Wednesday, October 31, 2012

IGWRT's - Hallow's Edge "432 Calhoun Street, & Friday Flash 55

432 Calhoun, Savannah, GA:  Creepy even during the daylight
432 Calhoun Street

Built upon its dead
is Savannah's prestigious
Calhoun Square,

where, four feet below,
1,000 slave bodies overlap.

432 Calhoun,
built in 1868, a little girl sat
behind windowpane,

tied, punished for playing
with Maussie's "lower-class".

General Wilson, unforgiving,
for days remained angry;
100 degrees, she died.

Her wishes for freedom, heard,
understood by those below.

by Margaret Bednar, 10-31-2012

During a Ghost Walk at Night
This is a retelling of a horrible story that was told to me while I was on a ghost walk in Savannah, GA.  Seriously, I go to these for "fun", but 432 Calhoun Street.... well, I have never been able to forget it.

Savannah had a number of epidemics, and they would put the dead from these and dead slaves on the outskirts of town in mass burials.  The slaves in Calhoun Square are not necessarily under this house, but in the square... probably under the whole area.

Maussie (or Massey? - I've seen both spellings) was a public school built in 1856.  It is open today as a museum for local history and architecture.

What I like about the first video is you get a glimpse of the square (the green park) across the road where the school children would play.  Forward to the end of the video bar if you are interested in that.  The second video is much shorter and does an OK job showcasing the exterior of the mansion.

(neither video was shot by me or anyone I know).

This is linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads "Hallow's Edge" AND will be linked with Friday Flash 55 (after 8pm Thursday).  My story is 55 words if you conisider the hyphenated word to be one, not two words :)

HERE is another link to some photos and interesting information about the house.

The very window behind which the little girl died.
432 Calhoun Street -  a bit of the square is visible where the children played.
Do you see a man's face and torso below in the window on the right? (Benjamin Wilson was a General in the Civil War) & perhaps a golden image of a little girl partially turned towards him in the left window (the girls is a stretch of the imagination, for sure)?

I can imagine he stood there, telling his daughter how she should not play with the school children in the square's park as she was from a superior white family...  and then left her to the heat of the Savannah sun beating through the windowpane and a horrible death as she watched her friends playing across the street.  This photo of mine always creeps me out....  Of course, I'm sure it is a reflection... ?  I was also told he hung himself on the floor above when he found out she died.  (His wife had died years earlier from Yellow Fever)

All photos in this post are mine


Daydreamertoo said...

What an awful story. How sad to be so pompous and a cut above, that your child dies as a result of snobbery.
How sad for all those slaves to have died.
Yikes, what a tale. Yes, I actually 'see' two male faces One on the left in the first pane under the halfway join and another male a little lower on the right behind the cross part of the frame, and another full length male bellow that, kind of in Gray.
Gripping read Margaret. Great pics too.

Margaret said...

I see a face on the building itself, between the windows now too! Most people who see something or record something, capture a little girl in a chair. But I imagine it is the father who's spirit who is far more at unrest...

This house has been labeled one of the scariest in the state, if not the country.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

I recently took a ghost walk in Williamsburg - for fun too! I see a long figure in the bottom right window!

jabblog said...

What a tragic tale. Even without the little girl's dreadful fate the house might have been haunted by the much maligned slaves.

Margaret said...

Many places in Savannah I felt the past very acutely. Even during the day. Of course, it is preserved fairly well, as is Charleston SC. So it isn't hard to imagine things

Kerry O'Connor said...

That is a very sad story, and if anyone deserves to be haunted it is one who causes the death of a child.

Jinksy said...

Yep, that's surely two ghosts in them thar windows! Eek!

Laurie Kolp said...

Gives me chills! Such a haunting story, so sad that things were that way. I do see the girl and man in the window!

Green Speck said...

These frighten me at times !!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a fantastically spooky tale, and so sad. What a horrible father. I DEFINITELY see that little girl in the window. All of your photos are remarkable, and very spooky. What an offering for Oct 31st! And to think of a building being built over a mass grave of four hundred slaves. Thanks for this historically interesting tale.

hedgewitch said...

The house seems really dreary and cold, even though it is in such a warm location--and I see a man behind one window--if it wasn't deliberately put there for the poem?--very clearly Margaret. Truly a horrific story that ought to have a ghost or two, though I would think the slaves below would be the ones to walk.

Susie Clevenger said...

How tragic...There must be such pain haunting the rooms of that place. Love the photos and videos. I am hoping someday to make a trip to see the antebellum mansions in the south.

Ella said...

I see the man, I do!
How terrible n' sad~ The house exudes freaky...
And the idea of a grave below the building....whoa!
What a scary place....I can see why you feel the way you do! Thank you for sharing... Well Done!

Kay L. Davies said...

I see the man's head and torso on the left (you might want to change that) and the little girl on the right. And you took this photo yourself?
It's a terrible story. I know there are still people who believe their children shouldn't play with "the lower classes" — especially those with darker skin. Those of us who remember the 60s shudder to think some people still discriminate.

Helen said...

Oh, Margaret ... you have given all of us a good old Halloween scare! I've also walked on this Savannah street ...

Teresa said...

What a tragic tale, but your pictures are wonderful. I've never gone on a ghost walk, but it sounds quite scary.

I do agree those hyphenated words are problematic. :-)

Heaven said...

Thanks for the pictures and story...its frightening and sad to read at the same time ~

I sometimes cheat too with my 55 word offering ~

See you later ~

Carrie Burtt said...

You have given me goosebumps!! An awesome write and post for the prompt Margaret! :-)

Fireblossom said...

Wow! great photographs, chilling story, and maybe even ghosts in the windows!

Brian Miller said...

dang...nice margaret....nice bit of history, well maybe nice is not the right word....spun well though...ugh....nice pics college i lived at 514 calhoun....but that was in va

G-Man said...

Margaret Bednar...
I just LOVE ghost walks.
I've been on them in St. Augustine, New Orleans, and Gettysburg, and Roanoke, I'll have to check this one out...
Your pics are always FAB!
Loved your spooky/historical 55
Thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Anonymous said...

Love Savannah!

Your images plus your composition equal genteel macabre.

Other Mary said...

Yes, I see him too. What a terrible story. I think it will haunt me for awhile.

izzy said...

Love the gold window picture! great sad house that- we never did tours when we were down there; really lovely, old history though!

Ginnie said...

Oh me, oh my. As I frequently say, truth is often stranger than fiction!

Shakira Choong said...

People can be so CRUEL, worst than animals. I have heard too many and never immune to it. Great 55! Thank you so much for sharing. Mine is here