There are no caskets for remains, no mausolea for bones, no urns or niches for ashes.
There are no marble tombstones, no bronze grave markers, no epitaphs.
There is slight crumbling but no decomposition of any consequence. The living caretakers will be dust before the denizens of this cemetery succumb to the relentless prodding fingers of time.
Although graves are conspicuously absent, it is a cemetery nonetheless. It is just as silent yet just as eloquent. If you listen, you will hear the music.
That’s because like most cemeteries, if you know how to identify the tune, it sings with life.
Naturally the melody is sad and haunting. Given the circumstances it could hardly be anything else.
It is Vent Haven in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, where reside the forever-silent dummies, dolls, and puppets once quickened by now-dead ventriloquists.
Ventriloquist dummies are commonly retained by families for at least one generation after the doll's owner is laid to rest in a conventional cemetery.
Many are then donated to Vent Haven, where the figures (which most people find creepy even when animated) line wooden risers against plaster walls in quiet rooms, wide eyes staring, hinged jaws still, brief written histories pinned to their fronts.
They occupy rows of folding chairs in a classroom where lessons are taught but the mute button is always on. A visitor may sit in the one empty chair available amongst the dummies, for a unique photo opportunity.
However you choose to absorb it, whatever you decide to make of it, a visit to Vent Haven is sure to be a positively one-of-a-kind experience.
If you would like to learn more about Vent Haven, pick up a copy of Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits by Matthew Rolston.
If you would like to see Vent Haven for yourself, first read a helpful article on Roadside America.
If you would like to see a video of the place, there is one embedded in this article, courtesy of YouTube user Cameron Knight.
And if you decide to pick up the hobby of ventriloquism for yourself, you will find lots of helpful hints and enjoy the camaraderie of other vents by attending The ConVENTion, slated to take place in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, July 17-20, 2013.
While there you will have an opportunity to visit Vent Haven. See the faces; hear the voices now silent. As cemeteries go, it is among the most poignant and evocative to be found in America.
Jennifer Weber is the owner of Angel Funeral Photography and Jennifer Weber Photography. When she's not preoccupied with casual portraiture, funeral photography, or taking pictures in cemeteries, she blogs at I'm Having A Thought Here and A Route of Evanescence. She is a frequent contributor to Find A Grave, where she is known as AngelSeeker.