The New England Grimpendium: Skull Cliff

For the next month, I’ll be posting photo essays on locations, attractions, and artifacts elaborated on in my new book, The New England Grimpendium (available now) to celebrate its debut...and to convince you that it’s worth buying, I guess. That was directed at you, Mom.

August 17, 2010 Right on the edge of the 2,200-acre Lynn Woods Reservation just northeast of Boston, MA, and accessible by some pretty random avenues, is this garish glory of grisly graffiti painted on an abandoned rock quarry in an area frequented mostly by dirt bikers. Painted by a guy named Ichabod who is good at murals but a little cliché at morals (see Picture 3), this is an impressive sight to stumble upon in the wild. For two seconds you feel like Indiana Jones discovering the remains of some long-lost technicolor civilization. Then you're like, “Oh, dude with a spray can.” Then you climb it.

You can see Boston from the top of Skull Cliff.

You can also see a random apartment complex. Don't look in that direction.

The macabre is rarely so vertiginous.

Read all about my visit to Skull Cliff in The New England Grimpendium, which is on sale now.