Cedar Point Ghost

Opened in 1870 on Lake Erie, Cedar Point is the second-oldest amusement park in America and was home to the 1921 Dentzel Carousel, which traveled from park to park until landing there in 1971.v_carousel_hampstead_heath

Artist Shelly was unaware of the stories whispered by employees about the ghostly lady who rode the carousel at night. She was simply fascinated by historic carousels – so fascinated that she made them the main subject of her work. Her life-sized renderings in pastels and oils depict carved animals from famous carousels. As drawn as she was to some of those marvelous menageries, she cannot explain why one plain old brownish horse captivated her two decades ago.

“I spent several days in a row, one summer, going back and photographing it,” she confided. She had no idea that the one horse by which she was so inexplicably mesmerized was haunted.

During its time at Cedar Point, the carousel charmed children during the day and frightened employees at night. For it was then, when the park whaunted horseas closed, lights off and the workers sweeping up, that the carousel would come to life. It would start up – light, music and all – and a ghostly woman in a long white dress would mount the carousel horse. She always chose the same brown horse that Shelley had, carved in 1924 by Daniel C. Muller. As the specter rode around, witnesses swore that the carousel glowed.

Legend has it that Mrs. Muller fell in love with the horse that her husband had carved. So much so, that after she left this world, her spirit would return to Cedar Point for a ride on the carousel.

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Adapted from the book Ghosts Among Us by Leslie Rule.

For more haunted tales, buy the book on our website: http://www.victoriantradingco.com/item/60-bk-6010282/100101100/ghosts-amon

Alice’s Grave

Alice’s family was very prominent in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. When she had her coming-out party, her brother, who was studying to be a doctor, brought a friend who was working his way through school. When he and Alice met, they fell in love.

They got engaged, but because his social standing was so far below that of her family, she was forbidden to see the young man again. She hid her engagement ring on a chain around her neck.

A few months later, Alicegravestone-378673_960_720 caught malaria. Because her family was in Europe at the time, her brother came from Charleston to take care of her. During the course of her delirium, her brother was sponging her down in an attempt to lower her fever when he came across the ring around her neck. He ripped it off her neck and threw it down the stairwell.

Alice went up and down the stairwell looking for her ring, all the while reducing her strength. Within weeks she died from the disease. As she had disgraced her family, her grave was marked with only her first name.

Since her death, a misty figure with a long white dress and long blond hair has been seen around the house where Alice died. They say if you wear a ring and walk the well-worn path around her tombstone backward, you’ll see her ghost rise up, turning the ring on your finger to see if it’s her missing ring.

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Adapted from the book Haunted Houses by Corinne May Botz.

For more haunted tales, purchase this item on our website: http://www.victoriantradingco.com/item/80-bk-8023154/108104/haunted-houses.

 

Victorian Slide Jewelry

Before the invention of the wrist watch, Victorian women would wear their hunter case watches as a necklace, adding ornate, engraved pieces to the chain. Thus, slide jewelry was born!

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Composed of a “starter” chain with various gemstone “slides” added to it, Victorian slide jewelry allowed women to customize to their liking, much like the charm bracelets of today.834_large

Common slides included stick pin heads, tiny lockets, buttons, and loosened gemstones. The diversity of pieces contributed to the unique and fascinating beauty of each piece.

Certain slides had certain meanings – a fan for flirtation, a rose for passion, bows for devotion, a wreath for faith, a glove for loyalty, an orb for wisdom.

Seeking a Husband

A personal advertisement, which appeared in the newspaper on June 5, 1863.

“A young lady of 18, wealthy, pretty and agreeable, wants a husband. Not finding any one of her acquaintance who suits her, she has concluded to take this method of discovering one. The happy gentleman must be wealthy, stylish, handsome and fascinating. None other need apply. Address within three days, giving name and full particulars, and enclosing carte de visite, Carrie Howard, Station D, New York.”

Sealing Wax

The use of wax seals dates back to the Middle Ages. At first, seals were the exclusive purview of royalty in issuing decrees and authenticating documents. Each individual had his or her own seal, and in a time when many were illiterate, they were used in place of a signature. It was common practice to destroy a seal when its owner died to prevent posthumous forgeries.

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It wasn’t until the late 13th century that the use of seals spread to the general public. In a time when marriages were prearranged, true words of love were often written and exchanged by secret lovers. A seal secured the letter, insuring the recipient that their secret passion would remain unbeknownst to others.

The Green Fairy

Absinthe, an anise-flavored, emerald green liquor, was created by French doctor Pierre Ordinaire. Using local herbs, most notably wormwood, he concocted a drinkable elixir rumored to be a cure-all for a variety of ailments, including malaria.

With a massive wine shortage occurring in France in the late 19th century, absinthe quickly became France’s most fashionable drink. In French cafés, 5 p.m. became known as l’heure verte, or the “green hour,” signaling the flow of absinthe into the late hours of the evening.

Nicknamed la fée verte (the green fairy) for its hallucinogenic properties, absinthe was the drink of choice for all, from the wealthy bourgeoisie to the working classes. The most famous of absinthe drinkers were the Bohemians – artists, writers and intellectuals. Among Absinthe’s insatiable enthusiasts were Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mark Twain, who raved about the drink’s creative and poetic effects.

Here’s a sampling of famous vintage absinthe advertisements:

The Poor Man’s Portrait

The silhouette, sometimes referred to as the Poor Man’s Portrait, was a popular form of portraiture in Victorian England. Prior to the introduction of the photograph, painted portraits were reserved for the wealthy, requiring money and hours of sitting.

Silhouettes, however, could be completed in mere minutes by skilled silhouette cutters, who advertised the accuracy and speed with which they could cut a high-quality profile from a sheet of black paper. Amazingly, these artists worked purely by eye.

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