April 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Poetry Postcard 23

Ghost Tour, Williamsburg

We stand
outside the house,
paved street
between our group
and its front door.
The tour guide says
we should go
no closer. We
flash our cameras,
hoping photos
will reveal more
than the dark
fa├žade we see.
At home, I scan
the pictures:
light reflected
in the window glass --
a glowing child
who seems
about to flee.

by Laura Shovan

I bought this postcard -- one of the original 17 I purchased for the 44 Postcard Project -- because of a family visit to Williamsburg, Virginia in August, 2011. (Read a post about our trip.)


This attractive modern hotel, owned and operated by
Williamsburg Restoration Inc., features rooms and
meals at moderate prices. Coffee Shop and special
facilities for tour parties.

It was my first time there. My husband had visited as a teen. The kids had never been.

We had a blast. It was sweating-from-your-scalp-follicles hot, but we signed up (free with regular tickets) for Rev-Quest. Rev-Quest is Colonial Williamsburg's version of live action role play (LARP). 
LARPing in Williamsburg. The bandanna
identifies you as a spy-hunter.
We had a mystery to solve! There was a clue book, coded messages, cell-phone texts with additional clues (a little odd, considering the place) and instructions. My tech-minded kids loved running around Williamsburg, talking to spies and chasing down a revolutionary traitor.

We also went on our first ghost tour, walking through Williamsburg at night. It was at the Peyton-Randolph House that my camera picked up this image, reflected in the windows.

The Peyton-Randolph House is reported to be
one of the most haunted houses in the U.S.
Close up of the image.
There were many other strange photographs, any of which might inspire a poem. But while I was writing, the sense of movement in this image came to mind.

One more photo to share: Our tour guide -- whether an act or not -- refused to take us closer than 30 feet away from the house. Some Mr. Tough Guy on our tour decided he was a non-believer. To make his teenage daughters squeal, he started to cross the street. I took this shot:

He was pretty freaked out when I showed him
the photo, with orb over his head, on my camera screen.
I am on the fence about ghosts and spirits. My family has its share of ghost stories. I will say that I have seen -- even before this tour -- things that I can't explain.

(This postcard and poem went out to a friend who was once a Ghost Tour Guide in Old Ellicott City. Yes, we have our own ghosts in our Pre-Revolutionary downtown.)


Linda B said...

Interesting to hear others write about encounters. I've plenty of stories, in part because of where I live. Places in Colorado abound with stories of hauntings. I stayed in a hotel with students one time & they even had a journal for guests to record their experiences. Students slept with their TVs on to keep out any strange noises! Your poem is shivery, Laura, & that photo, enlarged, wow. I can 'see' her!

Irene Latham said...

Anything is possible! Love hearing your happy experience at Williamsburg. We took the fam a couple of years ago, and I was shocked by how Disney-ish it had become. Didn't match my childhood memories at all! Love your poem too.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Linda. I'd love to hear more about Colorado ghosts. Did your students see anything in that hotel? (I am reading The Neddiad, which has a bell boy ghost character.) The photo is wild, isn't it?

Thanks, Irene. Playing Rev-Quest was a big highlight of our experience. I also spent a lot of time in the print-shop talking to the newspaper man, and in the yarn shop, of course!

Vonnie said...

The trip to Williamsburg sounds fabulous & a ghostly encounter makes it even better. As for myself, I've seen a number of unexplained mists and ghostly figures. One of the oddest was at Balnuaran of Clava in Scotland. Photos on my blog:

Author Amok said...

Hello, Vonnie. Great to hear from you. Thank you for posting the link to your blog. I loved looking at the stone formations in Scotland. And those mists, hmmm. Intriguing.