As some of you might remember, we moved in February, and after renovating, moving in, unpacking all of the boxes and starting to feel at home, we decided to take care of the garden.
It was in quite a messy condition: Our landlord, who lives on the second floor of the house, is an old bachelor and neglected it for some years. So there was a lot to do, and I started by getting rid of all the ivy that was already climbing up the walls of the house.
When I had worked my way to the area close to our terrace door and realized what I just had found, I backed off in shock and literally fell on my back. What I had dug out from under the ivy were two gravestones, leaning against the wall of the house, battered and stained and with visible but barely readable inscriptions. One of them even had a skull and bones carved into it.
So I sat there on the lawn, and the adrenaline made my head spin. My mind was constantly alternating between two thoughts: “OMG! OMG! Is there a section for exorcism in the yellow pages?” and “OMG! OMG! How cool is that?!”
You can easily see how confused I was by the amount of “OMG” that filled my head.
Later, when my SO was home, we went to see the landlord, and he told us the story of the gravestones (there are actually three; one of them is part of the basement wall):
Once there was a church from the eleventh century located on a hillside not far from here. About 260 years ago, heavy rains and floodwaters washed away parts of the hill, and the church and the gravestones on the surrounding graveyard were swept away, shattered all over the hillside and the foot of the hill.
When it became clear that the church would not be rebuilt, the people in the neighborhood, practical as they were, found other usages for the stones by employing them in their own construction projects. And so did one of the landlord's ancestors: He built a shed, which stood on the property until a few decades ago. By then it was so derelict that our landlord decided to knock it down and build a car port instead. The old stones were used for a garden wall and decorative purposes, particularly for a small rock garden. When he discovered the two gravestones among them, he did not know what to do with them, and so just leaned them against the wall of the house and, as time went by, completely forgot about them.
I am glad that we got this explanation, and I feel so relieved that there never have been any actual graves on the property, which was a deeply unsettling thought.
There are only the gravestones, and none of the dead would worry about where their stones are now, right?