South Bound Brook, New Jersey: Strange and Creepy Graves

The St. Andrews Ukrainian Cemetery, a modern burial ground, rivals the gaudy boneyards of yesteryear with some over-the-top tombstones.

St. Andrews Ukrainian Cemetery

240 Main St., South Bound Brook, NJ
St. Andrews Ukrainian Cemetery. The cemetery is behind St. Andrew Memorial Church, a towering building on the west side of Main St./Easton Ave. just north of I-287 exit 10.
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Death mask on a gravestone.

Strange and Creepy Graves

Ukrainian cemetery features statues at the entrance, death mask grave, and other strange tombstones.

[Rich Frejomil, 11/10/2016]

Photo op gravestone.

Strange and Creepy Graves, Disgruntled Dead

You'd think that modern cemeteries wouldn't offer the creeps and offbeat tombstones like yesteryear's, but in this Ukrainian cemetery you'll find plenty of interesting and downright perplexing memorials to the dead.

Many have their own personal mini gardens -- enclosed spaces in front of the headstone that are full or weeds or carefully cultivated flora. Photographs on stones are abundant, each male countenance frowning more deeply than the last, it seemed to me. Some look seriously angry; maybe they can see their monstrosity of a grave site and aren't pleased.

A couple of stones stand out. Ming, the evil space emperor, Flash Gordon's nemesis, is one. He postures with a walrus mustache and gigantic sword. Perhaps his blade is the cause of so many disembodied heads that can be seen on various tombstones. Another good one has an inexplicable hole in the center of a polished black stone -- a perfect photo op, if nothing else.

But my favorite is the death mask grave. Did the deceased, in planning his final resting place, demand that his dead visage be cast and forever displayed, or did a ticked-off relative think it was his just desserts for some slight he made in life? It is a downright creepy thing to stumble across.

As a bonus, there are also two statues within the church grounds. One sits out front, on a throne, defying anyone to chuckle over the extravagant graveyard behind.

[Diane Plumley, 06/20/2013]

Not shy when it comes to afterlife commemoration.

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October 21, 2019

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