Difference Between Cemetery and Graveyard

Some individuals are so curios to ask about "what is the difference between cemetery and graveyard". In general sense, they actually just mean the same which is a "burial ground" or "resting place" for the dead. This is the reason why most people today use them interchangeably.

But to tell you exactly the difference between a cemetery from a graveyard, it is best explained by taking a look back into the history.

The word "graveyard" actually started in the Middle Ages particularly originated in the European countries. At this age, the majority of the countries were controlled by the church the reason why there were so many churches built in the past. And as a traditional burial practice, people often buried their dead on a land nearby the surroundings of the churches or churchyards. Hence, we can say that graveyards are burial sites situated near churches.

In the late 18th to 19th centuries, there was a sudden rise of disease outbreak which was probably due to the graveyards. Other than that, there was an increasing number of population where more spaces were needed for the people to settle down. As a result, both of the government and religious authorities had decided to relocate the burial sites far away from human habitations. At this point, graveyards were being replaced by cemeteries.

Today, most graveyards were now long abandoned. They got rid of the stones and bodies where the land is now being used by the community.

Graveyards are Creepy Burial Sites

Most horror movies portrays graveyards as creepy disorganized burial sites surrounded by dead or withering trees with no one assigned to maintain its cleanliness. It's like a garbage site for dead people with no one to care or remember about them. The tombstones are actually quite dirty, decayed and some of them even have large cracks.

When visiting a graveyard, most people also tends to get the creepy feeling that the dead will suddenly rise back to life in the form of zombies. Or, a creepy hand will suddenly grab your foot by surprise. Are you a fan of Michael Jackson? You should watch his MTV or music video entitled, "Thriller".


And as stated above, graveyards are situated near the churches which is also close to the community.

Cemetery is a Beautiful Burial Place of the Dead

The cemetery is the complete opposite of graveyard. It is a well maintained beautiful burial place for the dead. The grasses, trees and flowers are well cared by someone who is being paid to do this job.

All of the tombstones are well arranged or aligned in their proper rows and columns. And, the markings on the tombstones are artistically engraved for easy identification of the dead person buried on that spot.

A cemetery is also located at an area that is far from the community or human habitations.


Since the cemetery is such a wonderful place, many people often pay a visit to their dead. They bring flowers and they can spend long period of hours on the cemetery because most people find it a very relaxing place. This is the reason why people would now prefer to be buried in a cemetery over graveyard.

Overall, we can say that a graveyard is comparable to a wasteland while the cemetery is comparable to a paradise. This makes the main difference between the two is all about the "description" of the burial sites. But, they are just basically the same site where dead people are buried.


Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects - Difference Between Cemetery and Graveyard
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The Candid Cemetery - What's the Difference Between a Graveyard and a Cemetery
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Quora - What is the Difference Between a Cemetery and a Graveyard?
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