Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A local ghost story for Halloween

Whether you're among the 34 percent of us who believe in ghosts, I hope you find local ghost stories as interesting as I do.

For one opportunity, you can visit Historic Rosedale, a plantation home just north of uptown on North Tryon Street, tonight - they're conducting ghost tours at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. (click here for details). Many say its basement is haunted by a former slave named Cherry who cared for children there; other presences have been felt in the home's upper floors and on its grounds.

Meantime, I'll share this ghost story from The Duke Mansion, a historic inn and meeting spot at 400 Hermitage Road in Myers Park, which they sent out in one of their e-newsletters:

"Some time ago, a journalist was invited to write about guests attending a dinner party at White Oaks (former name of Duke Mansion). At the party she met a man. In fact, as the story goes, ...he was the most handsome man I had ever seen...dark curly hair with a distinguished hint of gray, expressive blue-green eyes and a dazzling smile.

"The two hit it off, not just that evening but at many other White Oaks parties at which they met throughout the summer. The only thing that precluded a relationship beyond all those parties was the fact that he had a wife who was in a sanatorium.

"After some time, the journalist realized that the relationship would never work. At an August evening party she told him that they could no longer see each other. He agreed, but insisted that they meet near one of the fountains in the White Oaks gardens at midnight, one year from that August evening and every year thereafter. He made her promise to meet him, dead or alive.

"And so, the story goes, they did meet, every year, until one year when the journalist had become engaged. She decided she would go one more time to tell the handsome man of her impending nuptials. She did not want to attend this rendezvous alone, given the news she needed to deliver, so she took a girlfriend with her.

"They arrived at the fountain shortly before midnight. She saw the handsome man walking toward her from a distance. As he got closer, she realized he was dressed in formal evening attire. Just as he seemed about to walk past her, she extended her arms as if to embrace him. He then proceeded to walk right through her arms, whispering the words, 'Dead or alive!' She and her girlfriend, who had watched the scene from afar, hurried home.

"The next day she called someone in his family on some other pretext. Eventually the conversation turned to him. She was informed that he had died three days earlier. His last words were, 'Dead or alive - will I get there?' And so goes the ghost story of White Oaks."

The story is told in the book "Haunted Houses - Tales from 30 American Homes," by Nancy Roberts, published by The Globe Pequot Press.

Happy Halloween!


Blogger Jerry said...

Thank you for sharing the story and the information on Rosedale! I'm a history buff, but for some reason hadn't heard of Rosedale before now. Being originally from Louisiana, I miss being able to drive down River Road and see all of the plantation homes along the Mississippi, so it's interesting to know that there's a plantation so close right here in Charlotte!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm..Who's up to meet at the fountain tonite.....? You can come Dead or Alive.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont watch this alone

Scary Video

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heres a Ghost story for all of you' I was in Charleston next to the VENUE in an old cotton warehouse converted into a 'five star hotel'. The VENUE in is one of the most huanted ghost spottings in Charleston; After my wife and I got into a terrific aurgument I got into my car and was speeding down a main street at over a hundred miles an hour mad as hell; When I got back to the hotel my wife and I went to sleep and that night a pale lady in an antebellum dress showed up at 2 am in the morning next to my bed; She looked that of JODY FOSTER with bright blue eyes; I tried to shake my wife and it was if my wife was dead and couldnt wake up. I later went downstairs and asked the servants if they had ever seen anything strange in that HOTEl and they said "YES" a whole lot of things. Charleston is the U.S. hot zone for GHOSTS.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In CHARLESTON many Ghosts have been spotted all over in just about every hotel in the Historic area. At the same Hotel I was in next to the VENUE on VENUE street near the swings and overlooking the bay of Charleston; A lady who was nice looking in a short floral dress greeted me while I was entering my threshold doorway . I told her how beautiful of a job they did restoring the cotton warehouse and she agreed smiled and went into her room. Later that day I mentioned to the Hotel manager about how the lady next door to me and I were talking about how beautiful the rooms were in French decor' and she said,"Mr. Lea there is no one on your third floor but you and your wife". I tld her, " there must some sort of mistake" and she said " I checked the roster because they had People coming in that night and seen to it the rooms were clean". To say the least I was shocked.

8:19 AM  

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