Grave Goods – Maria J. Pérez Cuervo

Maria J Pérez Cuervo
Maria J Pérez Cuervo

Maria J. Pérez Cuervo is a freelance writer based in Bristol, UK, and the editor of Hellebore, a magazine devoted to folk horror and the occult. Her work has appeared in Fortean Times, Mental Floss, Daily Grail, The Order of the Good Death, The Ghastling, the book Spirits of Place, and many other places.

You can find her on Twitter as @mjpcuervo or on

Tools of the Trade – a tool/implement without which you’d be lost, whether it’s a pen, trowel, notepad, bottle-opener or scanning electron microscope.

I’d like my tomb’s inner chamber to be built out of my pile of blank notebooks. I reckon I have enough at home. And please bury me with my favourite gel pen at hand, in case I have to write something on the back of my hand before I cross to the other side (probably “Drink from the water of Mnemosyne!”, I have a terrible memory.)

Food for the Journey – a favourite portable snack, or a portion of something from your funeral feast.

Dark nougat chocolate (dark chocolate with hazelnut paste). And if I am to wake from the dead, I’ll definitely need tea. I always carry a miniature tin of loose-leaf green tea and my own empty teabags, because I love green tea, but the stuff that’s usually available tends to be pretty bad, dusty and bitter.

Memento Vivere – a memento of a companion/event to bring you cheer (can be an image).

A lock of my son’s hair encased in a Victorian-style silver locket, with photos of my family.

Ex Libris – the book or text you are least likely to tire of reading.

It’ll probably be a reference book, something by Ronald Hutton or Marina Warner. Or an anthology of short horror stories from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Lucky Deposition – a bonus selection chosen by the guest – can include transport.

I’d definitely want to watch films in the Afterlife, I’m just not sure about the format. I’d need a good selection, with my favourite classics – Now, Voyager, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir – ,  some Hammer favourites – The Devil Rides Out, Horror of Dracula, The Plague of the Zombies –, Labyrinth, Blade Runner… Am I being too greedy? Not if you compare me with King Tut, I suppose.

A Message from Beyond the Grave – an entirely discretionary option – leave a note for a future generation to find.

I’d leave a curse written in some arcane language, so grave robbers would think I was a sorceress or a witch.

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