Market of Macabre, a place for the strange and unusual

The Friends of Laurel Hill Cemeteries host their annual antique, oddities, and craft market.

Two attendees take a moment away from the crowds to experience other aspects of Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sept. 11. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hills Cemeteries held their annual Market of Macabre, an antique, oddities and craft market at Laurel Hill Cemetery in North Philadelphia. 

From noon to 5 p.m., event-goers were encouraged to embrace their strange and unusual sides as they shopped and strolled through the cemetery on Ridge Avenue near Cemetery Road. Vendors sold a wide variety of items, from vintage Halloween decorations to witches’ hats, from stalls sprinkled among the graves. 

Vallyn Murphy, a South Philadelphia resident, rode her bike to the market after learning about the event through her friends. While the market isn’t something she typically attends, she did want to buy a few items from vendors. 

“I have some friends who really love Halloween,” Murphy said. “I’m kind of looking for some presents, maybe like little trinkets.” 

The Friends of Laurel Hill Cemeteries held the market entirely virtually last year due to the pandemic and continued to host both an online and in-person shopping component this year.

Organizers updated their online marketplace from last year’s event with a list of sellers from this year’s event. The online store was open Saturday through Sunday.  

Sam Harris, a resident of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and the owner of Starling Witchcraft, a store that sells witch supplies and inspired witchcraft-inspired items, was a vendor for the first time this year. 

“I saw that this was happening again like I needed to be here,” Harris said. “It’s been so long since we’ve been able to do something like this that I’ve wanted to have that personal connection with customers again.” 

This year, local musicians entertained event-goers attending the market as they shopped and participated in free cemetery tours guided by event staff. 

“We’re always looking to do new and innovative programming around the history of the cemetery and playing on the fact that we are a very special place in the history of Philadelphia,” said Mackenzie Knight-Fochs, the program manager for the Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hills Cemeteries.

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