ORLANDO, Fla. – Graveyard rituals and offerings are nothing new, they have been around since ancient history. Many times, I have come across ritual offerings on my ghost-hunting explorations, sometimes in places you would never suspect.
New Orleans cemeteries are some of the most common places, many tombs will have beads, flowers, coins, liquor, candles, etc. I have found altars most recently in Orlando, Sanford, the Great Smoky Mountains, and even on trails to an old Homestead.
Flowers are the most common offering to the deceased. Dating back as far as the Egyptians, they were thought to be the key to divine powers. A rose means Love, Daffodils are rebirth, Daisies mean innocence, and Sunflowers are devotion. Many times, a specific flower is carved on the tombstone. There are many other flowers associated with other meanings and religions.
Coins can be found in many locations. Ancient times used them for a bribe for a safe passage to the other side. Nowadays a penny on a tombstone can mean you visited, though most coins are associated with the Military. A penny still means you visited, a nickel signifies that you trained in Boot Camp together, a dime shows you served with the person, and a quarter represents that you were in their presence when they died.
Food and/or drink is used in many cultures. It is known that the spirits like in death, what they liked in life, thus the reason for food, especially sweets. Cigars, cigarettes, and perfume as an example will energize the spirits too.
Day of the Dead many times will be celebrated with an altar of food. It is said if you taste the food during the day, many times it will have no flavor as the spirits have extracted it for energy.
In India some of the elders with place an extra saucer of food at dinner time to remember the spirits of those loved ones lost.
Stones are another item that you can find in many cemeteries. It is part of the Jewish religion and others will lay a stone on top of the gravestone as it will last longer than a flower.
Today my findings are shown in this video and include an altar on the base outside the entrance doors to one of the most spirit active mausoleums in the Greenwood Cemetery. It consisted of fresh ginger root, a crossing of carnations, small cigars, red chili peppers and a penny. You will also see unexplained scratch marks on the doors.
Remembrance, love, luck, health, money, or to make a spirit move on are mostly reasons you’ll see an altar used and so is the case with this video. After I reviewed the contents with the Voodoo Queen in New Orleans, it was determined this altar was an Ancestorial offering and they were asking possibly for healing, protection, travel, sex or something else. Let’s hope they found what they were looking for.