Mom who went viral exploring a cemetery for baby name inspo explains why she did it

A North Carolina mother went viral this week after she shared her unique quest for a baby name at a cemetery.

Getting named after a gravestone is not unorthodox in Haley Hodge's family. Inspired by a name they noticed at a funeral, her parents named her younger sister Cooper.

"They were at the burial site, and they noticed her name," Hodge, a physical therapist and content creator, told USA Today on Friday.

During her childhood, Hodge's mother would take the kids to the graveyard on family trips to teach them history.

"My mom found that we were more interested in spooky stories and ghost stories rather than the historical tours," she said. "I've always been fond of walking through the cemeteries and looking at how they're decorated or their stories behind some of the people."

Years later, the pregnant mother of three children− ages 1, 3, and 10 −wanted to continue the tradition.

"I just ended up seeing the beauty of the stories behind some of these gravestones and the people instead of just deaths associated with it."

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Hodge's video has been viewed millions of times

Last weekend, Hodge and her family were on a family outing in Southport, a maritime town, when they came across Old Smithville Burying Ground and decided to look at potential names for her baby girl.

She decided to share her experience on her TikTok, @hodgehouse, garnering nearly 3 million views.

"I was pretty shocked," she said. "I knew it was going to have some different opinions with it because it is weird and it's a bit unique for sure."

In the video, Hodge and crew walk around the area pointing out several names on gravestones including Julia, Bunny and Ella. Her favorites, she tells USA Today, are Galloway and Salem.

A lot of people in the comments agreed.

"Galloway is very unique," one person commented.

"I thought so too! I know it was the person's last name but could be really pretty as a first or middle too," she replied.

However, Hodge and her husband have not made a final decision yet.

"We found so many cool unique names, we may end up going to more cemeteries or just exploring different ways," Hodge said, acknowledging that her process may be unconventional.

She continued, "I know there's baby books, but I feel like I see a lot of repeated names over and over again. And it's fun to have a story behind finding a name. So, we may still be on the search a little bit more. But right now, I really liked the name Salem."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: North Carolina mother takes trip to cemetery for baby name inspiration