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Living in a cemetery in Queens with the dead as neighbors

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Bob and Ellen Moschetto live in a gated community in Maspeth, Queens, with more than 70,000 dead people.

"There's people that come here and knock on the door and say: 'Oh, I haven't been here in 30 years,''' Bob said. "And I say: 'Well, you should visit more often.'"

If a century-old house sitting on a hill overlooking Manhattan where the landlord charges no rent and calls the metalwork on the roof "the Devil's teeth" doesn't seem a little suspicious, its location probably should.

"There are many cemeteries in Queens," Bob said. "This is one of the best."

Bob and Ellen live in a cemetery, permanently and year-round, and have done so for -- yes, you guessed it -- a lucky 13 years (no, they are neither superstitious nor easily frightened).

"I [once] had a raccoon trying to come in the window," Ellen said, "and I thought it was the wolf man trying to get the screen off and come in."

When you live in a graveyard, evening strolls through the neighborhood, hopefully, require very little talking to the neighbors.

Other tenants (again, hopefully) sleep through any racket you might make. And you have a yard that's always flawless.

"It's very quiet," Bob said. "Serene."

"No one here comes knocking on the door to borrow anything," Ellen said.

They are live-in residents whose job it is to open and close the gates, patrol the grounds and keep out trespassers.

Bob and Ellen learned of this unique arrangement through an ad in the paper. They applied and, like much of what lies six feet beneath the property, the rest is history.

"We had barbecues where one of our relatives had to take pictures to bring back to work to prove she went to a cemetery for a barbecue," Ellen said.

Family and friends have since adjusted to Bob and Ellen's address, but have no interest in moving to the neighborhood any time soon.

"It's a gated community," Ellen said. "Very exclusive."

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