There aren’t enough apologies to go around for how long it’s been since I’ve made a blog post. Part of the horror of real life is when it gets in the way of writing about your love of horror. As it is, I’m currently doing a three-week workshop abroad in the beautiful mountain town of Chamonix, France, nestled in a valley between the sharp peaks of the Alps. In fact, I’m right below the tallest mountain in Europe: Mont Blanc.
Aside from the Gothic imagery of the jagged mountaintops (currently clouded in mist) and the proximity to where Mary Shelley penned the immortal Frankenstein (just over in Geneva), there’s a fair bit of creepiness in this quaint little town—thanks mainly to the old cemetery, which is only a five-minute walk from my apartment. If you’re a fan of cemeteries (like myself), then I can’t stress how awesome this little place is.
There are two sections: the “ancient” part, and the newer area. I didn’t even venture past the old graves. There were plenty of cool stones to see: some old, crumbling, shapeless rocks; some weathered crosses; some leaning against the cobblestone wall that encloses the cemetery.
On a side note, I find it interesting that the ground of this entire cemetery is gravel… I wonder if this makes it easier or harder to keep? I’m reminded of other such oddities, like the aboveground cemeteries in New Orleans.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been fascinated by horror as a genre, but I love discovering beauty in the macabre, and this cemetery is no exception. Yes, it is a place where we lay to rest those who’ve passed on—it is a place where the dead lay just beneath the soil—but something about it is eerily picturesque. It’s lovely, in its own creepy way.
Not far from the main cemetery of Chamonix, I also happened to stumble upon a little church with a few graves of its own adjacent to the stone structure. Those are the kinds of churches I’m interested in—the ones with little churchyards attached, just begging for someone to say they’re haunted.
And that’s my virtual tour of the cemeteries of Chamonix, France! While I’m here, I hope to get some good writing done. I’ve been working on my new novel, which is shaping up nicely, as well as a short story about the Jersey Devil.
I’ve also recently gotten some good news: my short story, “Graveman,” is going to be published in The Burning Maiden 2, an anthology by EvilEye Books. I’ll keep you posted as to when that one will be available, but in the meantime, you might want to check out the first Burning Maiden anthology to whet your appetite for more…