Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Got any scary epitaphs?
October 18, 2007 12:03 PM   Subscribe

What are some clever and slightly disturbing epitaphs that I can put on my tombstones for Halloween?

I’ve been looking around for some new epitaphs for my tombstones and have found a lot of them to be campy, cheesy and downright terrible. Things like:

Ben Dover
I told you I was sick.
I was Fred, now I’m dead.
Here lies Henry Blake, he stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

I really like the darker side of Halloween though nothing too creepy or gory. I like epitaphs that are subtle, clever and slightly menacing, such as:

You may feel brave now here with your friends, till I follow you home when the night ends.

Got any other suggestions?

Thanks!
posted by KathyK to Grab Bag (53 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Here are a whole bunch of 'em. I'll quote two of my favorites from this collection:

Here lies
an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.

Here beneath this pile of stones
Lies all that's left of Sally Jones.
Her name was Smith, [it was]* not Jones,
But Jones was used to rhyme with stones.

*insertion mine to improve meter
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:13 PM on October 18, 2007


There's one in Stephen King's Salem's Lot that creeps me out... "Here lies so-and-so. God grant he lie still."
posted by restless_nomad at 12:13 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


(Sorry, the ones I quoted are more of the campy, cheesy variety. I didn't read closely enough. Carry on.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:15 PM on October 18, 2007


You hardly ever go wrong with a Dorothy Parker quote: "Pardon my dust."
posted by Skot at 12:16 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do Not Disturb
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:16 PM on October 18, 2007


The lucky one

A touch on the neck / And now here you are / RIP (bonus points for lightly touching the necks of those who regard this one)

Pray it stops here

Unknown and undetermined

UNKILLABLE

Please stay this time

Don't laugh, you're next

The real threat is the empty grave

"I'm fine," he said.

Quarantine

First of three

Ignore the clawing / Ignore the moaning / Everything it says is a lie / Keep it down here / DON'T TOUCH

A MUMMY DIED HERE. THERE'S ALSO PROBABLY A FRANKENSTEIN SOMEWHERE

Life for him was but a dreary play; he came, saw, dislik'd, and passed away. (care of Roger Ebert)
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:18 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Et in Arcadia Ego"
posted by jquinby at 12:19 PM on October 18, 2007


Here lies you.
posted by sociolibrarian at 12:19 PM on October 18, 2007


Out To Lunch
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:20 PM on October 18, 2007


An inscription at the door of a medieval ossuarium in Portugal always gave me the creeps:

"We, the bones that are here, for yours we are waiting."
posted by lucia__is__dada at 12:23 PM on October 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


IF I WERE ALIVE TODAY


I would be clawing at the lid of my coffin.


(Apologies to Garrison Keillor and Chuck Palahniuk)


posted by 4ster at 12:23 PM on October 18, 2007


Dead by his own hand
Which is probably still
Crawling around here
Somewhere
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:23 PM on October 18, 2007


Born April (x), 19xx
Buried April (x +3), 19xx
Died April (x + 4), 19xx
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:24 PM on October 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


Remember friend as you walk by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you will surely be
Prepare thyself to follow me.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 12:25 PM on October 18, 2007


If you were buried here, you'd be dead by now.
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:28 PM on October 18, 2007


Your Shoe's Untied
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:29 PM on October 18, 2007


Bob Barker, come on down.
posted by LoriFLA at 12:33 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I See You
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:35 PM on October 18, 2007


You could always go for a Simpsons reference with:

WILLIAM H. BONNEY
--------------------------
GUNNED DOWN
JULY 14, 1881
AGED 21

"I DREAM OF
A WORLD
WITHOUT GUNS"


Of course you should probably have a hand clutching a six-shooter sticking out from the ground in front of the tombstone...
posted by Venadium at 12:37 PM on October 18, 2007


Damn, sorry about the weird formatting.
posted by Venadium at 12:38 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The wind is my breath. The darkness my soul. The earth my embrace. I await your return.

I'll be right back.

Can you hear me? Can you hear me NOW?
posted by cairnish at 12:46 PM on October 18, 2007


Stolen from Shirley Jackson:

Now whatever walks at Hill House, walks alone
posted by GaelFC at 12:46 PM on October 18, 2007


Here lies blood, and let it lie
Speechless still, and never cry.
posted by frobozz at 12:48 PM on October 18, 2007


See you soon...
posted by LordSludge at 12:49 PM on October 18, 2007


"Old age really does beat the alternative."
posted by Malor at 12:51 PM on October 18, 2007


William, of Wrights
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:52 PM on October 18, 2007


[child's name]
Trick-or-treating no more.

[child's name]
"Just one more house, please?"
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:56 PM on October 18, 2007


I've always liked the medieval story of the three living and the three dead. In that vein, you could put on a tombstone:

"As you are, I was; as I am, you will be"
posted by pombe at 1:01 PM on October 18, 2007


"Don't make me come up there!"
posted by zeraus at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia (W. C. Fields)

I told you I was sick

Death is a Debt to Nature due,
Which I have paid-- and so must You. (Tyrone Slothrop ancestor)
posted by jamjam at 1:28 PM on October 18, 2007


The candy we hand out here is completely safe, and the apples are even safer.
posted by 4ster at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2007


(Sorry, the ones I quoted are more of the campy, cheesy variety. I didn't read closely enough. Carry on.)

Me also. Sorry. Some very good ones here.
posted by LoriFLA at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2007


Lean in close
And you will see
Just who this grave's for.
Take a peek.

(and then attach a mirror to the gravestone)
posted by Ziggurat at 1:40 PM on October 18, 2007


Told you I was hardcore
posted by forforf at 1:43 PM on October 18, 2007


Wow, these are great! Thanks everyone. I definitely like the scarier ones!
posted by KathyK at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2007


A variant of the above: You Are Here.

In a slightly different vein: This Space For Rent or Future Site of Wal-Mart
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:01 PM on October 18, 2007


CALCIUM IS
WORMFOOD

I WAS PREY
NOW YOU PRAY

OBJECTS BENEATH THE HEADSTONE
MAY APPEAR LIVELIER THAN THEY ARE

JOIN ME FOR A LIFECAP?
posted by rob511 at 2:17 PM on October 18, 2007


What's That Smell?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:19 PM on October 18, 2007


The shadows claimed me
when I turned my back
to the gravestone.
posted by cairnish at 2:34 PM on October 18, 2007


BRAAAIIINNSSSS!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:38 PM on October 18, 2007


May God forgive me.
posted by ceri richard at 2:55 PM on October 18, 2007


An actual one from a downtown Los Angeles cemetery:

JACK LEMMON

in

posted by charris5005 at 3:13 PM on October 18, 2007


Jason Johnson
Egged My House in '73
posted by rokusan at 3:19 PM on October 18, 2007


VACANCY
If you want to step it up a notch here are instructions for how to make a headstone with a "VACANCY" sign that blinks on and off. It sounds really, really easy to do.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:38 PM on October 18, 2007


Our bed is lovely, dark and sweet.

('The Phantom-Wooer,' by Thomas Lovell Beddoes)
posted by eritain at 5:05 PM on October 18, 2007


Here Lies
Marcel Marceau
Finally Trapped In Real Box

(thanks to The Onion for that one, though it's more jokey than dark)

Here Lies
Robert Smithson
"Et In Utah Ego"

(only if your neighborhood is populated by art majors. again, sort of a jokey one)

To Him Are Given The Keys Of The Bottomless Pit

(a line from a novel by John Bellairs. a children's novel, in fact, which scared the shit out of me when I was about 8)

Yog-Sothoth Rules

(a Lovecraft reference from a short story by Stephen King. also, "Cthulhu Fhtagn")

That Is Not Dead Which Eternal May Lie,
And With Strange Eons Even Death May Die

(another H.P. Lovecraft quote. I think that's how it goes)

IT IS NOT LONG TILL

(from another John Bellairs novel)
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 10:58 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


My tombstones are all jokey names (Moe Dover, Barry L. Plotz, etc.). But I liked the idea of putting "Last Year's Trick-or-Treaters" on one.

Thanks all for ideas for next year...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 6:38 AM on October 19, 2007


That over-quoted Frost poem creeps me out the more I think of it on a tombstone. Road not taken, and all that.

Abandon all Hope ye who enter here is always fun.

F' You is always amusing.

Hotel California lyrics- pretty much all of them

Silly- Died of a plague transmitted by reading this phrase
posted by Jacen at 7:01 AM on October 20, 2007


X, died in his sleep... and his passengers who died screaming in terror (Bob Monkhouse)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:48 PM on October 20, 2007


damn... that should of course be:
X, died peaceably in his sleep... and his passengers, who died screaming in terror
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2007


Damn, I missed that you'd already said 'I told you I was sick.'

How about (with apologies to AM):

'The Grave's a fine and private Place
Come here my Love, shall We embrace?'
posted by jamjam at 3:41 PM on October 21, 2007


Halting Problem Solved

Here lies my wife; here let her lie;
Now she's at rest and so am I.

A motel sign saying "VACANCY".
posted by wtdoor at 6:15 PM on October 22, 2007


Or what BoscosMom said.
posted by wtdoor at 6:16 PM on October 22, 2007


« Older Random and short light-headedn...   |  What are your experiences with... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.