15 Eye-Catching Headstones That Bring Humor And Beauty To Death

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

I think all of us have a sense of the legacy we want to leave behind when our time is up.

Some people hope to change the world, through art, literature, or scientific discoveries.

Others hope to raise a happy family and be remembered for generations to come.

Meanwhile, still others find peace and satisfaction in creating and leaving behind physical mementos of their time here on Earth, like the grandma who lovingly pieced together quilts for each and every one of her family members.

Naturally, however, not everyone chooses to leave behind the same kind of tangible memory. Quilts and banana bread recipes might suit some personalities, but others might prefer a slightly showier memorial — in the form of a one-of-a-kind tombstone.

You might think that the cemetery is the last place you’d want to showcase your sense of whimsy, but plenty of folks (who clearly had a sense of fun in life) choose to leave a legacy that stands out in the graveyard.

Check out the gallery below for a few of our favorite quirky burial markers.

This giant tractor trailer headstone seems like a fitting memorial for the grave it guards.

This is the grave of Terry Theadore “Double T” Hagy, a larger-than-life Floridian who passed away in 2013.

He was a beloved figure in his Orlando community, known for his auto body shop, Hagy’s Garage.

This Metuchen, NJ, grave has become a landmark in the area for displaying a love for The Three Stooges that extends to the afterlife.

James Bechtold, the occupant of the site, was an avid fan of the Stooges with a sense of humor all his own.

He asked that the message, “Laugh, don’t weep, it feels better!” be engraved on his head stone, encouraging visitors to celebrate his life just like Larry, Moe, and Curly would.

Facebook / Julie Pollard Williams

This birdbath gravestone is a beautiful way to remember a gentle soul.

From now on, her grave will be a peaceful place where birds come for water and sustenance.

This is a beautiful reminder that death is part of the cycle, and that every living thing is connected.

Many of the old-fashioned mausoleums beloved of the Victorians were designed to look like houses. The idea was that having a realistic earthly home might make the transition easier.

This designer took the idea one step further, and decided to make a fantastic four-footed log cabin.

The cabin, which calls to mind frontier living and Abraham Lincoln, is a rustic, iconic way to be remembered for generations to come.

We don’t know much about Catherine Ann Taylor, the woman buried beneath this giant Coca-Cola bottle, but we can guess that she was a free spirit.

She passed away in Indiana in 1960, and must have been a big fan of America’s favorite cola in life.

Wherever she is, we hope she’s sipping a frosty glass of iconic soda pop and appreciating her bold aesthetic choice.

Here’s a “genius” idea if we ever saw one!

Paul, who we gather enjoyed word games and puzzles in life, chose a giant Scrabble board as his burial marker.

Even better, his loved ones spelled out suitable adjectives to let the whole world know he was, “gentle,” an “angel,” and a “genius.”

We love the idea of quirky graves that showcase what the person resting underneath valued in life.

This beautiful grave, for example, is from a cemetery in Massachusetts, and appears to belong to someone who was an avid reader.

The grave marker is an oversize quilted armchair, which looks so comfy you almost forget it’s made of stone, with an open book lying in the seat.

Oftentimes, the deceased or her descendants will stipulate a message to inscribe on the stone.

In this case, the message on the grave of Anna Clare Bootle reads, “The beautiful cat endures.”

Bootle, who clearly loved her cat, chose a quote that’s a slight variation on a ancient quote in an Egyptian tomb at Thebes.

This gravesite makes no bones about showcasing its owner’s pride and joy: an old-fashioned pickup truck.

Instead of a traditional headstone, this gentleman had a pickup truck, in the style of a 1950s Chevy, rendered in black stone with a book in front of its front bumper.

We imagine that this was a guy who loved his pickup in life, and would carefully take it apart and put it back together again rather than buy a new one.

This unusual gravestone is a standout in London’s Highgate Cemetery.

It was built as a tribute to a young pianist named Harry Thornton, who was known for cheering the troops during WWI with his music.

He passed away in the Spanish flu pandemic, and friends, family, and admirers immortalized him with a baby grand, rendered in stone.

This spectacular castle is a charming way to memorialize anyone that loves fairy tales and romance.

Instead of the darker tones of gray common in a cemetery, this plot is done up in beautiful shades of white and pink.

If you ask us, the castle makes it clear that this is a joyful celebration of a beloved soul.

Avid readers seem to have a particular love of fanciful graves, maybe inspired by the stories they read.

This woman is depicted very peacefully, in an elegant and unusual statue tucked into a shady corner of the graveyard.

In the scene, she’s lying in bed, having nodded off while reading, which is a lovely way to pass if you’re a bookworm.

Another gravestone with a literary theme can be found in a quiet New England cemetery.

This marker is a book, open to the center chapter, which can be approached by a small kneeling step.

It’s not absolutely clear what book it is, but most likely, it’s the Bible, with a spot to kneel in prayer.

This beautiful statue marks a grave in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Roxbury, MA.

The whimsical statue is of a little boy sitting in a rowboat, and has been enclosed in glass for years.

Despite being more than 150 years old, this grave has never been forgotten, and caretakers report that fresh flowers are left nearly every day for the “Boy in the Boat.”

Here’s another fascinating idea: a headstone shaped like a lighthouse.

There’s a lot of symbolism here; lighthouses are traditionally used to guide boats home from sea, and to welcome them to safe harbor.

It may also be that the free spirit buried here was a sailor and a wanderer, with a particular love of lighthouses.

What do you think of these unusual gravestones? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to SHARE with those who appreciate that life is short, but a sense of whimsy is forever.