Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Ghost Story...

It is Sunday and it has been raining for days in Savannah. I was supposed to go on a photo trip to Hunting Island on Tuesday but work kept me away from the fun. I've wanted to visit Hunting Island for a long time and the opportunity of visiting with other photographers made it so much more intriguing. So, through the week I had an itch for an adventure but throughout the weekend all it did was rain and rain. I will be making the pilgrimage to Hunting Island very soon but in the meantime I kept busy with another project in the works. My photography work takes me to many places but the images that I have created for my "Dream Series" have been the images that I have loved the most...

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Created and based on images from my childhood dreams, stories and even nightmares theses images allow my inner child to roam free. Some of these images have been created with so much love. I have even created handmade art installations to later be incorporated on these to create the final image. I have embarked on the creation of a set of new images for this series and on the search for a location to shoot I came across the Harville House. Using the cloudy, misty, at times thundering weather as background effects for our adventure we headed to Statesboro, GA.

Thousands have told ghost stories about this house and the folk legend goes something like this...

Two old ladies once resided in this house, but when they died, no one noticed, and all their possessions remained. Today, a blue light can be seen in a window at night, and brave persons who have ventured inside have reported seeing the two women rocking in their chairs. 

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As I kept clicking my camera I secretly wished and hope for a ghost to appear through any of the windows. Through any of the doors... I wanted to see movement, hear sounds or maybe the blue light...

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It was the vultures that would land on the roof of the house protecting who knows what that would scare me when a few pieces of the roof fell down as their large bodies landed. 
It only provided more to the experience and my willingness to be scared. 

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But the truth is greater than fiction... 

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Samuel Winkler Harville purchased this 754-acre farm in 1862. Born on December 17, 1826, Harville was one of two delegates Bulloch County sent to the 1861 Secession Convention in Milledgeville. He voted for Georgia to secede from the Union.

Samuel’s son, Henry Keebler Harville, purchased the property and built the Harville House as a one-story house around 1894. The second story was added ten years later, resulting in a total of 14 rooms to accommodate a growing family. The vernacular architectural features of the house were inspired by a dream of Keebler Harville. The lumber used was cut and sawn from timber grown on the farm. By the time of Keebler’s death in 1946, the farm had grown to 2800 acres. More than just a landmark, the farm was self-sustaining for 10 families. It included a grist mill, saw mill, cotton gin, two-story smokehouse, ice house, syrup house, and a commissary. He was the first in Bulloch County to sell peanuts commercially and picked peanuts commercially for other farmers from Blitchton to Claxton. He purchased the first corn snapper in the county. The Harville Cemetery is located 1/4 mile west of the house.

Mr. Keebler was a dreamer just like me and for this simple reason I celebrate him today. 
I am not scared of or believe in ghosts. Those who tell the stories of ghosts are imaginative people with a knack for storytelling. One thing I know with certainty though is that Keebler never once dreamed this place would one day be only inhabited by vultures. 

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Hope you have a great new week...

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  1. Wonderfully haunting pictures.
    I do not want to believe in ghosts, because the thought of that scares me.

  2. Loved this. Thank you for enlightening me with great enjoyable reading. I actually got into it and you know me. Well I must continue reading my boring Biology n cells yuck. Ttyl. Love ya

  3. We could totally be them. However, I doubt they would see our ghosts rocking on chairs. Maybe drinking a cocktail. So whats was the relationship between these two ladies? The house looks in pretty bad shape. Too bad it hasn't been restored. It would be a great wdding destination place.

    1. LOL Imagine you and I dying in some house. A la Grey Gardens.

  4. whoa I want to go there. So amazing!

  5. What a wonderful photo story. Your photography is amazing and does a great job of eliciting emotions.

  6. Ghostly-Beautiful photos.

    I wanted desperately to see a face in the window, green eyes, a silhouette!

    I LOVE love love that fabulous house!


  7. I love old lost buildings. There is an old schoolhouse I found somewhere south of Richmond Hill, maybe the 2nd next exit off of I-95, down a road that runs east, maybe south east, towards the coast. About 10-14 miles, when the road gets rough, narrow, and unpainted. It sits to the left, no driveway, or parking lot, just an overgrown field, with a mostly wooden and cinder block school house 20 yards off the road, with a cable gate between creosote posts to delineate the driveway that was. I saw it many times when I was installing cabinets down there, in a fishing camp style complex, 14-18 condo units on the river, each one getting a semi-custom kitchen, so I went past the schoolhouse maybe 60 times. It was possibly an old "Negro school" back when they had those, or maybe an integrated (unofficially) country school, I do not know, as there was no sign, or monument, or anything.

    I was usually in a hurry, hot, or tired, or it was dark, so I usually just drove past at about 60mph, trying to be an adult.. But I have an incurable B&E streak in me, for old "haunted" houses, and am a frustrated historian/ archeologist (i.e. poor) so never get to do anything "official" anymore, but I worked for DOD long enough to have the courage and confidence to do stupid things.. I had a camera in the truck, with a few frames of film left, and the sun was still up on a Friday evening, so I drove cautiously around the side, sort of out of sight, and (cough) entered the building. I spent a good hour poking around, marveling at the simplicity of design, a huge room, with a stage, part of it had a sloping floor like a theatre, but also some of it could be used as a gym and/or cafeteria. It had a tiled open kitchen room, and a short wing with toilets, lockers, and changing rooms. All this part was around the back side, you wouldn't have seen it from the road. The school house proper had a Marble or Granite stone stairway dead center, entering into a big rotunda, with left and right wing hallways running parallel to the paved road ,with maybe 4-6 rooms on each side. Each ended with exit/entrance doors at the end of each hall. I took a couple of photos I think, but the roll of film is still undeveloped around here somewhere, life interfered at this point, so adventure and fun became background noise. I do not know anything more about the school, I saw among the trash a picture of President Johnson , so I would think it was open/closed sometime in the cold war period, maybe 1970ish.

    This isn't the only schoolhouse I B&Ed in my adult life, (in the south) or the spookiest. That award would go to the schoolhouse that I discovered/poked around in on the Savannah River Plant reservation, from a town that time and history took away in post WWII development. But there, I felt that (and am sure) I was being watched, and the radioactive warning stickers on the barrels stacked on old flatbeds parked in the playground lot, made my exploring very cursory. That building is most likely 60 to 100 feet underwater now, as I was involved in the construction of a cooling lake for the then secret L-reactor re-start up, so Reagan could scare the spit out of the USSR, since L-Reactor made fuel for the neutron bomb... but enough said about that, I've already said too much, which might would explain why I went from engineer to cabinet builder...

  8. Great narrative and photography, Adriana. I want to visit it!


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