For the first installment of Blastr's annual festival of frightful features, The 31 Days Of Halloween, we take you to the peaceful marble orchards of cemeteries worldwide, where we'll visit the graves and final oceanside resting spots of some of the superstars of Hollywood's Golden Age of horror films.
Someone once said that living next to a graveyard was like having the best neighbors you'll ever have. I'd have to say that was totally true, having lived in a small New England town footsteps from the city's Old Burial Grounds, where Revolutionary War soldiers and sea captains were at permanent peace. Cemeteries may be silent destinations for the dearly departed, but they're also tourist attractions where movie fans can go visit their favorite scary movie icons into eternity and share a quiet moment with their silver screen idols.
Pay your respects and check out this macabre map of famous horror stars' graves like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney Sr. and more before the midnight hour strikes! Christopher Lee is sadly omitted from this list due to the unknown whereabouts of his grave.
BELA LUGOSI OCTOBER 20, 1882 – AUGUST 16, 1956
Buried in his Dracula cape when he perished, the Hungarian-born Bela Lugosi was the first screen vampire to achieve widespread acclaim, in 1931's Dracula. He went on to appear in many Universal classics, such as The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Son of Frankenstein, ending his film career in Ed Wood's infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space. Lugosi was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, Calif.
BORIS KARLOFF (WILLIAM HENRY PRATT) NOVEMBER 23, 1887 – FEBRUARY 2, 1969
A true giant in the halls of Hollywood horror, British actor Karloff starred in more than 100 films dating back to the silent age and immortalized himself playing the lumbering abomination in James Whale's Frankenstein and its sequels, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein. Karloff is laid to rest at the Guildford Crematorium in Surrey, England, beneath a rosebush in the Garden of Remembrance.
CLAUDE RAINS NOVEMBER 10, 1889 - May 30, 1967
Rains was the mercurial star of many memorable horror movies, including The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man and Phantom of the Opera, as well as mainstream dramatic turns in Casablanca, Notorious and Lawrence of Arabia. He's buried at the Red Hill Cemetery in Moultonborough, N.H. The epitaph inscribed on his headstone reads: "All things once are things forever, Soul, once living, lives forever."
LON CHANEY SR. APRIL 1, 1883 – AUGUST 26, 1930
The Man of a Thousand Faces was one of the pioneering stars in the early silent era of Hollywood horror films, making an indelible mark on movies such as London At Midnight, The Phantom Of The Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He rests in an unmarked corner of the Great Mausoleum not open to the public at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif.
PETER CUSHING MAY 26, 1913 - AUGUST 11, 1994
A veteran of more than three dozen horror films, including The Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, Tales From the Crypt and Horror Express. And of course he'll always be the man who gave the order to obliterate Princess Leia's Alderaan in Star Wars. His ashes were scattered to the sea in a private ceremony, but his spirit lies within the oceanside view of a simple red bench in Whitstable, England, where he and his wife had retired.
VINCENT PRICE MAY 27, 1911 – OCTOBER 25, 1993
One of the titans of horror cinema, Price was the main attraction in a sensational slate of all-star fright films of the '50s and '60s like House of Wax, The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill, The Raven, House of Usher, and The Fly. He saved his most touching performance for Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands in 1990 as the lonely inventor, one of his last screen appearances. Price's ashes were consigned to the silent sands of Malibu's Point Dume in Southern California.
LON CHANEY, JR. FEBRUARY 10, 1906 - JULY 12, 1973
Son of the great silent star Lon Chaney, Chaney Jr. was best known for playing the shaggy, moon-howling lycanthrope in 1941's The Wolf Man. He starred in over a dozen more monster mashup movies like Frankenstein Meets The Werewolf, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, The Mummy's Tomb and The Mummy's Curse. Speculation on his exact final resting place range from his ashes being scattered to the Pacific Ocean, to the more accepted version of his body donated to the University of Southern California Medical School where his badly damaged lungs and liver were preserved as an example of severe alcohol and smoking abuse.
BASIL RATHBONE JUNE 13 1892 – 21 JULY 21 1967
The noble swashbuckler was a familiar face in such horror staples like Son of Frankenstein, The Black Cat, Queen of Blood, Tales of Terror, and made one of the finest Sherlock Holmes in movie history, especially when paired with Nigel Bruce's Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles and many other detective outings. Rathbone is interred in a public crypt in the Shrine of Memories Mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.
COLIN CLIVE JANUARY 20, 1900 – 25 JUNE 25, 1937
Forever known as the mad Dr. Victor Frankenstein in James Whale's Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, Clive died a premature death due to severe alcoholism and tuberculosis. His memorial is in the Rose Garden at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, but his ashes were presented to the sea in 1978 after being unclaimed for over 40 years at the funeral parlor due to a mixup by his girlfriend.