It's that time of year and with social distancing and everyone a bit slowed down from the usual hectic rushing around and partying, it might be a good year to enjoy the full moon (a blue moon) and a Saturday night and take out to explore into the twilight and nighttime.
There is a fine line between admiration and morbid curiosity. Cemeteries are memorials, so I always advise you follow the signs and please bring a trash bag to pick up trash and maybe some flowers to leave on long-unattended graves of those who died very long ago.
That being said, there is something about these quiet locations that at sunset turns them into something exquisitely beautiful and also rather bone-chilling. If you are a photographer, an old rural cemetery is a great location to watch the sunset and take some amazing photos utilizing the shadows and the headstones, fall trees with bright leaves, even old flowers left on graves that withered.
Look up the more picturesque older cemeteries that you might want to visit and jump on Google Earth and get a good look or check out google images of photos people have taken there. It can save you a lot of time in deciding if it's worth photographing.
City cemeteries are usually well attended and they kick you out as the sun is setting, so consider that too. Respectful visiting is a great exercise for you own thought process and there is something quite thankful about whispering the names on the headstones, names that may not have been said outloud in a long time.
I have found a quiet appreciation for abandoned sites. There is something about them being well loved and then abandoned that tugs at my heart strings. I wonder about the people who lived and worked in them, why they left, what will happen to the neglected edifice. Many times, I am one of the last people to photograph it before it's taken down.
I advise caution and adhering to "no trespassing" signs. There are often times creatures, asbestos, and even people dwelling inside these buildings. Be sure you tetanus is updated, you aren't alone, and bring a mask.
Other than that, the photographing of abandoned buildings is one of my favorite passtimes!
Try not to use a flash, let the natural lighting create the mystery and take advantage of broken windows and doorways to do shots from inside out like a picture frame.
The best time to shoot is early morning of late late afternoon at almost sunset because shadows get longer and it casts amazing shots.
A forest in autumn time can be quite chilling as it gets dark inside, the leaves shimmer around you, and the ground goes crunch under your steps.
Take special advantage of shots up through trees and even get a selfie lying down in the leaves. Don't forget the mushrooms, wet rocks, dark corners, and twisted limbs.
While you're there, pick up some acorns, leaves, twigs, and think about making a beautiful autumn arrangement for Thanksgiving.
No matter where you wander in the Halloween season to find mood and atmosphere, don't forget a candlelit evening with some spooky movies or a backyard fire with scary storytelling work equally well.
Stay safe. But stay a little unsettled.