Fall is the time when many cemeteries host their most effective marketing program: voices from the past.

In conjunction with a local community theater, the cemetery will research their “residents” for interesting characters to portray.  The community theater actors will then bring those characters to life during a tour of the cemetery.   These tours generate revenues for the care of the cemetery, but more importantly, bring live residents who may not have family buried at the cemetery.  The tour reinforces for first time visitors the purpose of memorializing a life.

One of my favorite tours is sponsored by Valhalla Cemetery in St. Louis.   In contrast to many Voices tours, Valhalla provides a hay ride to visit the different grave locations.  Another local favorite is sponsored by the Union Cemetery Historical Society of Kansas City.   Union Cemetery is one of Kansas City’s oldest cemeteries, and is rich with history.  A little closer to my home is the Voices of Olathe City Cemetery.