Strolling in Allegheny Cemetery

From the pyramids of Egypt, to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, to the Taj Mahal, death has inspired the some of the greatest expressions of the human spirit. October 31 is Halloween, the traditional American celebration of the world’s most successful gaslighting campaign: viz., the annual barrage of press releases from manufacturers of packaged candy warning us that nothing homemade is safe to eat. But it is also a celebration of all things frightful and scary about death.

You will see all those things everywhere else on the Internet, so Dr. Boli thought he would set aside a day to celebrate beauty instead. Halloween is a perfect day for a stroll through a cemetery, and we borrow these pictures from Father Pitt, who took them all in one afternoon’s leisurely strolling in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh. Every picture is provided in full resolution: you can click on any one of them to enlarge it and examine the details.

Winter mausoleum

The Winter mausoleum was designed by John Russell Pope, architect of the National Archives, the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, &c., &c. If you have money (Emil Winter was a banker), distinguished architects are at your beck and call. If Dr. Boli decides to die at some point in the near enough future, he plans to have a mausoleum designed by Frank Gehry.

Stained glass in the Flower mausoleum

An extraordinarily fine stained-glass window in the Flower mausoleum.


Many sections of the cemetery are quite prickly with obelisks.

Graham monument

A picture of mourning and consolation on the Graham family monument.

Penn Avenue gatehouse

The cemetery’s Penn Avenue gatehouse, with its weighty Romanesque tower, finished in 1889. The architect was Henry Alexander Macomb, a Philadelphia architect who won the cemetery’s design competition.

Many other beautiful and fascinating monuments can be found at Father Pitt’s Pittsburgh Cemeteries, a fine place to spend a few hours for Halloween.