What Lies Beneath: The Famous, Infamous and Notorious


Old Burying Ground, Halifax, Nova Scotia

My new mystery novel, The Spotted Dog Last Seen, is set in a historic graveyard inspired by the Old Burying Grounds in Halifax. The characters in that story take part in cemetery lessons on symbolism, how to read eroded numbers, and the craft of rubbings.

Graveyards are like outdoor museums by providing a rich record of cultural and social history. Headstones mark personal and national stories that helped shape our communities. They summarize the lives of remarkable and ordinary citizens. They remind us of lives lost through tragedy, epidemics and wars.

Because they are such important heritage resources, many cemeteries* offer school tours. These tours are mostly delivered by knowledgeable museums or heritage societies. Topics include customs and lore, multiculturalism, women’s history, and pioneer life depending on the needs of your school’s curriculum.

Cemetery tours are often free and are appropriate for grades 4 and up. Some tours involve interpreters in period costume. Some cemeteries even offer tours online.

If you are considering inviting me to your school, why not combine it with a memorable class outing by visiting your local cemetery?


*A Google search “cemetery tours for children” brought results in the following Canadian cities:

Annapolis Royal, Calgary, Dawson City, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Guelph, Hamilton, Kamloops, Kingston, Lethbridge, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Stratford, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Victoria and Winnipeg