Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ghost of Gracie Watkins - Bonaventure Cemetery and The Savannah College of Art and Design - Savannah, Georgia

Little Gracie Watson was born in 1883.  She lived in Savannah, Georgia with her parents who owned a prestigious hotel named he Pulaski Hotel.  Gracie helped entertain the guests at the socials that were held there and she became quite popular among the guests.  She would spend her days running and playing throughout the hotel with one of her favorite play spots being underneath the back stairs.

Statue of little Gracie Watkins

In April of 1889 Gracie Watson became very ill with pneumonia.  A couple of days before Easter, little Gracie succumbed to the illness and died.  Her parents were devastated.  After Gracie's passing, Mrs. Watson and other hotel workers claimed to have heard laughing and singing through out the hotel.  Her favorite haunt was the place she enjoyed the most in life, the area under the back stairs.  In their mourning, the Watsons lapsed in their responsibilities of managing the hotel and eventually sold it.  They later became managers of a different hotel, The Desoto in 1890.  They then eventually moved on to another city.  Before leaving Savannah however, Gracie's father approached local fledgling artist John Walz and simply gave him a photo of his daughter and commissioned him to create a memorial to Gracie.

The Pulaski House in Savannah, Georgia 1906

Eventually, the standard tombstone that marked Gracie Watson's grave in Bonaventure Cemetery was replaced by a life sized sculpture carved by John Waltz that many said resembled little Gracie in every way.  After a while, visitors to the grave site began leave trinkets and money as a tribute.  It is said that if someone removes any of the trinkets, the statue would cry tears of blood.  There are other haunts in Bonaventure Cemetery that will stir the soul as well.

The grave site of little Gracie Watkins at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

The Pulaski Hotel that served as Gracie's only home was torn down long ago and replaced by a cafe named Morrison's which is now a bank.  However, some say that they can still hear the voice of a little girl laughing and playing but she cannot be seen.  Others claim to have actually seen a young girl in late 1880s dress wandering around.  However, others claim that Gracie haunts other places in Savannah now that her home is gone.  Pulaski House which is now part of the Savannah College of Art and Design, is rumored to play host to Gracie's hauntings.  Sounds of a young child laughing and playing.  Perhaps returning to the namesake where she grew up.  Some residents of Oglethorpe House claim that Gracie shares her presence in that structure which was a former hotel.  A apparition of a young girl has been spotted wandering the halls of Oglethorpe House at night.  Some they they have awakened to see the young girl kneeling by their bed or standing near their wardrobe.  Many claim this is the ghost of Gracie Watkins because they say the apparition looks exactly like the statue in Bonaventure Cemetery that marks Gracie Watkin's grave.

The Pulaski House now part of Savannah College of Art and Design of which some claim is now home to little Gracie Watkins

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