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McDuffie Museum has share of eerie happenings

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, everyone can enjoy eerie stories at Halloween. So, in the "spirit" of the holiday, I'd like to share some museum experiences with you. Nothing too scary, unless you have to be here late at night ...

Several months ago when renovation was in its late stages, I had been working on our book corner, trying to organize the items. One of our board members, Epp Wilson, had just donated several books to be sold in FrogPond (our gift shop) and I was working hard to arrange them so they wouldn't appear crowded. Mary Anne, who works with Camellia Partners and has an office inside the museum, had already gone home for the day, and the construction workers had left work, also. After getting everything placed, I packed up my things and headed out the door. The next morning, I opened the museum, turned on the lights and proceeded to my desk. When I reached the newly stocked bookshelf, I was stopped in my tracks by a stack of Wrightsboro books lying on the floor. From the look of the remaining stack on the bookshelf, they appeared to have been shoved off. Later, I asked Mary Anne and the workers, but no one had been in. And even if they had, I knew they would have picked up their mess. I supposed someone didn't like my arrangement.

Aside from strange noises, time went on with little or no disturbances. Then, one day during the summer, Mary Anne came downstairs saying that her air conditioning wasn't working, and wanted to know if anyone had been playing with the controls. To my knowledge, no one had been in the utility room, especially to play with the thermostat. After checking it, she found that it had, indeed, been turned off. This has happened three times over the summer, and even the HVAC repairman can't explain it.

The last occurrence was the lights. Just a few weeks ago, our other employee, Jennifer Wallace, was sitting at the front desk greeting guests and suddenly the lights went out -- all the lights. She ran outside to see if everything was running at the Big Dipper next door, but they had no problems. She came back to find the lights on and everything normal. A few moments later, it happened again. Once again, she stepped out the door to survey the other buildings, which all appeared normal. Eventually, the lights flickered on, and stayed lit for the remainder of the day.

We say that it's the old bank president, Mr. Bowden, playing with us. Regardless of who, or what it is, no physical harm is done, but our nerves are a different story entirely!

Web posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009

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