Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Tale Retold

So many of the travel blogs that I've been reading have people going to Savannah on their way back north and a lot of people have advised them to spend some time at Bonaventure Cemetery, which we agree with 100%.
It also reminded me of one of our trips to Bonaventure a few years ago.

Cathy and I have a hobby called Geo-caching, it involves using a GPS and finding things that have been hidden by other cachers around the world. Sometimes it's little pill bottles and sometimes it's a large ammo container or Tupperware boxes. Some of them contain Travel Bugs, which is an item that you take from one cache and put it in another farther down the road and the owners can track how far it has traveled. Last week in Brunswick Georgia we had picked a Travel Bug that was named Mr. Bones, it was a small skeleton that likes scary places. We had just spent most of the day walking around the Wormsloe Plantation and had just enjoyed a great meal at a little cafe and were heading back to camp when we realized that we were just a few blocks from Bonaventure Cemetery and decided to make a quick stop to drop off Mr. Bones at the “Legend of John Daly Cache".

The legend has it that John Daly passed away on a cold wet autumn day just before Halloween and that he was laid to rest on Halloween Eve, in 1899, right here at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah,

One year after his death, his wife, Hazel, decided to visit his grave on the anniversary of his death. She went there after work, even though it was late and getting dark, she told a neighbor that she would just be there for a minute and would be home in about 30 minutes. The neighbor forgot all about it until the next day when she went to Hazel's house and found the doors open and no one there. The neighbor got her husband and they went to John Daly's grave, where they found some fresh turned dirt, lying on top of the dirt was Hazel's gold wedding ring which she had never taken off since here wedding day.
She was never seen or heard from again.

Fifty years later Hazel's granddaughter, Janet, who had heard tales of her grandmothers disappearance, from her mother, wanted to try and figure out what happened that night so she decided to re-enact what her grandmother had done. She went to her grandmother's old house on Halloween Eve, and walked the same streets to the cemetery. When she didn't return home by 8 o'clock that night her husband called the police and told them the entire story. The police and her husband drove over to the cemetery and walked up to John Daly's grave where they found some freshly turned dirt, and lying right on top of it was a gold bracelet that had belonged to her grandmother Hazel, and Janet had worn everyday since her mother, Hazel's daughter, gave it to her, thirty years earlier.
Janet was never seen or heard from again.

Some storm clouds have moved in while we were eating dinner, it's starting to get dark and the wind is really picking up and blowing in off the river. You can just feel the rain in the air and we can tell that a big storm is moving in. Suddenly there's a blinding flash of lightning and a crash of thunder, Cathy decides that she's heading back to the car and if I'm crazy enough to get caught in the storm I can do it by myself. So I start moving pretty fast, after placing Mr. Bones in the cache container, which was hidden right behind the headstone, in a small flower vase, I stood up and was heading back to the car when I noticed some fresh turned dirt on the grave, a closer look and I saw that right there on top of the dirt was my gold watch………………… and I was never seen or heard from again.

So enjoy your visit to Bonaventure Cemetery, just try to stay clear of John Daly's Grave.
Also don't forget that it's April 1st.

Now another tale about Bonaventure, but this one is true, I swear it is, you just can't make things like this up and you can even ask Cathy about it.
We arrived right after lunch and had a list of different graves that we wanted to visit, we got a map from the office and started walking, it was spring, the azaleas were in full bloom and with all the beautiful headstones it was a perfect day. After about an hour we were pretty much lost in the middle of the cemetery when we heard a very soft raspy voice that sounded like someone singing out of key, but it was to soft to make out any words. It sounded like it was coming from the cross trail about 50 feet ahead of us, but the azaleas blocked our view. By the time we got up where we could see the voice had faded away and there was nobody there. We checked the map and headed over a few rows to another grave on our list, when we get about one row away we started to hear the soft voice again from the next row. We both stopped and looked at each other to make sure that we were both hearing it again, this time we walked a little faster to get to where we could see around the azaleas, but once again as we got close the voice faded and when we looked down the row there was no one there.
This happened three more times while were walking around, the last time I ran to the opening to try and find the source but as before by the time I got there the voice had faded and was gone. OK, now we both decided that the rest of the graves could wait for another day and it was time for us to get the hell out of here and fast. As we were heading back to the parking lot we heard the voice twice more but this time instead of being in front of us it was behind us, like we were being followed, we were both surprised at how fast we could move when we really wanted to.

We got back to the parking lot and into the safety of the car and heaved a sign of relief. As we were driving down the road towards the gate we again heard the voice, but now it was getting louder, we sat and waited as it was getting closer and closer, suddenly around the corner came the cemetery Security Officer, riding his bike and singing along to the I-pod music that was being pumped into his earphones.
I'm glad that we managed to solve this mystery, because CATHY was really starting to worry!


Margie and Roger said...

You are a great story-teller!

PalmsRV said...

Cathy sez that it comes from writing arrest reports as a Detroit Cop for 25 years.