For some, it’s a hajj. A spiritual journey to their personal Mecca. A way of paying respect to a musician, author, sport star, or political leader, they never got to meet, but who’s played a significant role in their life, regardless.
For others, it’s just something to do in a foreign place. A box to tick. A way to burn some time, by grabbing another selfie for social media, and friends back home to see.
Falling somewhere in between, Australian traveller Zenalda Batula visited the Arlington National Cemetery, USA, a few years ago, and ended up in front of the Kennedy family plot. “I just went out of curiosity really,” recalls Batula. “But I’ve always admired Jacquie Kennedy, and the two Kennedy brothers, so I ended up in awe of the place. I don’t usually go to places just to visit graveyards, but parts of Arlington were remarkable.”
If you’re really into graves though, there’s only one place to visit – Egypt. The world’s most famous boneyard, nowhere comes close to the scale and grandeur of its tombs.
Like moths to the eternal flame that burns over Elvis’s plot in Graceland, a surprising number of people like Batula make detours all over the world to visit their lifeless idols.
From the island on Oval Lake, Northhamptonshire, that holds Princess Dianna, to Marilyn Monroe’s crypt in downtown Los Angeles, to the Holy Trinity Church, where William Shakespeare is laid up, you’re never too far from a celebrity corpse.