Death of a Cemetery
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Manila North Cemetery in the Philippines is a place of rest for 3000 people, all of whom are alive.
When rich families first erected mausoleums for their dead in the 1800s, they needed caretakers to maintain them and guard any valuables buried within. In exchange for their work, the caretakers were allowed to live inside the mausoleums, and a cemetery community was born.
Gravekeepers grow gardens around tombs; chefs cook up hearty fare in pop-up restaurants alongside crypts; and children play basketball in between school and funerals.
Manila North Cemetery has become a home to those without a home. But the graveyard is not always peaceful. One caretaker must face the task of burying his own relative in the cemetery, and another – only 13 years old – must undergo an exorcism lest forever be possessed by the spirits he disturbed.
Yet in a place where exhumations, ghosts, and witch doctors are part of daily routine, the biggest dangers residents face are universal to the human experience.