Late last week, a new craze swept the nation. Following in the steps of Angry Bird and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Pokémon Go took the App Store by storm and filled the streets with 20-somethings holding their phones up in sincere efforts to catch them all.
I had friends in New York City, Los Angeles and even Asheville roaming through their respective downtowns, linking up with strangers and staying out all hours seeking rare and uncaught Poké creatures. It was awesome.
In my own quest, my boyfriend and I began exploring the in-app map to look for pokéstop hubs to maximize our ventures into the July heat. I wanted to catch a Squirtle, but I didn’t want to get heatstroke and a trespassing fine climbing through people’s backyards in the middle of the day.
For the uninitiated, a pokéstop is a landmark linked to Google maps where you can get free items when you come within a certain distance of the location. For example: In South End, you can walk along East Boulevard and get supplies from various historic houses turned businesses that line the street. You don’t actually have to go in, just be close to them.
A huge group of pokéstops caught our eye a short drive from my house. Look at this poké mecca. Wouldn’t you head that way too?
What we found when we arrived was a little… disturbing.
Instead of a strip mall, we were at Sunset Memory Gardens – a cemetery. At first we thought there may be a mistake, so we decided to drive close to a pokéstop and see if the location that popped up was a mislabeled business. Nope. We had stumbled across the creepiest Pokémon Go pokéstop paradise in existence.
Each pokéstop at Sunset Memory Gardens is directly tied to a monument or individual grave site. So inappropriate.
Need some pokéballs with a side of depression – check out the children’s graves stop.
Want to gain some XP at a gym? Apparently you can do that at the Open Book Bible.
This sweet memorial for Paw Paw is now a stop on the poké trail.
I really wasn’t going to approach the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
As we circled (so I could screenshot for this piece), we noticed cars parked next to “gyms” with the occupants oblivious to anything except their phones. The Pokémon Go obsession is at “hang out in a graveyard all day” level.
I’m all for this game. I think it’s cool that it gets people moving, talking and exploring. There aren’t many non-fitness specific apps that can do that. However, I draw the line at directing people to go play a game in a location where people should only be going to pay their respects.
What are your thoughts? Creepy or okay as long as they keep it moving? Tweet me.