Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Haunted Vacations and Kissing Ghosts

Last week, I happened to be in a part of Georgia in which I’d never laid foot before, the islands off the coast, specifically Sea Island. And it was lovely. Very, very lovely.

The girls had five full days to occupy ourselves while our gentlemen swung clubs. Golfing makes them extremely satisfied and it’s always helpful to have a very happy husband (sort of sounds like one of those lame fortune cookie sayings!). And we are experts at finding things to do and messing around which makes us, girls, even happier!

Sea Island is connected by a bridge to neighboring St. Simons Island. Both are quiet and laid back in a secret sort of way. The knotty trees are dripping with Spanish moss just as the locals are dripping with manners and hospitality.


While renting bikes, we became acquainted with Eric at Monkey Wrench, one of the local places for beach cruisers. He was the first one to speak of them, “St. Simons has ghosts."

Ghosts!

And haunted lighthouses!

And Tree Spirits!

Oh, my!

He didn’t say it like, “Folklore has it the light house is haunted.” He said matter-of-fact, “We have ghosts. Our lighthouse is haunted.”


That grabbed my attention faster than dangling a sweet Georgia fried shrimp in front of my face because guess what? I believe in that shit!

Our excitement built as Eric fit our bikes, shoved us maps and sent us on our way wishing good luck!

This had all the elements of a spine tingling day of adventure. I LOVE being creeped out.

Wait! Luck? Why would we need luck?

It was an easy six mile ride down to the ocean from Sea Island; breezy and cool under the above pictured tree lined streets. Racking our bikes, I snapped this picture with my phone. It’s said to be one of the ten most haunted locations in America not because of the amount of ghosts, but for the frequency in which experiences have been reported.


Wouldn’t you totally buy into the whole haunted thing if you saw this? Look at those clouds perfectly puffy over the tower. Ominous! Ghosts are walking around up there right now! I just know it.


Ten dollars got us a tour with a docent who said in her most serious southern drawl, “Ya’ll know, this light house is occupied, right?” And she went on to explain the “she” ghost, a peasant woman, who lost her wealthy lover, at sea. She stood in the water waiting for him every night, lantern in hand, and when it was clear he’d never return she threw herself into the same water in front of the lighthouse. Her footsteps can be heard running up and down the stairs late in the evening with much persistency.

This is the story the docent believes. See this link for the official “story” of said ghost but I believe her because I like “she” ghosts.

Following our visit to the lighthouse, we embarked on finding the “Tree Ghosts” as the locals call them. It was a bit like “Where’s Waldo?” locating them in obscure trees around the island.


Apparently, they’re world famous and people come to St. Simons Island just to see them. The artist, Keith Jennings, was commissioned to immortalize the numerous sailors who lost their lives aboard the mighty sailing ships that were made from St. Simons oak. The carvings are said to hold the spirits of these sailors and island natives.

Their eyes are always closed as if they’re sleeping peacefully. Although, the guy above looks pissed off. They are just beautiful to see in the middle of nowhere. Some are newer carvings while others are decades old with the tree encroaching on their faces.

Is it possible to breathe life back into a spirit? I gave it a try.


And then my friend Sue just had to go and bring the whole thing down to nasty by telling me to give the Spirit tongue. Who, in their right mind, gives a Tree Ghost tongue?


Very inappropriate. I wonder if there will be any negative and long lasting repercussions for me trying to suck the spirit out of a ghost.

I believe in this stuff.

And I truly believe I HAVE seen a ghost! Right here where I live. Not in my house but next door!

Have you?

***********************************

Go check out all the other awesome writers over at Yeah Write! They are interesting, talented and world class!


54 comments:

  1. Haha. You have quite the personality Gina! My wife and I are always looking for interesting places to visit and this seems like a great place to explore. Our last vacation we rented a couple of palm springs vacation homes with a bunch of friends. It was pretty laid back. It consisted of the usual laying out in the sun and drinking all day. We loved each others company, but my wife and I would love to do something with just her and I this year.

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    1. Hey Mike! We travel together, these couples, all the time and have for years. It really doesn't matter where we are, it's always fun. The best part is the guys get along with each other as well as the girls (who were the original friends)so I get it.

      I wouldn't stay on St. Simons Island. I'd stay at The Cloisters on Sea Island. VERY nice, relaxing, right on the ocean/beach, great food, etc. It was a great week away! Oh and rent bikes. It's the perfect way to get around!

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  2. I love the line: "Who, in their right mind, gives a tree ghost tongue?" This adventure sounds like so much fun! I would have loved being with you. I love that kind of stuff. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Angela. I'm a whole bunch of nonsense especially when with these friends and not just in front of the girls. Unfortunately, I can easily be talked into most things like...giving a tree ghost tongue. Would love to have you right there. Just like I would have done the french fry test with you! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Ditto on the tongue comment. What a special place. The tree ghosts are beautiful and amazing.

    Becca

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    1. It was truly thrilling to find them, the Tree Ghosts. And a very fun, yet quiet, and special place to visit. I'm inappropriate sometimes but amusing, or so I've been told. Thanks for visiting, Becca!

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  4. So much fun! I want a vacation just like this! I also loved your line about giving a tree ghost tongue (and the matching pic!). I'm all for ghosts and wish I had a ghost sighting to report (especially for Yeah Write). Well done!

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    1. It was so much fun exploring on a beach cruiser for the week. And the ghosts and hauntings are right in my wheelhouse for October excitement! Yes, I admit I took advantage of the innocent Tree Ghost. But, but...my friend planted the idea in my head and took the picture. My real ghost sighting gives me the willies!

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  5. I've always wanted to go to St. Simons. I'm sure you aren't the first to give the ghost tongue. I hope your tongue didn't actually touch the tree where another person's tongue has probably been. That could lead to problems!

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    1. You should go! It was a great vacation and the food was AWESOME! I hope there are "others" who would tongue a Tree Ghost. And nope, my tongue did not make actual contact. It was millimeters away so I'm safe. Yes, it could lead to sorts of germy things! Thanks for commenting.

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  6. Great post, Gina! You had me cracking up.

    Also, I wondered what your take was on the haunted lighthouse. We stayed at a lighthouse in Oregon once with a similar haunting tale (husband at sea, wife throws herself into ocean, etc.). Did you feel like the story was real?

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    1. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

      The docent totally believed the "she" ghost story. The official story is that in 1800 the lighthouse keeper said something inappropriate to his assistant's wife at dinner and the assistant murdered him. He's the one running up and down the stairs. I do believe it's haunted. I just don't know by whom.

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  7. What fun! I'd love a trip like that! I love hearing spooky stories like that, yay!

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    1. I love spooky and creepy, too, but I don't like things jumping out at me. I'm a screamer!

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  8. Great story. And you told it in a beautifully flowing narrative. I guess this is where my mind is at but I loved that you tongued the tree ghost!

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    1. Well thanks, lum, as always. You're a guy. Of course you'd love that part! Yes, I'm inappropriate sometimes AND impulsive (both documented problems). All it takes is someone to give me an idea, challenge or dare...

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  9. Last spring break I almost made it here. My sister overruled my choice. I'll send her your post, maybe this year. Great story, Gina. I love any destination that is allegedly haunted. And you're right about that photograph, the way the clouds enshroud the lighthouse - spooky. And the tree spirits - a great time you had. I enjoyed the liveliness of your writing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie! I enjoyed writing about it very much and I LOVE haunted. I was amazed by the cloud formation above the lighthouse. It sort of set up the whole visit/tour. It was as if the "she" was announcing she was in residence at that moment. Okay, I have an active imagination. I have a crush on the Tree Ghosts!

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  10. I bet she would have gotten some shock if he would have given her a bit of tongue back lol!

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    1. 'Twas me and YES I would have been shocked to get a wet one back. I'd deserve it though. It would gross me out sufficiently to stop my antics for a while (probably not).

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  11. The south does love its ghosts...I love a good haunted vacation too. That lighthouse looks like there is certainly a spirit or two wandering the place.

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    1. I never really knew that about the south, for sure. I'd read a little about it in books, however. I love haunted, too! "She" was there! I just know it!!!

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  12. "And then my friend Sue just had to go and bring the whole thing down to nasty by telling me to give the Spirit tongue."

    But I see you went ahead and did it anyways. ;) I'm sure the Tree Ghost enjoyed it. They don't get tongued too often. I'm assuming.

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    1. In my own defense, it was her idea. I just executed. I know, I know! It happened so fast that I just didn't know what got into me ;-). I have no any idea how much tongue they receive but my best guess is not much. Poor guys. He winked at me after...


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  13. As a kid, I lived in an "occupied" 100 year old former church parsonage. It had a parlor and pocket doors with a huge staircase. The stairs creeked at night. By themselves. Love a good ghost adventure.

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    1. ooooooohhhhhhh! I LOVE it!!! Were you creeped out as a kid? Do you know the back story as to who it was doing the creaking?

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  14. I had to laugh when reading your story, because a group of my guy friends and I took a trip down south to the coast and every single place we went the first statement from local women was "You boys going to play golf?" and the second was "Where are your wives?" We did not play golf and we most certainly, did not have wives.

    That aside. Yes, I do believe in ghosts and yes, I have seen one.

    Fun story Gina, but I would keep my tongue out of a trees mouth.

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    1. I would imagine a lot of men who go to that area go for the golf. Obviously, there's a whole lot more o do. Maybe they were trying to pick you guys up ? ;-)

      I'd love to hear what you saw! And I will try to keep my tongue where it belongs and consider my wrist slapped.

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  15. I can't decide if I believe in ghosts or not. Don't believe in giving tongue to wood nor am I big on golf.

    Maybe when I don't have young children, but I can't devote the kind of time golf takes.

    The south is supposed to have all sorts of interesting spirits/characters floating around.

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    1. I really don't have the patience or interest in golf. Agree, it takes up too much time and it is NOT exercise in my opinion! I never believed in giving tongue to wood either but stuff happens! So much folklore there! Very interesting.

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  16. Yikes!!! An occupied lighthouse? I would've had exactly the opposite reaction!! I'm so superstitious I knock most wood I see pre-emptively! Maybe I should try french kissing them instead? Beautiful shot of the lighthouse.

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    1. Maybe French kissing the key o the whole thing. I'm not superstitious but do believe in spirits. I didn't really notice the clouds really until I looked down at the picture then looked back up immediately.

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  17. That sounds like a cool place to visit. But maybe only in the daytime. I believe in that shit too. And I would probably be scared shitless. :-)

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    1. No! You wouldn't be scared in daylight and there's lots of people around. The lighthouse is actually right next door to an old folks home and the public pool. Not scary at all!

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  18. Ooh, I love being creeped out, too! I really want to visit that lighthouse now. I can never get enough of spooky stories. And even if I don't witness anything, it's just the idea of it all that gives me shivers.

    Love the tongue! :)

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    1. Check it out. The dripping spanish moss hanging from every branch and the humidity really adds to the whole atmosphere. It feels like all sorts of secret things could take place! Thanks about the tongue. Oops!

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  19. I believe in this shit too. So this sort of scared me. But I like it. Your pics are hilarious.

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    1. I like being nervous and scared. I really don't lie things popping out at me in the dark, however. Oh, boy! There's always lots of pictures but not all to be shared. Nothing goes on Facebook for sure!

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  20. I'll put it this way. I'm agnostic, not an atheist, for a reason. There's shit I can't explain. Like being a little bit psychic. (I can almost always tell who is calling without looking at caller ID or listening to a ring tone. Scott has gotten so tired of hearing me call out, "Grab that! It's your Mom!" and being right.

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    1. I love that about you being a little bit psychic because I always tell MY Scott, too, that I know what's going to happen (and tell him) and most often it does. It's just a sense.

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  21. Sounds like a fun place and a cool trip! And yeah, I'm going to go with making out with tree people not being a great idea ;)

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    1. Alright! My tree ghost tonguing days are over :-( I will never French kiss a tree again, girl scouts honor!

      It's a relaxing place with fun and active things to do. Great food, too!

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  22. How fun, I would love to see those tree carvings! But, I think I'd pass on the tongue action!!

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    1. For the record, my tongue never touched the wood nor did my lips! The tree is still a virgin! Thanks for visiting,

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