Alabama Treasure Ghosts September 26, 2016Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback
Some enjoyable treasure ghosts from the deep south…
Though this tract is now largely cleared and settled, these traditions and ghost stories are still told and believed by the negroes, Creoles, and ignorant whites, Poinquinette, an old Creole fisherman and a repository of interesting lore, has related some of his personal encounters with the Magazine Point ghosts, and so real are they to him, and so vivid his narrative, that his listeners are thrilled with a sort of belief. By a dream it was once made known to him and several companions (Nelson, Sales, Moody, Ebernezar Fisher, and a man named Robinson) that there was a treasure buried just below Turner & Oats’s mill. The spot was thickly wooded — high trees and low shrubs — yet not so dense that they could not see about them — even a bird was visible as it flew through the brush.
Any overly modern readers might want to remember that ghosts guard gold: treasure ghosts.
They went early one Friday morning and began digging at seven o’clock. Almost as soon as their spades touched the earth, the woods began to resound with voices — child voices — and they wondered where children’s voices could come from, but went on with their digging. As the excavation progressed, the sounds came nearer — there were calling and crying and hissing — until finally the voices were right at them and surrounding them. They could hear the voices but could see nothing. Then the voices passed by them with a whirr and back again into the bushes where they were still heard. By this time the hole was some ten feet deep. Nelson Sales, who had had more experience with spirits than the others, offered to go back into the woods and talk to the voices. He was confronted by a fearful apparition — a great blue bull with eyes of fire and a tail as large as a hogshead. It dashed passed him, charged across the hole, and as it went over threw all the earth back, completely filling the excavation.
The boys clearly needed help.
They were all thoroughly frightened and would not go back until they could get the negress Clara Randall, from Charleston. Poinquinette was loud in his praises of this woman, who could see and talk to spirits and was not afraid of them. She built a tent and camped alone for three days and nights at the scene of their labor. She set a table, provided with milk from a white cow, wine, and honey — inveigling the invisible ones and tempting them by food to give up the secret of the buried treasure. At the end of the third day her persuasions prevailed, and the spirits reluctantly made known the place. Next morning she walked to the spot and placed her foot where the men should dig. They fell to work and had not dug more than twenty minutes, before the top of the treasure-box was uncovered. They rapidly cleared the earth from around it and there lay before their eager wondering eyes a cedar chest which measured five feet in length, two and a half feet wide, and two and a half feet deep. It contained three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in gold, and Ebernezar Fisher, over-zealous and over-anxious, bored two holes in it with an auger.
Of course, now things go horribly wrong.
While he was boring the second, the woman warned him to stop — that the spirits were regretting their revelation — but Ebernezar, who was of stubborn temperament, bored on unheedful of her warning. It was a bright day — not a cloud in the sky — the sunlight filtered through the trees and fell in strong beams upon the auger. The other men, standing to one side, watched it glinting on the steel. Again the woman warned Fisher, and as she spoke his arm was wrenched from the auger. Almost at the same instant a black cloud swept across the sky, an awful gust of wind bent the great trees until they looked as if they would break, a crash of thunder and a blinding flash of lightning and the box disappeared! Then all was clear and bright again. It was a spirit storm — purely local, and seen only by the searchers after treasure. ‘Then all of us had to come away like sick cats and with aching hearts, because we hated to see a treasure like that disappear. It’s there somewhere to-day — and wherever it is, Ebernezar Fisher’s auger is still sticking in it.’
One more story of treasure ghosts from the same book: Roche’s Historic Sketches of the South.
Another time they received intimation that they should go to Meaher’s hummock and hunt a mound and some trees bearing marks like an inverted E; then walk so many feet in a certain direction and dig. On this occasion they took old Adam Boone, a negro who was supposed to have found many hidden treasures. They found the marked trees and the mound, which was six or seven feet high and looked as if it had been built by man. They had just arrived, identified the spot, and were grouped around it talking. Ebernezar Fisher, who was tall, stood with the butt of his gun resting on the ground, and held it with one hand near the end of the barrel. Both hammers were down. Old Adam Smith was saying, ‘I’ve been hearin’ of this place a long time. They say several men were killed and buried here.’ As the last words were uttered, one barrel of Fisher’s gun went off, and he was so startled that he threw it from him; Charlie Tell who was sitting on the ground near him caught it and as he did so the other barrel went off. Needless to add that the seekers for gold left the spot as quickly as they could and have never gone back again.
Other treasure spirits: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com