For most people, the words cemetery and graveyard are used interchangeably because they are both burial grounds. For those of us who enjoy walking amongst the dead, there are differences, and I've listed them below.
• Anyone can be buried in a public cemetery
• Cemeteries are constructed for the sake of burring the dead, which means the plots of land are usually larger than a graveyard.
• Headstone requirements are generally less strict than a graveyard's.
• A burial ground within a churchyard or somewhere on the church's property.
• The graveyard can only be as big as the designated spot on the church's property, so they are generally smaller than a cemetery.
• The church determines who can be buried on the property.
• Most, if not all, of those buried in graveyards are members of the religion, and some churches only allow church members.
There isn't much to it, but it's good to know, especially if your writing involves going to a cemetery or graveyard.
I listened to a YouTube video by Dead Air Paranormal, interviewing Amy Allan from The Dead Files (link below). She was asked why most entities are from the 19th century, and not more recent. Her replay was because religion was so prolific, it dominated people's lives, was strictly enforced, and whole-heartedly believed. If someone did something that would be questionable, they would be in so much fear of being judged, they would rather stay here than move on.
If people had stronger religious beliefs and were afraid to be judged, which group of the dead are more likely to stay in this dimension due to fear of being judged? Would the devout congregation, buried in the graveyard, be more fearful than the outsider who was never accepted by the church?
What type of burial grounds are more haunted; cemeteries or graveyards?
That is something I may have to investigate myself, which makes me very very happy.
What do you think?
Resources and links:
Dead Air Paranormal Interview with Amy Allan (30 min mark for comment talked about above).