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Posts Tagged ‘inverted torch’

Haywood

The inverted torches on this monument are so subtle that I had looked at the photo about a dozen times before I saw them and realized why I probably initially took the photo. I take a lot of photos at once and then sort through them later, so I sometimes miss what initially caught my eye.

Harkness

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The inverted torch signifies death, but the still burning flame represents eternal life.

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Haserot Angel

I’m posting a few photos of my favorite supposedly creepy angel. This is the Haserot angel, the centerpiece of the Haserot family plot at Lake View Cemetery.

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A few notes about him: he’s seated. I have seen several mentions of how the Haserot angel is standing – perhaps meant in the sense of “standing guard,” but he is most definitely sitting. The sculptor did manage to give him the feeling of movement, as if at any moment he will rise from his post and walk.

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Secondly, that thing in his hands is an extinguished torch, with the burned end on the ground.

Haserot Angel

This angel, like a number of other cemetery statues, has a creepy reputation, but I’ve never heard an actual story about him. I think the outstretched wings add to his imposing nature, as does the fact that he stares directly and stoically at the viewer. A more common posture is that of grief. And of course, the weathering of the metal has created streaky “tears” that cascade from his staring eyes.

Haserot Angel in Snow

Whatever the reason, this statue has the reputation for being the creepiest in Cleveland’s cemeteries.

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I think most people who have visited cemeteries with larger, more elaborate monuments and particularly mausoleums are familiar with the funerary symbol of the inverted torch. You can see the torches descending from the wreaths on the Winslow mausoleum at Lake View Cemetery, their fires still burning despite their unnatural position.

Winslow

But I did have to read Stories in Stone before I realized that you will see two varieties of the inverted torch in cemeteries, one extinguished and one still aflame. Both symbolize death, but the inverted burning torch alludes to eternal life.

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Both the monuments for D. S. Possons and the Cottingham family have burning inverted torches on them.

Cottingham

There are a few more examples from Mayfield Cemetery on mausoleum doors for the Sampliner and Fisher families.

Sampliner

Fisher

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