Robert Louis Stevenson, Vailima, Upolu, Samoa
The author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde decided to stay in Samoa in 1899. In December 1894, when Stevenson died of apoplexy (a brain hemorrhage), he was 44. Local Samoans built him a hardwood coffin and stood guard over his body through the night. The following day, they cut a road through the jungle to his gravesite, which they called the “Road of Loving Hearts.” Working in relays, they carried the coffin to the grave. Stevenson was buried just below the 1560-foot summit of Mount Vaea in a tomb overlooking his family estate Vailima and the ocean.
Bram Stoker, Golders Green Crematorium, London, England
One of the oldest crematories in England, Golders Green may also be the best-known crematorium in the world. Over the years, many famous people have chosen to be cremated there. Some remain there in urns in the columbarium or beneath rosebushes in the garden. The current crematorium was completed in 1939. Its three columbaria contain the ashes of thousands of Londoners. London’s Cemeteries says Golders Green is “the place to go for after-life star-spotting.” My hero Bram Stoker is in one of the columbaria, which can be visited with a guide.
Some of horror’s progenitors have no graves. After H.G. Wells was cremated at Golders Green, his ashes were scattered over the Dorset Coast. Shirley Jackson’s son was given her ashes after she died in 1965. Angela Carter’s ashes aren’t easy to visit either. I can’t seem to find where they ended up.
Any list of graves is likely to be deeply personal. I’m working through visiting the graves of these writers, who have all inspired me. Whose graves would you visit?
Loren Rhoads is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, the In the Wake of the Templars trilogy published this year by Night Shade Books. She’s also the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. You can follow her morbid antics at http://lorenrhoads.com