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Victorian Cemetery Comes Alive at Night for Halloween Tours

Mr. Richards “telling” his story in front of his Gothic revival mausoleum. Photo by Historic Oakland Foundation

By Thornton Kennedy
For the sixth straight year Historic Oakland Foundation presents Capturing the Spirit of Oakland – 2011 Halloween Tours October 28, 29 and 30, the only time the cemetery’s gates are open after dark.
The 161-year-old cemetery’s annual Halloween tours feature several of Oakland’s eternal “residents” who tell their stories. The 2011 tours feature stories about people who helped make Atlanta the great city it is today as well as tales of murder and mayhem.
“The atmosphere is eerie and the stories are compelling,” said Historic Oakland Foundation Executive Director David Moore. “The walkways, graves and mausoleums are illuminated by moonlight, torches, holiday lights and candlelight.” Halloween tour visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight and wear comfortable walking shoes. Costumes are welcome. Tours last approximately one hour and will depart from the Bell Tower. Guests will also enjoy musical entertainment and fortune telling throughout the evening.
Refreshments, including beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks will be available for purchase before and after the tours. The Museum Shop, featuring a unique array of books and cemetery-related items for sale, will be open during the tours.
Tickets went on sale July 15. The cost is $17.50 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. The tour is most appropriate for children eight and older. Tickets are available on Oakland Cemetery’s website and must be purchased in advance. Visitors must have their tickets to enter the cemetery. To ensure all ticket holders are accommodated, tours are sold in timed increments and a limited number of tickets are available.
Oakland Cemetery would like to thank the 2011 Halloween Tour sponsors: Six Feet Under; H.M. Patterson & Son, Springhill; Tin Lizzy’s Cantina; Craft Creation & Design, LLC; Melwood Springs; Mindpower, Inc.; Café of Life Chiropractic Center – Dr. April Warhola; Atlanta INtown; A.S. Turner & Sons; The Ormewood School; Wilmington Trust; Republic Social House, and Doc Chey’s Noodle House.
Oakland Cemetery is located at 248 Oakland Avenue SE. Limited free parking is available near the main cemetery entrance and on neighboring streets. Due to the event, parking inside the cemetery is not possible. Carpooling or taking MARTA to the King Memorial Station is recommended. There is no rain date. In case of a severe weather cancellation, ticket holders will receive via the mail, a free pass for a future guided tour at Oakland. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit
Oakland Cemetery is a 48-acre Victorian-style garden cemetery founded in 1850. It is among the largest park spaces and significant cultural sites in metro Atlanta. Among the approximately 70,000 interred at Oakland are: Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, golf great Bobby Jones, a number of former Atlanta mayors including Maynard Jackson, and six former governors. The cemetery includes the unmarked graves of paupers,the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers, Jewish sections, and an African-American section. The grounds of the cemetery are an example of the 19th-century landscape idea of a cemetery-park and provide an ideal setting for its profusion of Victorian cemetery art.
Historic Oakland Foundation was founded in 1976, the same year Oakland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Foundation partners with the city of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery with the public as an important cultural resource and an island of tranquility in the heart of the city. For more information about donations, tours, events, and other ways to support Oakland, please visit or call 404-688-2107.

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