Hollywood vs. Reality

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It’s the time of year when Hollywood does its best to misinform the public. We are inundated with Hollywood Halloween horror movies that portray cemeteries as dark, creepy, and scary just for the effect. The reality is that I have been fighting that image for 42 years.

For the past 38 years, Woodlawn Memorial Park has been my backyard. My wife Cindy and I have raised two boys in the cemetery house. We have had many BBQs with family and friends and I can’t count the number of times our guests have requested a walking tour of the grounds after dinner. They’re not interested because of campy horror movie cliches, but because of the history, beauty, and nature. Cemeteries are great places to take a walk and reminisce about the wonderful memories of our loved ones. Read more to uncover the main differences between Hollywood vs. reality when portraying cemeteries.

Hollywood Is Not Reality

Every year around Halloween the number of horror flicks on TV and at the theatre greatly increases. Some people love to be scared. Why does it have to be at the expense of cemeteries? Maybe I need to invite those Hollywood movie directors to Woodlawn Memorial for a guided walking tour of our beautiful cemetery to help change their perspective.

Cemeteries Are For The Living

It surprises me when I learn that people are afraid to walk in a cemetery. Waiting until the end of life to use and appreciate the beauty of a cemetery is a shame.

I recently attended a conference where one presenter from China really fascinated me. During this presentation, I saw images from some very beautiful cemeteries in China. What stood out the most is how much China is trying to promote cemeteries as a special place for the living to enjoy.

Why couldn’t a cemetery have a community centre, a doctor’s office, or a flower shop inside? At Woodlawn, we constantly try to dispel fear and invite people to enjoy regular activities. What we’re trying to achieve is the belief that cemeteries are also beautiful places to celebrate the living.

Enjoy The Beauty & History 

It’s lovely to walk through Woodlawn Memorial and see the leaves change colours on one of our organized walking tours. You can invite people to our special services to tell stories about their loved ones, and you can even enjoy a movie night under a full moon in some cemeteries. One hundred years ago, people would picnic in Woodlawn while visiting the family and friends that had passed.

Cemeteries should be enjoyed, they are not spooky or scary. That is Hollywood’s interpretation, not reality. In fact, they are very relaxing, full of nature, beautiful old trees, memorial art, and history.

The next time you’re looking for somewhere different to walk, remember Woodlawn Memorial Park. It is a landmark rich with local history. Although we don’t have a café just yet, we suggest that you grab a coffee before you come and enjoy everything Woodlawn Memorial has to offer.

I look forward to seeing you soon.


For additional information on Woodlawn Memorial Park and to learn a bit more about our services and our grounds, click here.

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Craftsman working with pneumatic chisel at tombstoneRemembrance Day at Woodlawn Memorial Park