Archive for December, 2013

Ahmedabad, India is a bustling café that serves milky tea and buttery rolls in a rather unique location. It’s a Lucky Restaurant, and the business has another reason for attention, it’s set in the middle of an old Muslim cemetery.

In the 1950’s K H Mohammed opened a tea stall outside the cemetery, Nair helped to expand it and they went into partnership. It’s slowly expanded and the cemetery was used in an attempt to make more space.

Workers are used to navigating around the businesses unique furniture, and move around as they serve tea to the visitors. The graves are not identified per say, local historians however believe that they are the resting place of relatives of a 16th Century Sufi Saint whose tomb lays nearby.

Each morning the graves are cleaned and fresh flowers placed on them, they are, as Nair says, his Lucky Charms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBfhzxcT1O4

An antebellum plantation sits located in St Francisville, Louisiana, USA and is well known as a haunted hotspot. Possibly this could be down to the rumour of it having been built on an ancient Tunica Indian burial ground (and yes they are always ancient). The house was built in 1796 by General David Bradford he lived alone for several years until he was pardoned by President John Adams, for his role in the Pennsylvania Whiskey Rebellion.

It is said to have at least 12 ghosts, and though it’s said to have been the site of ten murders there has been only one of them confirmed. That is William Winter.

One of the ghosts is Chloe, a slave that was owned by  Mark and Sarah Woodruff, and one story has it that Mark used Chloe as a mistress against her will. Another legend says that one of the two of them found her listening in on their business and cut off her ear for it. From then Chloe wore a green turban on her head to hide this.

Chloe was also said to have baked a cake laced with poison, either to get revenge or to be garnering someone’s favour, but the plan went awry and left on Sara and the children dead. The other slaves then threw her into the Mississippi River. There is not enough evidence to support this actual event, however this does not seem to have stopped the legend that she walks around in a green turban haunting the area.

Another story is that during the civil war the house was ransacked by Union Soldiers and now there is a bloody strain by the entrance on the floor that will not come clean. It is the size of a human, this may or may not have been a rumour that carries on today. Perhaps someone can tell me?

Another rumour has a young girl who died in 1868, after the aid was given by a Voodoo priest. Now it is said that she haunts that room and will try the voodoo on anyone sleeping in that room. To be honest this one makes little sense to me. Perhaps someone could elaborate?

There is also a ghost of a man who walks/staggers up the stairs and stops on the 17th step. Of all the rumours of hauntings this might be the only one linked to an actual verified murder, that of William Winter.

Whatever the truth is the place is now a thriving hotel and offers ghost tours.

Three years of blogging and lots of things I have learnt about that are a little of the walkway… I would like to say a fantastic thank you and Merry Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year.

For those that do not celebrate I wish you a fantastic break if you are having one, or simply a wonderful near period.

 

No I didn’t forget spell check, that’s the inscription on a monument at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire. It’s never really been explained and so gathers curiosity even now.

The Shugborough Inscription is carved on the 18th Century monument, below a mirror image of a painting ‘Shepherds of Arcadia’ by painter Nicolas Poussín. The inscription became known more widely having been mentioned in a 1982 book, ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’.

The monument dates between 1748/63 and contained between the letters D and M sits an inscription OUOSVAVV. The letters DM are seen on Roman tombs, Diis Manibus which means “dedicated to the Shades”.

A google search will give you many offers for resolutions, perhaps it’s just a version of Grafitti or a secret message between one lover to another. This writer is happy to leave the code busting to others.

Shugborough_inscription_D_OUOSVAVV_M

In Northern Italy sits Venice, a lagoon made of a variety of islands and one of those is the island of San Michele. The island was a popular place for local travellers and fishermen to land. A Renaissance church and monastery lie on the island, the monastery also served as a prison for a time. San Michele in Isola is a Roman Catholic church on the island, dedicated to Saint Michael. It was rebuilt in 1469 and the interior has a nave and two aisles.

San Cristoforo was selected to become a cemetery in 1807, under French occupation it was decided burial on the main island was unsanitary. In 1836 the canal between San Michele and San Cristiforo was filled in and the larger island became known as San Michele.

The cemetery is still in use today and has many famous residents upon it, one of those famous residents is Igor Stravinsky.

I spent a glorious afternoon there in the sun, it is thoroughly worth navigating the vaporetto *water boat* to get to the island, even if it is a bit off track from the main areas. I came back enlightened by the beauty of the place and a suntan.

It is asked that you don’t take pictures, like many of the religious spots around Venice. Sadly I found that there was pretty much zero respect for this with tourists, even in the main churches and hotspots it seems that walking around with your iphone is far more indulgent than experiencing the true beauty of the place, which came as a bit of a shock to me…

However that grip aside, the island is amazing and a few sneaky pics were got when we were sure we would not interrupt anyone mourning or when we felt it was safe to do so with respect. I didn’t want to be so arrogant as to take pictures without thinking of a funeral in process…

If you do head over I would suggest you take plenty of water, there’s a lot of nice benches you can stop on. You can find a spot to sit and take in both the exquisit sites and if you get the right time of year, you can really enjoy the weather. After our trip we headed back to the Lido, had something nice to eat and of course a wine in the local bar.