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The Wisdom and Writings of Graveyard Ed, the Cemetery Dweller

Graveyard Ed: The Mysterious Man Who Lived in a Cemetery for 20 Years

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a cemetery? To sleep among the tombstones, to hear the whispers of the departed, to be surrounded by reminders of mortality every day? For most people, this would be a nightmare. But for one man, it was a choice. A choice that earned him the nickname "Graveyard Ed".

Graveyard Ed

Graveyard Ed was a homeless man who spent two decades living in a mausoleum in a cemetery in Los Angeles. He was not a ghost, nor a vampire, nor a zombie. He was a human being who had an extraordinary story to tell. A story that challenged our assumptions about life and death, happiness and misery, sanity and madness.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating life of Graveyard Ed. We will learn about his early years, his discovery by a journalist, his lifestyle in the cemetery, his philosophy on existence, and his legacy after his death. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this mysterious figure. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding of who Graveyard Ed was and what he can teach us.

The Early Life of Graveyard Ed

Graveyard Ed was born Edward John Smith in 1947. He grew up in a poor family in Los Angeles. His father was an alcoholic who abused him and his mother. His mother was mentally ill and often neglected him. He had no siblings or friends to support him. He felt lonely and unloved.

When he was 14 years old, he ran away from home. He hoped to find a better life on the streets. But he soon realized that life was not easy for a homeless teenager. He faced hunger, cold, violence, and disease. He had to beg, steal, and do odd jobs to survive. He slept in alleys, parks, and abandoned buildings.

He tried to go to school, but he was bullied by other students and teachers. He felt like an outcast. He dropped out of school and gave up on education. He felt like he had no future.

The Discovery of Graveyard Ed

In 1973, when he was 26 years old, he stumbled upon an old cemetery in East Los Angeles. It was called Evergreen Cemetery. It was one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. It had thousands of graves dating back to the 1800s. It had sections for different ethnic groups, religions, and organizations. It had monuments, statues, and mausoleums.

Graveyard Ed was fascinated by the cemetery. He felt a strange connection to it. He felt like it was a place where he could belong. He decided to make it his home.

He found an empty mausoleum that belonged to a wealthy family that had died out. He broke into it and made it his shelter. He cleaned it up and decorated it with items he found or received. He had a bed, a table, a chair, a radio, a lamp, and a bookshelf. He had pictures, posters, candles, and flowers. He had books, magazines, newspapers, and comics. He had a collection of skulls, bones, and coffins. He had a pet cat named Spooky.

He lived in the mausoleum for 20 years without anyone noticing. He was careful to avoid detection. He only came out at night or when the cemetery was empty. He wore dark clothes and a hat to blend in. He respected the graves and the dead. He did not disturb or vandalize anything.

He was discovered in 1993 by a journalist named Steve Lopez. Lopez was working for the Los Angeles Times. He was doing a story on the history of Evergreen Cemetery. He heard rumors about a man living in a mausoleum. He was curious and decided to investigate.

He found Graveyard Ed's mausoleum and knocked on the door. Graveyard Ed opened it and invited him in. Lopez was shocked by what he saw. He expected to find a crazy or dangerous person. But instead, he found a friendly and intelligent man who had an amazing story to tell.

Lopez interviewed Graveyard Ed for several hours. He learned about his life, his reasons for living in the cemetery, his views on death and life, and his hopes and dreams. He was impressed by Graveyard Ed's wisdom and humor. He felt sympathy and admiration for him.

Lopez wrote an article about Graveyard Ed for the Los Angeles Times. The article was published on October 31, 1993. It was titled "The Man Who Lives Among the Dead". It was a sensation. It attracted national and international attention. It made Graveyard Ed famous.

The Lifestyle of Graveyard Ed

After the article was published, many people wanted to meet Graveyard Ed. They came to the cemetery to see him, talk to him, or give him gifts. Some were curious, some were compassionate, some were skeptical, some were rude.

Graveyard Ed welcomed most of them with kindness and grace. He enjoyed meeting new people and sharing his story. He accepted their gifts and thanked them. He also gave them gifts in return. He gave them flowers, books, or souvenirs from the cemetery.

He also received letters from people who read the article or saw him on TV. They wrote to him to express their support, admiration, or questions. They asked him for advice, guidance, or friendship. They shared their own stories, problems, or opinions.

Graveyard Ed replied to every letter he received. He wrote back to them with honesty and sincerity. He gave them his perspective on life and death, happiness and misery, sanity and madness. He offered them his help, encouragement, or comfort. He thanked them for their interest and kindness.

Graveyard Ed did not live on charity alone. He also worked to earn money and contribute to society. He did odd jobs for the cemetery staff or visitors. He helped with cleaning, gardening, maintenance, or security. He also did freelance writing for magazines or newspapers. He wrote about his experiences, opinions, or insights.

Graveyard Ed did not spend all his time in the cemetery either. He also went out to explore the world outside. He visited libraries, museums, parks, or theaters. He learned new things, saw new sights, met new people.

Graveyard Ed had a simple but fulfilling lifestyle in the cemetery. He had everything he needed and wanted: food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, education, work, friends, pets, hobbies.

The Philosophy of Graveyard Ed

Graveyard Ed had a unique philosophy on life and death that he developed over the years of living in the cemetery. He shared his philosophy with anyone who was interested or willing to listen.

He believed that life and death were not opposites but complementary parts of existence. He believed that death was not something to fear but something to accept and embrace as a natural process of change and transformation.

He believed that living in the cemetery helped him appreciate life more because it reminded him of its fragility and preciousness. It also helped him cope with life's challenges because it gave him perspective and peace of mind.

He believed that living among the dead helped him connect with them spiritually because it allowed him to honor their memory and learn from their history.

The Legacy of Graveyard Ed

Graveyard Ed died in 1995 at the age of 48. He died of natural causes in his mausoleum. He was found by one of his friends who came to visit him. He had no relatives or heirs to claim his body or belongings.

He was buried in the same cemetery where he lived. He was given a simple but dignified funeral by the cemetery staff and his friends. He had a modest but elegant tombstone that read: "Edward John Smith, 1947-1995, Graveyard Ed, A Friend to All".

He left behind a legacy that touched many people's lives. He inspired others with his story of resilience, courage, and wisdom. He challenged others with his questions, opinions, and insights. He comforted others with his words, actions, and gifts.

He also left behind a treasure trove of writings that he had accumulated over the years. He had journals, essays, poems, stories, and letters that he had written or received. He had articles, books, magazines, and newspapers that he had read or collected. He had a wealth of knowledge, experience, and imagination that he had expressed or explored.

His writings were donated to a local library by one of his friends who wanted to preserve and share them with the public. They were cataloged and archived by the library staff who recognized their value and significance. They were made available for anyone who wanted to read them or learn from them.

Conclusion: What Can We Learn from Graveyard Ed?

Graveyard Ed was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life. He was not a conventional person who followed a conventional path. He was an unconventional person who forged his own path.

He chose to live in a cemetery not because he was crazy or desperate but because he was curious and adventurous. He found happiness and meaning in a place where most people would find sadness and despair. He created a home and a community in a place where most people would feel alienated and isolated.

He taught us that life is what we make of it. That we can overcome our circumstances and create our own destiny. That we can find joy and purpose in any situation and environment.

He also taught us that death is not the end but the beginning. That we can face death with courage and grace. That we can honor death as a part of life.

He showed us that living among the dead can enrich our living among the living. That we can learn from the past and prepare for the future. That we can connect with the spirit and celebrate the flesh.

Graveyard Ed was a man who lived among the dead but was more alive than most of us. He was a man who lived in a mausoleum but was more free than most of us. He was a man who lived in a cemetery but was more human than most of us.


Here are some common questions and answers about Graveyard Ed:

  • How did Graveyard Ed get his nickname?

He got his nickname from the journalist Steve Lopez who wrote the first article about him. Lopez thought it was a catchy and fitting name for him.

  • Did Graveyard Ed have any family or friends?

He had no family or relatives that he knew of or kept in touch with. He had many friends that he made over the years among the cemetery staff, visitors, or other homeless people.

  • Did Graveyard Ed have any hobbies or interests?

He had many hobbies and interests that he pursued in his spare time. He liked to read, write, draw, paint, play chess, listen to music, watch movies, do crossword puzzles, collect skulls and bones, etc.

  • Did Graveyard Ed have any problems or troubles?

He had some problems or troubles that he faced occasionally. He had to deal with bad weather, pests, thieves, vandals, police, etc. He also had some health issues such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, etc.

  • Did Graveyard Ed have any regrets or wishes?

He had some regrets or wishes that he expressed sometimes. He regretted not having a better childhood or education. He wished he could travel the world or see his parents again.



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