Author of Silent Cities and world-renowned journalist who writes about cemeteries, the paranormal and death
Photos by Jeane Trend-Hill
Interview By The Grin Creeper
G&C: Tell us about what brought on the book and how long it took to write and photograph the images.
JT: My fascination with cemeteries began as a child when I visited deceased family members at the local cemetery. I would wander off and gaze in amazement at all the angels, doves and crosses. Their beauty has always struck me and as I got older I began photographing them. I started showing the photos to other people who said I should do a book, so I began writing and doing photography full-time and the Silent Cities series was born. Far from my initial fears of people going, “Ugghh, cemeteries” or how weird, creepy or depressing the photos were, they were actually saying they were ‘beautiful.’
G&C: What is it about graveyards that fascinate you?
JT: I think it’s the unknown, the mystery of it. I love everything from religious imagery to funeral rituals and well… anything dead! I thought I had died a couple of years ago. I was visiting Highgate Cemetery in North London to take photographs. It was a very hot day and I suddenly felt faint and unceremoniously hit the ground! The next thing I saw was an angel. I figured I must have died and gone to heaven but it was a stone-carved angel on a grave.
G&C: I understand that you “see dead people.”
JT: While at Brompton Cemetery in London I visited the catacombs. I saw a very tall thin man join the back of the tour group. I kept sneaking looks, as there was something “odd” about him. After fifteen minutes he vanished into thin air. I asked the tour guide about him and he said that no one else had entered or left. I asked another cemetery worker about this and he told me that there had been a very tall thin gravedigger who worked there and fit my description regarding clothing, hair, etc... except he had died two years earlier...
To read the rest of this interview and see Jeane Trend-Hill’s amazing international graveyard photography, order our summer issue now here