Looking for real Halloween spirit–something involving, you know, actual dead people? You can't go wrong with Trinity Church Cemetery, Manhattan's only remaining active cemetery, located on the northern edge of Hamilton Heights.
Founded in 1842, the graveyard's atmospheric tombstones rise up a peaceful wooded hill that's open to the public every day.
And because it's filled with almost two centuries' worth of graves, this final resting place for countless New Yorkers (including Mayor Ed Koch) is also a great spot for an entirely different activity: searching for unexpected baby name ideas.
It's true, countless Marys and Johns dot the cemetery. But you don't have to look far to find the gravestones of those named Alasco (he died in 1891) or Areobine (wife of Harry).
Desera, married to one John Baker, joins other long-departed women including Avinia, Zela, Emmeline, Patience, Adelaide and Melise. On the men's side, there's Pearsall, Effingham, Hobart, Roswell, Erastus, and Brittain (just call me Brit?).
Of course, between the commonplace and the unusual fall plenty of names that sound both familiar and fresh. Hey, Cora, Grey, Georgeana, Valentine, Wallace, Genevieve and Hazel!
Brush aside the autumn leaves and run your fingers over the most faded tombstones, and be prepared to find many more that delight.