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"Edward Morgan Blake. Born 1924. Forty-five years as a comedian, died 1985, buried in the rain."
Rorschach in Watchmen

In fictional depictions of graveyards, burial grounds or areas that serve a similar function, the weather is almost always bleak and grey at the least, pitch-black and raining at the worst.

Even if it's a sunny day, somehow, magically, the sunlight will seem shaky and bleak, washed out and faded. This is the weather of choice for a quietly dramatic funeral.

1000% more likely if this particular graveyard is a haven for The Undead.

A subtrope of Empathic Environment. See also It Always Rains At Funerals and Gray Rain of Depression. See also Always Night, where spooky and general horror themed areas (and the odd Haunted House in a perfectly normal street) will be in permanent night with thunder and lightning optional. When the weather is actively hostile to our heroes, see Cue the Rain.

Examples of Grave Clouds include:


Anime and Manga

  • A subversion: In Fullmetal Alchemist, at Maes Hughes' funeral, Roy Mustang asserts that it's going to rain, even though there's not a cloud in the sky.

 Riza Hawkeye: I don't think so, sir...

Roy Mustang: Yes it is. (a tear rolls down his cheek) This is rain.

  • The graveyard of Thriller Bark in One Piece is surrounded by dark sky and fog. Though this is justified by the Thriller Bark deliberately sailing through an area of Ominous Fog.
  • In Fruits Basket, going to visit Hanajima, the members of the Yuki fan club convince themselves that she lives in a spooky house with gravestones in the yard and Grave Clouds.
    • Averted when Tohru and co. go to visit her mother's grave - the weather is bright and sunny.
  • In Full Moon o Sagashite when Mitsuki visits Eichi's grave it's snowing. The snow is especially touching because she lies down in the snow hoping to die in the cold so she can join him.

Comic Books

  • As mentioned in the page quote, the Comedian in Watchmen is buried in a rainy day. The opening shot of the comic's second chapter shows a statue in the graveyard dripping with water, making it look as if it were crying.

Film

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it's snowing as Harry and Hermione return to Godric's Hollow to look at Lily and James' grave.
  • Parodied in Young Frankenstein, while Dr. Frankenstein and Igor are digging up a body. After a most unfortunate comment by Igor ("Could be worse...Could be raining"), it starts to rain.
  • Subverted in the cult classic Harold and Maude. They put the "fun" in "funeral".
  • The graveyard scene in Drag Me to Hell, in which it stormed enough to make every grave a drowning hazard.

Literature

  • Stephen King's Pet Sematary.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld: During a scene in Guards! Guards!, when the Night Watch men buried one of their own, the copper Herbert Gaskin, one of the rapidly shrinking number of policemen in Ankh-Morpork, in the Cemetery of Small Gods, it was a grey, rainy day, with the raindrops drumming on the coffin as it was lowered into the sodden ground. Of course, that was the old Watch, full of washed-out losers... before the coming of Carrot Ironfoundersson. When we see the Cemetery of Small Gods in later novels, it's a peaceful (if somewhat overgrown) place full of blooming lilac where not many people come to visit.
    • Of course, the graveyards in Überwald are almost certainly shrounded in eternal twilight, full of mist and fog clinging to lopsided tombstones and black leafless branches of dead trees, with the lonely cries of ravens echoeing across the landscape. Because Überwald ("the Old Country") suffers from enjoys every minute of Empathic Environment.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40000 novel Storm of Iron, Castellan Vauban is buried on a cloudy day. Leonid explicitly thinks that sun would have been inappropriate.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40000 novel Deus Encarmine, Rafel and the other Blood Angels searching for enemies in a graveyard do so under a gray sky.

Live Action TV

  • An unusual example (kind of) is from the first-season Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode with the Nightmares. As Sunnydale sinks deeper into the waking nightmares of all its inhabitants, the heroes suddenly notice that the graveyard has been moved to opposite the school and is swathed in perpetual night.
  • Subverted (quote fittingly) in Dead Like Me. The times we're actually shown a graveyard, it's always a sunny and nice, peaceful place. Because funerals are really not among the worst things that happen on that series. Once you get to the bit with the graveyard and coffins, the worst has already happened to someone.
  • Averted in Pushing Daisies in that the double-funeral of Ned's mother and Chuck's father is as vibrant and colorful as the rest of the show, with nary a cloud in the sky.
    • Played straight in the end of "Oh Oh Oh... It's Magic", though.
  • Averted in the "heart transplant" episode of Eerie Indiana, where the graveyard was sunny and comforting but apparently stalked by the Grim Reaper.
  • At the funeral at the end of Firefly episode "The Message", it snows. Very appropriate mood, as it was the day the actors had heard the show was canceled.
  • Done a lot in The X-Files, though this is more likely due to the fact that the first five seasons were filmed in Vancouver, which tends to be a bit dark and dreary anyway.
    • During Mulder's funeral, however, in season eight, there are clouds and snow on the ground.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons. Springfield's cemetery is always dark and cloudy. In one episode, the city actually moved the entire cemetery next door to the Simpson residence. The weather around the house immediately changed from normal to gloomy.
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