Death Embraced, by our long time tour guide Mary Lacoste, is a compelling and easy read. If you haven’t yet taken a cemetery tour in New Orleans, this book is a good introduction.

New Orleans reverted to Spanish rule in the 1760s and the Spanish, not the French, began above ground burial in New Orleans prior to the Louisiana Purchase.

New Orleans historic cemeteries have both below ground and above ground burials. All of the graves in the old Jewish cemeteries at the end of Canal Street are below ground as are about half the graves in the St. Patrick cemeteries there.

What about coffins? For most coffins, wood is the material of choice. Human bodies are 60% water and wooden coffins allow for evaporation and natural decomposition. It is natural decomposition that makes multiple burials work in a single tomb.

The author’s behind the scene accounts of decay, love, and tradition will hold your interest and reveal little known facts.

I leave the continuing story of New Orleans cemeteries and burial customs to you, to delight in the stories that make New Orleans this country’s “most interesting city.”

Paperback, 116 pages

Item #007321