The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

formal studies

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A night time trip to Greenwood Cemetery with the Obscura Society, part one.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned in prior postings, your humble narrator has been in a bit of rut of late, so when the Atlas Obscura crew announced an opportunity for nocturnal exploration of Greenwood Cemetery over in Brooklyn was at hand, one jumped at the chance and leapt upon a Q train which would carry me to the Gowanus Heights.

from wikipedia

Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Kings County, New York. It was granted National Historic Landmark status in 2006 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The event was conducted by Alison Meier and Megan Roberts of the Atlas crew, and involved stopping at several notable or exalted mausolea and monuments while moving inexorably towards the grandiose structure on Ocean Hill which caps those catacombs housing the mortal remains of the Whitney family.

from wikipedia

Stephen Whitney (1776–1860) was one of the wealthiest merchants in New York City in the first half of the 19th century. His fortune was considered second only to that of John Jacob Astor. As a prominent citizen of the rapidly growing city, he helped to build some of its institutions, including the Merchants’ Exchange Building, the first permanent home of the New York stock exchange.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A full moon certainly hung somewhere beyond the occluded sky, but a tenebrous fog had set in. Palpable darkness and flickering illumination lent an air of dread purpose to this perambulation of the notable polyandrion of New York. The fog, which did not smell of salt or wholesome sea, drove the airborne humidity levels up to 90% and higher, causing your humble narrator to perspire both precipitously and persistently. The chill temperatures worked with that moisture absorbed by my clothing, from both atmosphere and bodily secretion, to slowly drain all the energy reserves one such as myself can hope to claim.

from wikipedia

Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) a freeze or paralysis response is possible.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Allison Meier led the group, narrating in the orange light of hand held lanterns, occasionally producing an electric flashlight for the purpose of illuminating this significant thing or that important monument. I will mention that the shot above was from sometime between 8:30 and 11 P.M., in November, as are all the shots in this series of posts. It was dark, as in “tenebrous dark”, and any ambient light extant was being swallowed up by the fog. Tripod shots weren’t really possible on the walk, and flash was out of the question because of the aforementioned fog.

from wikipedia

Necrophobia is a specific phobia which is the irrational fear of dead things (e.g., corpses) as well as things associated with death (e.g., coffins, tombstones). Necrophobia is derived from Greek nekros (νεκρός) for “corpse” and -phob- from the Greek phobos (φόβος) for “fear.” With all types of emotions, obsession with death becomes evident in both fascination and objectification.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After a breath taking (literally, Greenwoood is very hilly) walk, the group finally arrived at the Whitney Mausoleum, which was ablaze with the light of candles. So then, at that moment, was the Obscura Society adjured to enter the crypt.

from wikipedia

A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum. A Christian mausoleum sometimes includes a chapel.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

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