I come from the sort of Northeastern stock that gets real particular about mulch. Every spring, my father would order (I’m guestimating here) between three and seven cubic yards of the stuff, and then tell me to shovel it into the tractor bed of our dumpy riding mower, drive said mower around the perimeter of the yard, and establish a firm mulch border between yard and woods which, from the air, gave the impression of a moat overtaken by cholera. The whole thing was nigh-Freudian.

I did not, sadly, become an amazing stick driver from tooling around in that mower, but I did develop pretty good shoveling form. If you, informed Campus Times reader that you are, would like to develop similarly sound shoveling form, might I recommend taking a shovel into Mount Hope Cemetery and seeing what’s down there?

Consider the pros:


A quick exercise: Assuming you are on campus right now, stop what you’re doing and look in the opposite direction of the Genesee. Congratulations, you can now see Mount Hope Cemetery! Grab a shovel and head on over before all the good spots are taken.

Seasonal Resistance Training

You may be thinking, “Why start a new graverobbing-centric fitness plan now, just before winter, when there’s a warm and cozy GAC I can go to instead? Once I get good at digging hole, won’t that kind of plateau in terms of being challenging and interesting?”

Well, friendo, these two not-at-all-contrived questions answer themselves: As we enter the long winter and permafrost takes hold, digging holes in Rochester’s largest cemetery will become more and more challenging, and you will get stronger and stronger! The gains will never stop, and the thrill of unearthing a fresh skeleton will never go away!

The author of this article, here seen engaging in mild grave robbery (artist’s recreation.) Photo courtesy of Leo Orsini.


Not a pre-med student but still want to know what the inside of a human body looks like? You’re in luck: there are more dead people in Mount Hope Cemetery than there are living people in all of Rochester! Isn’t that a wonderful and not-at-all-depressing thing to know about the city we call home? Head on over to Mount Hope with a shovel or a spade and poke around!


If they don’t catch you, you’re fine!

Fabulous Untold Riches

As said previously, we’re not just digging here to build a shredded trunk and core – we’re curious. We want to see what’s down there. Could there be old misers buried with their fortunes? Secret passages that, if extended, will finally connect the dorms to the main tunnel system? Susan B. Anthony, somehow still living but trapped beneath the ground by anti-suffrage undertakers? Who knows!

(Side note to those who are still concerned about legality: If you plan to take anything with you out of the cemetery, you can always call it an “archaeological discovery!”)

So there you have it – what’s that? Consider the cons? Friendo, I cannot stress this enough: IT IS THE CAMPUS TIMES’ OFFICIAL STANCE THAT NOTHING BAD CAN EVER COME FROM GRAVEROBBING. Happy digging!

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