Mom and dad take a vacation usually every year in historic Savannah, Georgia, I thought today I would focus on a wonderful cemetery in Savannah. Mom/dad have been here often and walked among the graves and tombstones… and perhaps some living and unliving. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
The cemetery I’m focusing on today is the Colonial Park Cemetery. It was established in 1750 and has been restored. It is located at the corner of Abercorn and Oglethorpe Streets in Savannah, Georgia. What an amazing archway they have to enter into the cemetery. This cemetery is amazing – so mom/dad says – snorts. I wouldn’t know first hoove but mom/dad did give me a lot of information by phone last night.
There are over 10,000 people buried here; however, there are only around 1,000 grave markers. Many people were buried in mass graves, others have had their grave markers knocked over and/or destroyed. The cemetery was actually closed for new burials before the Civil War and there are no confederate soldiers buried; however, the war did leave a mark. Federal troops took over the cemetery grounds during their occupation in Savannah. Many of the graves were looted and desecrated. It’s said that a lot of the union soldiers changed the dates on many of the headstones. Some dates look like the persons died before they were even born! Can you imagine with a lot of this information why some people are not having their final rest in peace? I’m sure some are still looking for their grave markers wanting to be remembered. Others are perhaps upset over the desecration of their headstones. It makes you wonder really who is walking beside you that you can’t see while you are visiting.
This cemetery closes at dark and there’s a good reason. Savannah has many Voodoo practitioners still living in and around the area. Before the cemetery started closing at night, it wasn’t uncommon for early morning visitors to find remnants of Voodoo rituals from the night before. Sometimes the soil from the graves was used in rituals and sometimes graves were raided in order to obtain human bones.
And, we can’t forget the story of Rene Asche Rondolier. He’s one of the most famous ghosts of Colonial Park Cemetery. Rondolier was a disfigured orphan who was said to call Colonial Park Cemetery his home in the early 1800’s. He was accused of murdering two young girls and their bodies were found in the cemetery. Rondolier was dragged to a nearby swamp, lynched and left for dead. More dead bodies turned up in the cemetery in the days that followed. The people in the town were convinced it was Rondolier’s ghost. Some even say that the cemetery is Rondolier’s playground.
Shivers! If that’s not enough to make you jump at things that go bump in the night! I’ll leave this cemetery for mom/dad to explore.
Oh, and before I go. I want to share something I found on YouTube on the Colonial Park Cemetery. A family was actually on vacation and caught something on camera. Their video made it on the news and is kind of intriguing. Here is the news clip from what they caught. Do you believe? What do you think now?
Today, I’m focusing on the Winchester Mystery House. Have you heard about this mansion that is located in San Jose, California? Have you been there? It’s claimed that some people are there and they have never left. The Winchester Mystery House is just that – a mystery. It was the residence of Sarah Winchester.
In 1862, she married William Winchester – who came from the family that created the famous Winchester guns. Everything seemed like it was grand and wonderful …for a while.
In 1866, the Winchester’s infant daughter, Annie, passed away from a childhood disease called marasmus. (Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition and causes a child to look emaciated.) Losing her child caused Mrs. Winchester to fall into a deep depression.
In 1881, Mrs. Winchester’s husband, William, passed away from tuberculosis. Can you imagine watching two of your very close loved ones pass away so early in life? Mrs. Winchester was beside herself and sought help from a spiritualist. Through consulting with the spiritualist, Mrs. Winchester believed her family and her fortune were haunted by the ghosts of the people who had fallen victim to the family Winchester rifles. She was advised that the only way she could appease the ghosts was to move west and build them a house. Not just a house but to continuous build them a house.
In 1884, Mrs. Winchester moved west to San Jose, California and bought an unfinished farmhouse . Work began immediately. Mrs. Winchester would hold nightly seances to speak with the spirits to help guide her in how the house would be worked on the following date. In the morning, she would meet with her construction workers and give them the plans. Did the plans make sense? You decide.
There are roughly 160 rooms, including 40 bedrooms;
2 ballrooms (one completed and one unfinished);
Over 10,000 panes of glass;
17 chimneys (with evidence of two others);
2 basements with three elevators.
It has gold and silver chandeliers and hand-inlaid parquet floors and trim;
There are doors and stairways that lead nowhere and a vast array of colors and materials.
The home’s conveniences were rare at the time of its construction. These included steam and forced-air heating, modern indoor toilets and plumbing, push-button gas lights and Mrs. Winchester’s personal (and only) hot shower from indoor plumbing.
The number 13 is repeated frequently in the home – whether in stairs, candles, wall hooks, stained glass windows or even 13 holes in the drain covers. Also every Friday the 13th, the large bell on the property is rung 13 times at 1300 hours in tribute to Winchester. Mrs. Winchester even signed her will 13 times leaving everything to a niece and personal secretary.
Construction continued every day around the clock until Mrs. Winchester died on September 5, 1922. Upon her death, all hammering ceased. When they looked in Mrs. Winchester’s safe they found the things that meant the most to her. Not money. Not diamonds. Not riches. It was two pieces of hair – one from her husband and one from her daughter.
And until this day, it is said that you can still hear the construction work taking place, that you can see the workers inside and outside of the home. And, people still say that Mrs. Winchester herself is still in the home.
Welcome my friends to SPOTLIGHT THURSDAY. This is the time that I will introduce you to one of my fellow anipals so you can get to know them better. Some of them, you may already know. We hope that you enjoy this series!
Age: I have been here, in my forever home, two years. A doctor said that I was about three when I came here, so I am about 4-5 years, maybe younger.
What were your first thoughts when you met your new parents? I walked to their garden, the woman was sitting on the steps and she said to me: Hello, who are you? I just walked to her lap and she was very kind to me and brought me food, a lots of food. I just wanted to stay here. ( The photo were I am standing out is just that moment.)
What was the defining moment when you knew you were in your forever home? They asked me to come in, because it started to rain. In ten minutes they arranged for me a food bowl, a soft bed and a litter box. I ate and went to sleep on the sofa and the man came to sit near me. I just went as near as possible and he talked to me with a soft voice. Then I knew, this is my home.
What has been your biggest “Oh no, now I’ve done it” moment so far in your home? It happened about week ago. I just ran away from Dads hands. I don´t understand why I did it. Mom walked the whole day around the garden calling me. I showed her my face and again I disappeared. It took 6 hours, then Mom just opened the door and I walked in. I was so ashamed that I was the whole evening in a corner under a table.
Who do you have wrapped around your paws more – mom or dad – and why? I was sure at the beginning that it is Mom, but no. It was Dad, I just started to help him in taking care of the house and so he started to pay me salary, treats. I really have a good salary. And he every day brushes me, so I am always like gentlemancat.
What’s the biggest misconception that humans think about you? This one is difficult, I can´t answer.
Hope you enjoyed meeting my friend – check back next week for another Spotlight edition!