Dear Friends:

The holidays approacheth and many of us are on lockdown again. It’s going to be the weirdest fucking season yet. I was really sad about Thanksgiving – not that colonizer pumpkin pie bullshit, but about being away from my family. Because of COVID, we opted to stay apart. I had a mini-meltdown in which I forgot (a) how to cook a turkey (b) how to feed four people, and (c) how to not drink my feelings. It was all captured on Insta, because pimping my emotions for the gram is part of my dysfunctional yet highly entertaining coping methodology.

ANYWAY we have collectively decided that we’ll do whatever it takes to make Christmas happen instead. That means my mom is turning her garage into a Holiday Pavilion(™) with plenty of airflow and a prepper-level supply of propane and these things called MY LITTLE HEATER BUDDIES which look like tiny flaming dragon jaws that will swallow us all into the pit of Hell. She has an outdoor rug (form before function, people), a tiny tree, Christmas lights on the shelves, tables and some fucking garlands! It’s California so it only goes down to like, fifty degrees, but we’re also total babies who will be dressed like we’re headed out on the HMS Terror for a rendezvous with destiny. Don’t worry, I will post pictures.

Since everything is already supremely depressing, might I suggest a deep dive into the former cemeteries of San Francisco??? I have a new post up! It’s about City Cemetery (also called Golden Gate) which is located at what is now Lincoln Park Golf Course and the Legion of Honor. That’s right, *IS* LOCATED,  because guess what? They closed it in 1908 but NEVER MOVED THE BODIES! There are still about 20,000 people buried under there. It’s wild, it’s pretty sad, it might fire you up about whose history matters here, and whose doesn’t. Check it out!

I’m taking Christmas off, y’all, so I’ll see you on the flip side. 2021 cannot come fast enough.


Latest Post

Ye Olde Cemeteries of SF, Part II: City/Golden Gate

What’s a dead body like you doing in a prime real estate location like this?

Did you think the story was over for the poor souls moved out of their resting place in Yerba Buena Cemetery? HAHAHAHA IT WAS NOT. Because guess which other cemetery was moved/not moved/built over? City! Or Golden Gate, as it was later called. This is Poltergeist Town, not Respectful Burial Practices Town.

Read My Latest Post »


An old map of San Francisco showing the location of City Cemetery

Watch This

A photo of Court in front of black bookcases full of books and spooky ephemera

I made a video about City Cemetery! It’s basically like sitting in a bar with me, complete with vibrating, bouncing out of my chair level excitement to talk about old graveyards, which is a very real thing. ALSO I MISS HANGING OUT IN BARS WITH YOU GUYS.


A promotional image for Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix

Also watch this!! Did you know Unsolved Mysteries is back on Netflix? It’s fucking good and you should be watching it. This season has the CRAAAAAZIEST one yet, about the ghosts of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami. This episode will fucking HAUNT you. Someday I’ll cover this in better detail, but there’s a long history of the ghosts of drowned people coming back as what is known as a ”fetch.” It’s often the ghost of someone who died at sea, appearing dripping wet at the door of their loved ones. That’s. . . basically what is happening here. And it’s fucking YIKES.

This Unsolved Mysteries Episode Might Convince You That Ghosts Are Real »

Internet Finds

Workers remove bodies from a San Francisco graveyard.

KQED’s Bay Curious did an excellent multimedia piece about Colma, and the cemeteries of San Francisco back in 2017 – if you have SF-Cemetery-Fever definitely check it out. Lots of great photos and audio!

Why Are There So Many Dead People in Colma? And So Few In San Francisco? »

A Richard Barnes photo showing a partially excavated human skeleton under some plumbing

This gallery is linked in the City Cemetery Post, but I don’t want you to miss it. Richard Barnes photographed the excavation of the Legion of Honor in 1993, and his photos are absolutely incredible. You can see the dead in place, with the museum looming above – it captures the feeling of these forgotten buried like nothing else.

Richard Barnes – Still Rooms & Excavations »

The top of a gravestone nearly swallowed by weeds

Thank you to list member Lindsay C for this article – a really sombering, beautiful read about what’s happening to cemeteries all over the US as climate change erodes the landscape. Whose history is worth preserving? How would you feel if YOUR grandma’s casket floated away in a hurricane?

From Dust to Dust: Climate Change and Cemeteries »

A Victorian Christmas card showing a frog dancing with a longhorn beetle, inscribed May Christmas be Merry

This is a delightful trip into the Victorian origins of holiday greetings, and some of the truly weird images and motifs along the way. HT to list and GHOST BUDS thread members Dante and Kerri for this one.

The War on Christmas Cards: Dead Robins, Used Paperclips, and Other Secular Greetings »

The Donner Party Memorial showing bronze statues of members of the party, standing above a deep snowbank

If you’re on this list you’re probably familiar/obsessed with the Donner Party, so you might want to know that some “extreme athletes” are undertaking a recreation of the Forlorn Hope Party’s trek through the Sierra – RIGHT NOW! You can follow along on social media, too. I sincerely hope no one is murdered by a starving racist and then carried around in a backpack. THANK YOU KATHY S FOR THIS SUBMISSION!

Athletes to Retrace Sierra Escape of Donner Party Survivors »

A forest trail through dark and foggy trees

Finally you probably have some time off coming up, and since OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES are all we can do, might I suggest a haunted hike?

10 Most Haunted Hiking Trails Near San Francisco  »