Yes, they celebrate Halloween in Portugal

While the stores in Portugal don’t go all out like in the states (where Halloween decor pretty much turns major stores into a scene from the Exorcist sponsored by M&Ms), it’s not hard to find costumes, masks and a bit of candy in various stores we’ve been into. I don’t know if they trick or treat; I didn’t bother checking because due to our location in the country, combined with an imposing green gate in front of our house (that also now has with a big red X drawn in blood to signify that Americans live there), I don’t expect any trick or treaters at our house.

MouseIf someone does happen to ring our buzzer, I’ll just toss one of the dead rats from our pool over the fence while screaming, “There’s your trick you little morcego-man!” (Morcego means “bat” in Portuguese.)

Anyway, in honor of the holiday we decided to go see o cemitério grande: Prazeres Cemetery, which is the largest cemetery in Lisbon. It was created in 1833 after an outbreak of a cholera epidemic. I didn’t know that until after we’d been there, so now we have to make a damned doctor’s appointment to make sure we didn’t catch anything. The Portuguese never tell us this stuff!

It sits in the middle of Lisbon on top of a cliff, towering above most everything else. We see it every time we drive over the bridge into Lisbon. It’s quite massive. I always find it interesting to see how cultures handle their dead; I have no idea if it translates into how cultures handle their living. But at least in this cemetery, the Portuguese really go all out with their tombs. I’m sure some of the tombs there cost more than some houses!

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Here’s the view from the cemetery. I’m guessing they built it before they realized that in the future you could sell a home with a view for a cool mil or two.
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There are rows upon rows upon rows of these streets, all lined with tombs. After walking through all these streets, of corpse we were a little dead on our feet.
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It wasn’t until we got home and I downloaded the imaged that I discovered we had a ghostly tour guide. It really scared me at that point because I didn’t know to offer a tip.
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All sorts of men, women, boys, and ghouls live here. Haunts and huncles too. Most of the tombs are sealed with a variety of locks, although it looks like any skeleton key will open them right up.
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There is a spooky image in this photo. The tombs are a little creepy too.
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The residents are just dying to get out.
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I peered inside many of these, hoping to see some bones falling out of the most broken-down ones. Alas, I was boneless.
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Again, I had no idea we were being followed by this creepy guy. Upon our return home, I took a bunch of photos in our house just to make sure he didn’t follow us there. I think we lost him at the bridge because ghosts fall through the pavement and into the water, where they become shells of their former selves.

 

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