Friday, October 19, 2012

Do you talk to the Dead?? and Smithsonian Vampires~~~

Hello again Darklings,

I’m finally catching up on things, so much at work to clear away, but finally done.

Doyle and I had so much fun this last weekend, not only were they offering a “Ghost Walk” but there was also a Harvest Fair Festival going on as well, with a unique way of “kicking it off” by dropping pumpkins from the top of the Ghost Towns’ Tallest Building.

The “Ghost Walk” was a perfect precursor to the next event in two weeks, a Paranormal Ghost Hunting convention at Columbia State Park, just perfect timing and Doyle has already made arrangements for us to attend---I am so looking forward to it.

The “Ghost Walk’ was very entertaining, the “actor’s” put a lot of thought into the various stories of the different residents in the Cemetery, but it helps to have good walking shoes and to dress warmly, although the day was mild, the nights do get very coolish.

The Harvest Festival was complete fun, food, and frolic, there were several items I simply could not resist, as well as a painting that I though would be perfect for the entrance Hall in my home. And if you are Elder Goth “lite” it is a perfect event to attend to find all those little things that can “tweak” your little gothic castle.

What I liked is for a period of time you felt that you are taken back in time, I felt that I would have been very comfortable wearing Victorian clothing---although tight corseting would have not been on my list of things to wear, but there was something about the atmosphere of the area that felt so relaxing. I’m going to have to plan to come here from time to time just to get away from the business of the City, sort of a mental retreat, although it is about 2 ½ hours from the Bay Area, but still such a wonderful cool Fall feeling.

Doyle said we should plan to come here again next year, I hope so, other wise I’ll come by myself. It seems that starting in September kicks off all these wonderful Harvest/Halloween/Holiday treats, and I certain enjoy them with relish. I am reminded of some things that I use to do with my family, which I’ll talk about at a later time.

There are places to stay both in Columbia and within a short walking distance from the State Park as well as lovely places to stay in Jamestown and Sonora especially along Highway 108 the gateway to Yosemite; I’ve saved the listings for the next event for future reference. Not all take pets, so that will be a serious consideration.

I enjoy going to cemeteries and columbarium’s, the older the better, they have so much to “say”, yes Darklings, “to say.”

When Doyle and I were on our Ghost Walk at Columbia State Park, we enjoyed all the stories and “thrills” that were delivered by those hard working docents dressed up as the spirits of those deceased persons.

But the next day that we were going to leave, we stopped again at the Cemetery in Columbia and walked in the daylight among the graves to see them a little better.

There was one that arrested me, it gave the name and date of a man who died, at a relatively young age, but the cause of his death was simple and blunt, his epitaph read “Fell Down A Mine Shaft”, this caused us to stop and surmise and “talk” to the dead.

How and why, Dear Sir, did it come to be that you fell down a mine shaft?

An accident? Foolishness? Being unaware? Unsafe conditions? Did someone push you?

It seems that in our “talking” to him we attracted 2 other couples and they joined in on the “conversation” and for nearly an hour we spent time with this unfortunate person in “discussing” the predicament that led to his untimely end.

Granted the person in question was not with us in real time, his bones were interred 6 feet under us, but for some reason we felt that his spirit enjoyed our visit with him.

Which led our conversation as to what we would want on our tombstones, usually it was something benign “beloved something or other” or in the case of one of the gentlemen who said “Gone Fishing”.

Doyle asked me what I wanted on mine and I said “I’ll-Be-Back” Doyle thought this over for a few seconds and replied “Darling, you are one sick puppy.” I smiled in reply.

Indeed there are tombstones with unusual comments; two of the most famous is “I told ya I was sick” which does indeed exist and this other one “Here lies Lester Moore, 4 shots from a 44, no less, no more” Lester Moore was a Wells Fargo agent who was killed during a robbery, and some wag decided to emblaze how Mr. Moore died.

Doyle thought that perhaps as part of our travels we should take in historical cemeteries, which I could only agree, the Columbarium in San Francisco is one that I’d like to visit again and in Oakland the Chapel of the Chimes, Mountain View Cemetery, and St. Mary’s, they go back to when the city was founded, which should make for interesting “reading”.

So Darklings, when you go to a cemetery go “armed” with information as to all the meanings behind the symbols on those monuments, even the littlest engraved thing can speak a volume of meanings, sometimes if the grave has a metal fencing around it the designs on the fencing also has meaning.

There is a gravesite society called The Graveyard Rabbit

If you are interested in the symbolism on Gravestones these are a few web sites to check out:

Of course if you either Google or Bing in the word Taphophile you will come across a number of websites that will give you information on grave symbols.

Now most symbols apply mostly to American or English Grave sites, but one can find much of the same thing for any European Cemetery, although there will be variances for each local culture, which if you become a Cemetery/Graveyard enthusiast you can add to your personal encyclopedia of gravesite symbols, who knows it may make you a Taphophile.

Frankly I think being a Taphophile is a wonderful hobby for an Elder/Elderly Goth or even just perfect for the Darkly inclined.

From there comes understanding burial customs, funerals styles, how to mourn, the history and symbolism of mourning which is a little different from Cemetery symbols.

If you go back on my blog to “My First funeral” Mar. 31, 2010 you will come across how a funeral was held in the 1950’s.

But there were things done that I didn’t mention in that post. Which I will do in another post.

Now about Smithsonian Vampires~~~

Darklings if you can get a copy of the October 2012 issue of Smithsonian magazine, they have a whole article about American vampires---yes Darklings, American vampires---it all started in 1990 in Griswold, Connecticut when some children playing near a hillside gravel mine found some graves and the story takes off from there.

I’m not going to spoil the information in the story so I suggest Darklings that you buy this copy of Smithsonian and add it to your collection of dark things, I know I am.

In the mean time I’m going to ask Doyle why he was trying to pulverize with a hammer, a couple of very old broken red bricks that he got from a demolition site the other evening. As a matter of fact he has about a half dozen of these old bricks pieces that were not salvaged for re-use and were tossed aside and is keeping them in an old bucket; knowing Doyle he has a perfectly good reason that is not readily apparent. But I’ll give him time, eventually he’ll tell me, no matter how strange his reasoning is.

Later Darklings

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