Wish You Were Here


The first edition of Wish You Were Here

Temporarily out of print, while I finish updating the second edition.


Nearly every tourist destination has a graveyard. You go to Yosemite National Park: there’s a graveyard. You go to Maui: graveyards everywhere you look. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: both graveyards. The number one tourist destination in Michigan has three cemeteries. America’s best-preserved Gold Rush ghost town has five. Gettysburg is a National Park because it has a graveyard. Some graveyards are even tourist destinations in themselves: the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague, the colonial burying grounds of Boston, and Kennedy’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris.

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe.

Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries for See Before You Die. She is the online cemetery columnist for Gothic Beauty and blogs at CemeteryTravel.com.

Ordering information:

The second edition of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel  will be published by Automatism Press in May 2017.  It will be available directly from Amazon or CreateSpace.

Autographed and inscribed copies can be ordered directly from Loren Rhoads via PayPal. For details or to request inscriptions, use the Contact Me form.

Praise for Wish You Were Here:

“Lovingly researched and lushly described, Loren’s essays transport you to the graveyard, where she is quite a tour guide. Curiosity and compassion burn at the heart of these essays.”—Paula Guran, senior editor at Prime Books

“Rhoads is particularly adept at finding deeper meanings in what she sees. The questions she puts to the reader about the places she visits can gently guide us in our own search for meaning in the places we encounter. If you’ve struggled to explain your love of burial grounds to others, this may be a great way to help them understand.”—LisaMary Wichowski, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal

“Loren Rhoads started visiting cemeteries by accident. It was the start of a love affair with cemeteries that continues to this day. In Wish You Were Here, Rhoads blends history with storytelling and her photos accompany each essay.”—American Cemetery magazine

Wish You Were Here captures well why many of us find cemeteries fascinating: because of the history and stories of so many interesting people buried there!”—Richard Waterhouse, Waterhouse Symbolism Newsletter

“‘It’s good to be a card-carrying member of the Association for Gravestone Studies,’ Loren writes. I agree. After half a lifetime of guided and self-guided tours, Loren observes, ‘What I’ve learned from cemeteries is that limestone melts, marble breaks, slate slivers, and sandstone cracks.’  That is what draws some of us to graveyards.”—Christine Quigley, Quigley’s Cabinet

“With her dead-on honesty and her fascination for the dark side of life in all its complexity, Loren’s writing never fails to make me think.”—Thomas Roche, Loren’s editor at Gothic.Net

The book trailer for the first edition of Wish You Were Here:

Additional Resources:

As I promised in the Additional Resources of Wish You Were Here, here are links to the cemeteries visited in the book that have been profiled on this blog:

Vacationing in the Land of the Dead
Week #1: Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia

Where Does One Start?
Week #2: Highgate Cemetery in London, England

The Empire of Death
Week #19: the Municipal Ossuary in Paris, France

The First Ornamental Cemetery in the West
Week #93: Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, France
Week #10: Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France

Curiosity and the Cat
Hasedera Shrine in Kamakura, Japan – coming soon!

Days of Infamy
Week #26: the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan
Week #44: USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Oahu

Storybook in Stone
Week #91: San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio, San Francisco, California

Deep in the Middle of the Sea
Week #3: Seamen’s Cemetery in Lahaina, Maui
Week #106: Keawala’i Churchyard in Makena, Maui, Hawaii
and Wainee Churchyard in Lahaina, Maui – coming soon!

Natural Progression
Week #60: Yosemite Pioneer Cemetery in Yosemite National Park, California

Heroes of Filmland
Week #45: Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California
Week #110: Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California

What’s Wrong with Forest Lawn?
Week #14: the original Forest Lawn in Glendale, California

Basin Street Blues
Week #6: St. Louis #1 in New Orleans, Louisiana

With Folded Wings
Week #40: Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank, California

Those That Have Graves and Those that Have None
Week #4: the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, the Czech Republic
and the Pinkas Synagogue of Prague, the Czech Republic – coming soon!

The Ghetto and the Small Fortress
Week #128: Národní Hrbitov v Terezíne in Terezin, Czech Republic

Although Dead, They Still Speak
Week #59: Vysehrad Cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic

Japanese Ghost Story
Week #7: Zoshigaya Reien in Tokyo, Japan

Not Fade Away
Week #24: Jack London’s gravesite in Glen Ellen, California

A Bus Named Cemeteries
Week #16: Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tombstone Tales
Week #34: Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Sainte Anne’s Catholic Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan – coming soon!
Protestant Cemetery on Mackinac Island, Michigan – coming soon!

Good, By God, I’m Going to Bodie!
Week #25: Wards Cemetery in Bodie State Historic Park, California
Masonic Cemetery and Miners Union Cemetery in Bodie State Historic Park, California – coming soon!

Half in Love with Death
Week #8: the Protestant Cemetery of Rome, Italy

The Original Catacomb
Week #67: the Catacomb of St. Sebastian of Rome, Italy

Permanent Florentines
Week #108: Il Cimitero degli Inglesi of Florence, Italy

A Dream of Melancholy
Week #9: San Michele in Isola in Venice, Italy

Shades of Forever
Week #5: Hollywood Forever in Hollywood, California

Piecing History Back Together
Week #76: Rose Hill Cemetery in the Black Diamond Regional Preserve, Antioch, California

Garden of Graves
Week #31: Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Here Rests the Dust
Week #18: King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
Week #61: Granary Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts
Week #109: Central Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts

Sculpture Garden
Week #28: Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts

Morning in Sleepy Hollow
Week #33: Old Dutch Burying Ground in Tarrytown, New York

These Honored Dead
Week #21: Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

“Let Us Have Peace”
Week #11: General Grant National Monument in New York City, New York

A Cemetery that Once Rivaled Niagara Falls
Week #53: Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York

Cradle to Grave
Bethany Lutheran Indian Cemetery in St. Louis, Michigan – coming soon!

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