www.thegrove-jefferson.com                          August 2005                                      ISSN 1558-3252

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Hello from The Grove, and Jefferson, Texas! I have a few interesting ghost stories for you this month - we've had a couple of strange things happen here lately!

It's still hot here, and we've gone from trying to keep the garden beautiful to simply trying to keep it alive. Because of the drought, Jefferson has some voluntary watering restrictions, but we're trying our best to keep Miss Daphne's garden going.

Things have been interesting over the last few weeks - here we are in the hottest part of the Summer, yet everyone in town is starting to plan for Christmas. This year's holiday season is going to be sensational - with everything to be done before Thanksgiving, though, it seems like we should have started months ago!

It's been a great summer, and we've met lots of wonderful people. There was even a couple from Ireland on the tour a few weeks ago. October will probably be a huge month here in town, because a lot of people come here in search of a ghost or two. If you're coming to town looking for a haunted place to stay, of course there are the Jefferson Hotel and Excelsior House (although Excelsior won't talk about their ghosts), but there are also three Bed & Breakfasts with ghost stories: Falling Leaves, McKay House, and Claiborne House. Along with the haunts, they're all wonderful places to stay. I put all of them in the "Ghosts of East Texas" book, which by now should be in bookstores all over Texas. Of course, you can also get a signed copy from the website - www.thegrove-jefferson.com

I got an email this month asking if anything supernatural happens with the electricity here at The Grove - it does, but not as often as one might think. Lights have turned off by themselves, or we've seen a light in another part of the house come on, but it's not an everyday occurrence. Some of the more dramatic things that have happened here we've only heard about. I think that I've mentioned it before, but one of my neighbors swears that when the house was vacant for the years before we purchased it, he would sit out on his front porch and see the lights inside the house turn on and start swaying. I've never seen that happen, but a lady who spent the night here when The Grove was a restaurant wrote about that exact thing occurring (there's a link to her encounter on the "Ghosts" section of www.thegrove-jefferson.com - look for "One Haunted Night"). The place also has a long history of electronic equipment such as cameras and other gadgets not working properly. This is usually with visitors to the house back in the restaurant days, or during the tours today.

One more quick "electric" story. A good friend of ours who has a bed and breakfast here in town had a group of ladies staying with her that wanted to see The Grove. This was about a year before we bought the place, so no one was living here at the time. She loaded the women up in her Sport Utility Vehicle and took them down Moseley Street. It was late in the evening, and of course the house was dark and creepy. They made the block to see it again, but when they rounded the corner of Main Street, they saw that all of the lights in the house were suddenly on. To this day, she tells me that she's not sure whether she believes in ghost, but that she did see The Grove lit completely up in just a matter of a few moments.

Something very weird happened on August 18th - I was working in the house, and the bassets were asleep in their beanbags. Suddenly Lilly, the youngest basset, jumped up and ran outside, barking furiously. Samantha was right behind her, barking in time with her sister. From the tone of their bark, I was sure that someone was outside, so I put on my shoes and went out of the side door - but there was no one there. I walked around front, looked in the back, and finally decided to check out the east side of the house. I went around back behind the small shed, peeked on the east side to see that it was empty, then decided to go back inside. Something on the ground caught my eye, and I bent down and picked it up - it was an old shaving brush, although the bristles had long since worn away. The brush is stamped "Hardright U.S.A.", and then under that it says, "AnchOrset". The next line simply says, "Sterilized". On the Internet I found that the Hardright company was a small shaving brush manufacturer in the early 1900's. While I couldn't find the AnchOrset model, I found another type that was manufactured in the 1930's to the 1940's. If this one was made earlier, I wonder if it could have belonged to Mr. Charlie Young? The weird thing is that it was lying right on top of the ground, not buried underneath - it's as if someone had laid it there for me to find. The grass there gets mowed regularly, so just last week it would have been mutilated if it had been there before. Combine that with the strange behavior of the dogs, and I have to wonder what this was all about. Charlie Young was the barber who lived here from 1885 until his death in the 1930's. When Patrick Hopkins owned the house, he found Mr. Charlie's shaving mirror and mug; perhaps Mr. Charlie showed up to add his shaving brush to the set. You can see the brush at www.thegrove-jefferson.com/brush.

A good friend of ours drove up from Fort Worth last weekend. She's been to visit many times, but has only spent the night twice. The first time, she said that she barely slept at all - with all of the stories of The Grove, she wasn't sure what was going to happen. As is usually the case when you're watching for something to occur, nothing did. Because of that, she thought that she'd sleep a little easier this time. When it was time for bed, we fixed up the couch in the den (the "new room") for her and we all headed for bed. As I was walking out of the room, she said something like, "This is weird!" When I asked what she was talking about, she said, "Something is sitting on my legs - I can't move them." Of course, I was immediately concerned that she was having some kind of stroke or something. When I asked about that, she just laughed and told me that she was physically fine, but someone had sat down on her legs. We couldn't see anyone there, of course, nor could I see any kind of depression on the covers. I asked her if she wanted Tami and I to help her up, or even just sit there with her for a while, but she said that she was fine, and just wanted to wait and see what was going to happen. Since she seemed to be physically okay, and she wasn't scared, Tami and I went on to bed. In the morning, our friend told us that it lasted for a short while, and then whoever it was stood up and left. I think that she surprised herself, to have a prolonged experience with the supernatural without freaking out. That's probably the hardest thing to explain to people... how it is that we can live here with supernatural things happening around us. Once you accept the fact that nothing's going to hurt you, then it simply becomes interesting - although I can't say that we don't occasionally get startled!

Well, that's it for the August Grovezine. I've started doing a little walking, and I also bought a bike, so it's time for me to go get a little exercise... and in this heat, that's not fun at all. Thanks for letting me spend a few minutes visiting with you!


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