A Night in the Dark: Oakwood Lantern Walk 2015

Ever think about walking in the cemetery at night? Doesn’t it give you chills? Well, for those who are into the walking sans the feeling of shadows looming enjoyed a mild and family oriented annual Lantern Walk at Oakwood Cemetery. Processions of cars and an intrigued audience lined the pathways into the cemetery waiting for the night to come alive. Short, historical vignettes set against the beautiful backdrop of swaying oaks and Southern magnolias told visitors about life and death during the Civil War as the country felt the division between the Union and the Confederates. Along the path, luminaries revealed characters in period attire as each story unfolds into poignant and heartwarming moments. Soldiers spoke of lost friends while returning veterans found comfort in Southern hospitality and reflection years later. But a thematic approach to the storytelling consisted of laughter and empathy in scenes where Confederate and Union soldiers united in soft quibs at one another and end in a knowing of a shared humanity and camaraderie.

Around 1400 Confederate veterans rest in this part of the cemetery with a few Union veterans close by. Tours took a good hour and each group trekked up the hill every 15 minutes with their guides. A fond tradition, the tour is hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans with acting by local re-enactors and volunteers. Proceeds help Oakwood in the efforts to restore the Confederate Cemetery.

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3 thoughts on “A Night in the Dark: Oakwood Lantern Walk 2015

    1. It was a wonderful little vignette! I wish you were there! It is held every year at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh in October. Money raised from the tour goes to restore our cemetery. If you ever get a chance, please come see us! We would love to show you around the place! Or please share this blog with anyone who is interested! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a beautiful cemetery. I think we often forget in modern society that cemeteries were often designed to be parks so the living could visit and enjoy the presence of honoring their dead. And the history! You can learn so much from reading gravestones. One day, I will visit. I’m working on a historical novel and the characters are from antebellum North Carolina.

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