Shanna Riley April 16th, 2007
One might think that graving is a relatively safe hobby. After all, who is going to cause you harm in such a sacred place, and what type of criminal would be lurking around a graveyard anyway?
In fact, graving is no different than any other hobby or activity that places you out in public - often alone. The same precautions you take when jogging, for example, you should take when graving. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a cell phone on you. It isn't a bad idea to carry a bottle of pepper spray or mace on your person as well.
I speak from experience. Most cemeteries - especially older ones - are surrounded by urban or suburban sprawl. The neighborhoods around some may have fallen into the category of "bad". My mother and I were recently being watched while at a local cemetery, and then followed in our vehicle by two young men. At another cemetery the same day, a man was watching us from behind some bushes.
Though the second man was likely only curious, the two previous young men had trouble in mind. They watched us from their home across the street, they drove into the cemetery and parked by our car - getting out and talking to friends over the fence. Then, when we left they - waiting in their truck which they'd driven back to their home - followed us. When I turned around in my seat and they saw that I was aware they were following, they slammed on their brakes and pulled off on the side of the road. We took an alternate route and arrived home, only to see them flying by a little while later - looking for us (thankfully they weren't looking to the left or right, but only ahead).
The serenity and sacredness of a cemetery makes it appear to be a safe haven from the worries of the outside world - unfortunately, in this day and age, that just simply isn't true. Be safe when out graving, and - if possible - take someone with you. As much as we all love cemeteries, none of us are eager to become a permanent resident of one!