The Dead and 'Not So Dead' in Marietta (Georgia) Oct 3, 2015 12:36:29 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Oct 3, 2015 12:36:29 GMT -5
The Dead and 'Not So Dead' in Marietta
MARIETTA, Ga. – The fashions of the 1800s were on display Friday night at the Marietta Museum of History, and those who came through the museum’s doors heard tales surrounding the deaths of several Cobb residents of yesteryear. The “Eerie Evening” event, held in conjunction with the Marietta Art Walk, had attendees hearing from museum staff in 19th century costumes. They shared stories on folks such as J. O. Kemp, who had his leg crushed in the early 1900s as he attempted to board a train from Marietta to Acworth to attend the reading of his father’s will. Though his body is buried in Acworth, his leg is buried in Marietta’s City Cemetery, with a tombstone that bears a Masonic symbol and an engraving in the shape of a leg or boot. Friday’s event served as a kickoff to the museum’s month of macabre happenings. Kate Sweeney, a contributor to WABE 90.1 FM, will speak on the topic of funeral and mourning customs during a talk titled “Our Victorian Forebears: Were They Weird?” at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 8. The cost is $5 for nonmembers and free for museum members.
This month’s City Cemetery Tour is set for Saturday, October 17, with the theme “And This is How I Died ....” Tickets are $15 per person with proceeds benefitting the museum and Keep Marietta Beautiful. The tours will take place at 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m., with each tour limited to 20 people.
“I’m going to focus on those, not necessarily mysterious deaths, but the strange deaths, like electrocution, drownings,” Christa McCay, the museum’s registrar, said of this month’s tour. “And then there are a couple of other stories, not necessarily tied to the people who are buried there, but they were involved with deaths of other people who are buried in different cemeteries.”
On Friday, October 23, the museum’s monthly “Remember When ... Club” meeting will focus on the Atherton’s Explosion. The October 31, 1963, event saw a gas explosion rip through the front portion of the Atherton Drug Store on Marietta Square. The blast killed seven and injured in excess of 20 people. “We’ve got some people coming who were around the area at that time, and they’re going to tell their stories,” McCay said. There is no cost to attend the club’s meeting, though donations are welcomed.
Dan Cox, CEO and founder of the museum, has stories of his own to share about the museum building. Cox’s museum is housed in Kennesaw House off Marietta Square, once a Civil War-era hotel in which several of Andrews’ Raiders stayed the night prior to hijacking a train and setting off The Great Locomotive Chase.
When he was in the process of creating the museum about 15 years ago, he had installed a “cheap,” black-and-white security system. What he saw on the system’s monitor will appeal to those interested in ghosts. “I was looking at the screen when I was back in the back, I saw this shape, it looked like a lady,” Cox said. “I went out to see where the camera was pointing and there was nobody there.” He ended up taking a photograph of the screen. At other times, he caught on photograph the security monitor displaying an image of what appears to be a little boy and at another time, a man. Today, when he comes to work at 5:30 or 6 in the morning, he sometimes hears phantom footsteps in the hall near his third-floor office. “I can hear footsteps going down the hall, to the extent that I get out of my office to see if anyone’s here. I keep the doors locked and the elevators locked and all that. That, I can’t explain,” he said. “I don’t spend time trying to explain it, because there’s nothing here to me that’s scary.”
While he was in the process of creating the museum, Cox went to the library to read past articles from the Marietta Daily Journal. It was there that he found an article indicating there were as many as 700 ghosts in the building built in 1845. “It was used as a hospital and a morgue by both the Confederate and the Union Army,” he said. “So I guess that’s where the 700 ghosts came from. That’s awfully crowded. How do you count 700 ghosts?” he added with a laugh.
Cox said the museum has attracted film crews from networks such as the History Channel, CNN, Travel Channel and more aiming to portray the ghost stories the building holds.
There may or may not be an explanation for every odd noise or image captured on camera, but Cox said he believes there are no poltergeists or any evil spirits within the museum’s walls. “I have never been frightened, but I don’t feel any of the ill or the cold or any of that you see in the movies,” he said. “This is an old building. It creaks and groans, it shakes a lot when the trains go by, and there’s going to be strange noises.”
Source: Jon Gargis, The Marietta Daily Journal, October 3, 2015.