Now, I think it’s safe to say that there are many types of people in the world, today I am going to be writing about one very specific type of person. The “Taphophile”, a word that stems from the Greek, meaning “to love graves”. PLEASE do not get this confused with “Necrophile” (being attracted to dead things) …these are two different types of fetishes.
Now, I guess my love affair with cemeteries started when I was young, you see, if I snuck out my back yard and walked just a few hundred blocks though my neighbor’s yard and past her very boisterous and barking Golden Retriever, Sandy, I was transported into another land. A land of quiet, rolling green hills and paths, a land of beautiful white stones all lined up like soldiers.
This cemetery became the meeting place for all the neighborhood misfit toys. The goth girls, the skate punks, the speed-walking, and jogging soccer moms, and the specific “cemetery picnicker”. Now you see, I alternated between the goth girl and the picnicker. The goth girl in me smoked her first cigarette in that cemetery, the goth girl would go to the cemetery with my friends during snowstorms and clear the graves and light the candles…we thought we were edgy, and spiritual, when truthfully we were probably just bored.
My love of the cemetery picnic stemmed from my general love of picnicking. Proper Picnicking, and by that I mean cucumber sandwiches, no crusts, pales cheeses and crackers, thin slices of pale lemon cakes, lemon snap cookies (No ginger snaps here, I’m no heathen), white sparkling wine, proper silverware and glasses, and of course…poetry books.
A proper cemetery picnic needs people to be lounging on their blanket, under their parasols, while reading Tennyson.
In fact, I am describing a very specific picnic that happened several years ago, in a Victorian Era Cemetery, somewhere in the wilds of Ohio. It was August, the heat, the wine, and the sun perhaps were getting to us (my partner and I) and somewhere after reading Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” and before “The May Queen” … well, we of course had sex in the cemetery, in the middle of the day.
So that brings me to author #1 in my list of authors I blame for having sex in a cemetery.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson – maybe it was the dusty antique copy of his complete works that I had, or the ephemeral feel of the paper turning to dust under my fingers as I turned the pages. Perhaps it was all the “beautiful and doomed women” in his poetry that made me throw caution to the wind…but yes, Tennyson is to blame for cemetery sex.
- Edgar Allen Poe – Annabelle Lee is basically pornography for Taphophilia! Tell me you don’t want to rip off your clothes or someone else’s when you read the last part of that poem! Honestly if there was a study done of all the people who have had sex in cemeteries, I think at least 47% of them are directly tied to this. I’m not good at math, or studies, so this is really just an educated guess.
“And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling-my darling-my life
And my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea-
In her tomb by the sounding sea”
- Audrey Niffenegger – Now, most people will know her from her outstanding novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, but the reason why Audrey makes this list is because of Her Fearful Symmetry. A book so tender and beautiful, and her use of the location of Victorian Highgate Cemetery should almost be considered one of the main characters of that novel. Read that book for the cemetery but love that book for the strange and haunting love story that is at its center. It’s possible to fall in love with a ghost, it’s possible to be a ghost who feels passion, rage, regret, and longing.
- Tracy Chevalier – Again, she is probably most well known for “The Girl With The Pearl Earring”, but instead my brain always goes to “Falling Angels” a book that explores the Victorian fascination with Death, and the burgeoning sexuality and changing social mores of the early Edwardian Era. The story focuses on the relationship of the two young daughters of families that have adjacent cemetery plots. This book is part exploration of the class system of the Victorian Era, and part silent song of prepressed sexuality. Honestly, just writing this makes me want to take off my pants!!
- Anne Rice– really, I can’t specifically tell you which of her books made me think that she needed to be on this list but, she needed to be on the list. Perhaps it is because I read the Lestat books when I was 17 and 18, and then all of the Sleeping Beauty reimagining’s, but I find Anne Rice’s language to be lurid, and enveloping, like the scent of a decaying orchid. Reading her work, you feel the energy of a night in New Orleans, you can almost feel the cemeteries calling out to you to make bad decisions. The graves call to you to leave offerings, light candles, leave memories. I love it.
- V.C Andrews – this is for her, the original, and all the ghostwriters since. Thank you whoever you all are, for making the weird girls all have unexplainable feelings, feelings best expressed, by sex in a cemetery!!
Hit me up on my author page on facebook and let me know what books or authors have made you want to have sex in a cemetery!! I will be interested in reading them.
I will leave you with a short list of the things that are inspiring me today.
- Sculptures that capture the softness of fabric even when it is carved out of stone
- The way that jagged rocks can feel like hands underwater if you touch them.
- The way a bird’s back feels when you run your finger down it.
- Echoes down empty hallways.
- The milky color of the sky in the early morning.
JenniferAuthor – Podcast Host – Artist
Jennifer Anne Gordon is a gothic horror novelist. Her work includes Beautiful, Frightening and Silent, which is a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review Awards (Horror/Suspense (2020), and From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel book 1), and coming out in November 2020, When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel book 2).
She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon
Jennifer is one of the hosts as well as the creator of Vox Vomitus, a video podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network.
Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.
She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied Acting. She also studied at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Art History and English.
She has made her living as an actress, a magician’s assistant, a “gallerina”, a painter, and burlesque performer and for the past 10 years as an award-winning professional ballroom dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer.
When not scribbling away (ok, typing frantically) she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and dance partner, teaching her dog ridiculous tricks (like ‘give me a kiss’ and ‘what hand is the treat in?’ ok these are not great tricks.) as well as taking photos of abandoned buildings and haunted locations.
She is a leo, so at the end of the day she just thinks about her hair.
For more information and benevolent stalking, please visit her website at www.JenniferAnneGordon.com
Amazon Author Page – amazon.com/author/jenniferannegordon
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