Monday, October 26, 2009

Ghost Tales

For years I've always wanted to go on a ghost tour. Preferably in Savannah, New Orleans, Charleston or any of the various old cities known for "haunting." The time I visited Savannah it was only for a day and I haven't managed to make it back or to any of the other prime candidates. Last week in our local paper was an article on several local ghost tours in honor of Halloween.
On Friday night Cat & I decided to head out to one after she got off work at her weekend job at a new age bookstore. She neglected to tell me that for work she'd been dressed for Halloween...
The result was I probably brought the scariest thing to the nights event.
We arrive and I drive down the long, dark one lane road through the property. I roll down my window when I reach a man wearing a reflective vest who simply tells me to, "keep going and stay right." Okay. I make a hairpin turn on the dirt road and come to a field. I ask the person at the gate where to park. "Anywhere not to close to the road."
We manage to find our way helped along by a scarecrow with an outstretched arm. We both stared for a minute making sure this thing wasn't a real person. A group of people passed us in the opposite direction- girls clinging to one an other's arms.
After paying our entrance fee we waited on a platform for the next hayride to begin. A young boy pointed at Cat and yelled, "Vampire" and walked quickly in the other direction. I laughed and she punched me in the arm.
I followed two people loading onto the hayride, however before we started they got up and moved down the back of the trailer then the guide came along and made us all move down- so I was stuck next to the butt of the tractor and could barely the hear the guide at the back of the trailer. Off we go through the wooded trails of the property while she told us a bit of the history of the house and gentleman who lived there had been hung by Union Soldiers in the Civil War for the being a spy. During their Civil War reenactments the actors have reported seeing soldiers whose outfits are just a little different than their own- men they don't recognize whom disappear before their eyes. One tale of men yelling for another man to join the festivities in their camp only to be ignored and one man decided to go invite the gentleman personally only to have him evaporate before his eyes.
All tales are supposedly true stories of occurrences that happened to either employees, volunteers or tourists.
Then we arrived at the main house and were greeted by a lady in Victorian era dress who led us to the porch. I loved the color of her skirt- which I didn't notice until lit up by the flash from my camera.

After her story relating that unexplained noises of thumping coming from the cellar underneath that porch and the main entry. she posted a question if it was possibly ghosts of former slaves that worked on the property. A woman behind us said she was already terrified and wondered if she should turn around. Cat & I glanced at each other and she rolled her eyes.

Once inside the foyer of the home built in 1820 it was set up basically the way it would have been when the family was in mourning during that time. The gentleman in period costume on the front staircase told us stories of the sobbing that can be heard from the formal parlor- however the parlor would be empty and quiet whenever staff would investigate.

The formal parlor was setup as it would have been when a body lie in state. I managed to snap off a photo before being informed flash photography inside was not allowed. Then we shuffled room-to-room to listen to stories of "true" encounters. In which lots of them were of hearing footsteps. You'll have to do better than thinking you hear footsteps in a house this age to convince me. There were stories of voices, doors locking, unlocking and being held shut all by themselves. And the woman in the green dress being seen. And an unknown visitor to the grave photographed above. A man dressed in civil war regalia is seen standing in front of it...then he's gone...

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