

I have to be honest, two hours later, as it got a bit darker, there was a moment when I wasn’t sure exactly where I was or if I was going in the right direction. I wasn’t lost for long, but I made the conscious decision to stop photographing so that I could focus on looking for the main entrance. It’s at this point that I nervously picked up the pace and started to feel the burn in my hips and joints. I couldn’t wait to find the car. A few minutes later I found it off in the distance, but I couldn’t believe how far away I was on the complete opposite side of where I’d been. I truly had made a pretty big circle. When I got to my car, the same cemetery worker was standing guard at the gate, probably relieved that he wouldn’t have to go searching for me again in the dark. I’d made it back forty-five minutes before the gates close and had been walking just over two hours.

 

The massive and very popular Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

Through the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

Close up shot of the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

These decorative symbols are a part of the bottom of the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

 

I sat for a while and relaxed in my car as if I’d truly conquered my own Everest. I had hundreds of photos that I was so very excited about! I couldn’t wait to get home and check them out. I took a deep breath, texted Joe to let him know I was alive, and then I drove the hour-long trip home with a wind-burned face. 

 




 

Again, the Hilts Bronze Angel

 

Before I leave, I wanted to make you aware of my Flickr page, where all of my newest and favorite photography, including this set, is being stored. Please feel free to drop by, comment, or share any of the photos.

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Thanks for your support!

Patrick

 

 

 


A New Lens and a New Cemetery


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Emmanuel United Church of Christ Cemetery
Weldon Spring, Missouri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Weldon Spring, Missouri

 

Some of my first shots with the new lens

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You might also like: 

365 and 2014 and New Chapters (KarlPfeiffer.com)

#HauntedPhotoAWeek (Renae Rude – The Paranormalist)

A Very Wintry Update (Big Séance)

Learning Curve and the First Shots with my New Camera (Big Séance)

 

 

 


A Very Wintry Update

Meril says Hi.

Meril says Hi.

A. I had planned on reviewing a documentary today, but… 

I have such strange and mixed feelings about it, that I don’t know what good it would do to share them. This doesn’t mean it was bad, it only means I’m not sure how I’d share my opinions on it without possibly offending members of the paranormal community. Is it because I’m too chicken? Possibly. I think I’ll reserve the right to continue my tradition of only reviewing material on the blog that I can say wonderful things about.

 

2. I have really enjoyed this beautiful wintry weather, plus a few snow days, but… 

  • After a long absence from the paranormal investigation scene, the snow grounded me from my chance to join an exciting investigation in Arkansas over the weekend. I was excited to share evidence and photos with you! It really has been too long. 
  • Due to road conditions and temperatures (it won’t even reach ZERO today), I can’t get beautiful snowy photographs of any of the cemeteries I want to go to. I really wanted to hit Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis… but Joe said it’s too far and too risky… and I guess I’d have to get back in a warm car to thaw out fingers after every two shots. Tomorrow will be no better, and by the time Wednesday is here, I’ll be back to school and no chances to get to cemeteries before dark. I’m assuming snow will be gone by the weekend. My new fancy lens is supposed to arrive today, so I hope the nice UPS man saves himself the trouble and takes an extra day to get here safely. I’m sure those people who get tired of so many cemetery photos are relieved. I don’t get it. Why cemetery photos? Well why not?  

Here’s one of my latest shots… and a link to many of the other photos from my new camera on Facebook. I’m still learning about the camera and Photoshop Elements. 

Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Charles, Missouri

 

C. I’m about a third of the way through The Uninvited: The True Story of the Union Screaming House by Steven LaChance.

It’s about a supposed haunted house not too far from me in Missouri. I wasn’t sure about this book, but I can tell you that so far it has been one of only a few books that I’ve been concerned about reading in bed right before turning the light off, leaving me to sit there in the dark imagining horrible things. I don’t need another hand grabbing me in the middle of the night! Great book so far, though. You’ll probably get a review in the future.

 

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4. I’ve decided that tonight or tomorrow is a spectacular time to watch The Shining.

Wouldn’t you agree? Those people who prefer to watch this movie in the fall are just… well… wrong. It’s a WINTER scary movie. Am I right? Especially when my guest bedroom window looks like this! 

True Story. Actual picture.

True Story. Actual picture.

 

 


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