I was all set to write a quick post to tell you about me & John’s first-ever podcast where I read a short creative nonfiction piece about the Magna Cemetery [Note: this cemetery is typically called the Pleasant Green cemetery, as this was the name of the town in the late 1800s. After the copper mine came to the area the town’s name was changed to Magna, the name of the mine’s biggest smelter. I suppose the area was no longer pleasant and green after Kennecott came to town]. As I was googling the cemetery in hopes of finding a good picture to add to the post, I found this juicy tidbit:
“Hauntings at Magna Cemetery: Much like the town of Magna, the Pleasant Green Cemetery reflects a sad history related to the settlement and hardships endured by the pioneers and immigrants who moved there to work in and live near the mines. Most of the people buried there did not have long lives, and mining accidents sometimes claimed multiple lives at once.
It is a fact that the Pleasant Green cemetery glows green during certain times of the year. For a long time, people believed this was due to unsettled spirits haunting the place, though now it is understood that it’s due to the mineral luminescence from the soil. This doesn’t make the cemetery any less eerie. From the toppled headstones to the overgrown bushes and weeds, it’s hard to believe this cemetery is being used and/or that the ghosts of those buried there aren’t feeling slighted by the lack of upkeep and respect.”
The two images I found of the cemetary are evidence of its forlorn-ness. One is from a Utah ghost site and shows an aerial view:
The other photo shows the front entrance gate:
It’s funny to me that I want to be buried in a place that’s so barren and ugly. But I also feel a deep connection to this space. It’s where some of the family oddballs are buried, and I think I would fit in better there than if I were interred in the perfectly-green lawns of a more typical Utah cemetery. And, it seems weirdly fitting to know that I would be buried in a place of legend, of mystery, of great sorrow, and of ‘luminescence.’
Funky about the glowing green stuff.
I’m one of these weird people who love cemeteries… to the point that I’ve actually thought of “adopting” them (if they looked like they needed some work). The aerial view shot made me go, “Awwwww!” and want to fly down and water the grass. Cemeteries are already sad places, without being neglected to boot.
I liked your piece about the cemetery a lot. But then I can’t remember a polished snatch of your writing I didn’t think was exceptional. Only it’s never enough. When do we get to read that first book?
I visit that cemetery often. My family thinks I’m nuts, but I would love to be buried there. In fact, in the spring, some of my friends and I are doing a cleanup project.
[…] me about the Iosepa cemetery, which is one of my all-favorite burial grounds (a close second to the Pleasant Green cemetery). I felt he understood the tensions I felt between my bone-deep allegiance to the place of my […]
There are two schools of thought at our cemetery. Those who want us to plant grass, and those who would like us to leave it as an open mountainside full of natural vegetation.
Both groups have strong feelings. But the latter tends to out number the former significantly, because of the historical legacy of how it has always been.
In the end, we take a middle ground. We leave the natural vegetation, but keep it cut back, and managed.
This keeps the original mountainside look that the founders intended, while still presenting a cared for feeling.
And we love to have volunteers help us. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit our website at http://www.pleasantgreen.net.