Saturday, December 6, 2008

An early account of a haunting at Greenwood Cemetery

A century ago, many of Orlando's black residents lived in a settlement dubbed "Jonestown." It lay east of the city limits, between Colonial Drive and Gore Street, and as far east at Bumby Avenue.

But, soon after the 1900 census enumeration, most of Jonestown's residents moved west of the aptly-named Division Street.

Now, as I continue reading Kena Fries' old local history, I believe the following first-hand account (slightly edited) indicates that a supposed "haunting" at Greenwood Cemetery scared the people away . . . conveniently vacating a lot of valuable acreage for real estate development:

"We'd all been living there in brotherly accord and love for a powerfully long time and the ghosts never gave any trouble til they put up a fine tombstone over the man who gave the land for the burying ground. Since then, every night when the town clock goes "bong, bong" twelve times, he creeps out of his grave and sits atop the stone pointing his gun at the gate, and he sits there til our roosters crow three times in the morning, then he creeps back in the ground til the clock goes "bong, bong" twelve times the next night. I saw him, and my father-in-law saw him, and all the rest of us have seen him sitting there."

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