All Hallows Eve


With Halloween approaching, it’s time to bring out the spooky symbols. Early New England tombstones are the go-to for Memento Mori symbolism. Memento Mori is a reminder of the inevitability of death; translated from Latin–“Remember You Must Die.”

It was a common belief among the Puritans that contemplating your own mortality invigorated the soul, hence the many reminders on eighteenth century tombstones.

Remember friends as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so you must be
Prepare for death, and follow me

Epitaph in Old Bethany Cemetery, Pickens County, Alabama

Some of the Memento Mori symbols include a skull, skeleton, cross bones, death’s head, guttering candles, the grim reaper with his scythe, and an hour glass.

Skeleton Kings Chapel Burial Ground
Mama and Baby Skeleton,
Kings Chapel Burial Ground Boston, Massachusetts

Candle, Father Time, Skeleton, Hourglass
Symbols of Mortality — Snuffing out the Candle, Father Time, Skeleton, Hourglass,
Kings Chapel Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Death's Head
Death’s Head, Hour Glass
Burial Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Skull and Cross Bones
Skull and Cross Bones,
Granary Burial Ground, Boston, Massachusetts

Skeleton, Winged Effigy, Candle, Mortality, Father Time, Scythe Kings Chapel Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Skeleton, Hour Glass, Candle, Mortality, Father Time, Scythe, Dart of Death,
Kings Chapel Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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