E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
North Side of a Churchyard.
The poor have a great objection to be buried on the north side of a churchyard. They seem to think only evil-doers should be there interred. Probably the chief reason is the want of sun. On the north side of Glasgow cathedral is shown the hangmans burial place.
There is, however, an ecclesiastical reason:The east is Gods side, where His throne is set; the west, mans side, the Galilee of the Gentiles; the south, the side of the spirits made just and angels, where the sun shines in his strength; the north, the devils side, where Satan and his legion lurk to catch the unwary. Some churches have still a devils door in the north wall, which is opened at baptisms and communions to let the devil out.
As men die, so shall they arise, if in faith in the Lord, towards the south . . and shall arise in glory; if in unbelief towards the north, then are they past all hope.Coverdale: Praying for the Dead.