I froze in my tracks, chilled by the hostile existence I could truly feel guiding me. A pall of silence fell around the home. Speckled, dancing colors from the stained glass home windows, paused in their motion on the partitions. People entering the home stood stalk continue to. I slowly and gradually turned to see what had so startled me. I observed absolutely nothing. The presence remained. I squinted, making an attempt to pierce the veil avoiding me from seeing what ever it was. The graphic shaped in my intellect of an indignant girl nearing seventy. Her dark hair confined in a bun on the again of her head was streaked with grey. She wore a print gown reaching well down below the knee. Her black, wool sweater hung open up. Her eyes flashed in anger as she ordered me out of the place.
On my very first pay a visit to to the Lightner Museum in 1977, I worked my way bit by bit by means of the rooms and exhibits. Numbed with a regular onslaught of uniqueness and beauty, it took the Tiffany area to shake me into a minimal brighter awareness. “These posts ended up built by the pretty fingers of Louis Ease and comfort Tiffany,” I try to remember imagining.
In the center of the room, a massive chandelier hung in my achieve. In several years previous, artists explained to me that the mark of a real masterpiece is the compulsion the viewer feels to contact it. This minimize-glass shade was no doubt this sort of a masterpiece and I felt that compulsion. I quietly approached it. Pausing in front of it for a number of seconds to admire its splendor close up, it occurred to me that there may well be an alarm process and if I touched it, bells and whistles might go off bringing in the museum’s safety. I still desired to contact it. Boosting my hand in defiance of the probable consequences, I extended my index finger and quite carefully touched a genuine Tiffany, slash-glass Chandelier.
At precisely that instant, the hostile presence manufactured by itself regarded suitable at the rear of me.
30 a long time handed with no my giving that expertise considerably imagined. In time I went to perform for Historic Excursions of The united states. The corporation preferred me to overview all the historical points of interest in advance of I came on board fulltime, so I frequented the Lightner Museum once again. This time I moved a lot more slowly and gradually, probably simply because in my thirty decades in St. Augustine, I experienced learned more about Otto Lightner and his contemporaries than I realized on my 1st visit. Much of what I noticed this time introduced to thoughts stories I read and content I browse. I remembered observing a area dedicated to Musical Equipment, on my very first stop by.
A single of Otto Lightner’s collections was machines that can engage in musical devices. On my initial check out I missed the live performance (11:00 A.M. and 2.00 P.M. day-to-day). This time the live performance was just starting as I walked into that place. In the early 1900’s individuals were growing thrilled about Machines. They crafted mechanical units to do matters unimagined in the previous and this room loudly echoes that pleasure in a assortment of cleverness and creativeness forming an art type of its have. 1 machine even plays a violin. There are a number of organs and road pianos together with a hurdy-gurdy. Equipment were being the rage of the working day.
An adjoining space on the very first ground displays two functional, blown glass, steam engines the really essence of the age of business blown into artwork. An early “word processor” (an antique typewriter) is displayed in that room proper beside seashells and Indian spears. Otto Lightner’s enthusiasm was amassing. His wife most likely mentioned, “he just under no circumstances throws nearly anything absent.” His button selection is upstairs with the slice glass and crystal. He gathered really, marble girls, elaborate home furniture and uncommon dishes. The checklist is limitless.
Lighter produced his dollars in the Hobbies Journal company advocating the interest of accumulating. He traveled the entire world doing his possess purchasing. He was an avid collector of collections and he opened a museum to property them. A visitor will uncover everything there from toasters to Tiffanies, from Steins to Steinways. He even gathered an Egyptian Mummy. That probably has a ghost affiliated with it, far too. Lightner’s Museum is rather a put, but the most spectacular, historic artifact there is the constructing alone, a tribute to the creativeness of Henry Morrison Flagler. From his gardened courtyard to his marble fixtured steam space, The Alcazar Hotel is an architectural assertion about beauty, luxury and enjoyment.
The swimming pool fascinates me even extra than the shower with the sixteen shower-heads. The pool’s ceiling, four stories higher than the drinking water when could be opened to the sky. Huge decks wrapped around the pool in the upper tales, wanting down upon swimmers in one particular of the largest, indoor pools of its working day, fifty feet broad and just one hundred 20 ft extended. Viewing the room housing the swimming pool haunts the imagination. The home is cavernous. Stores line the sides of the pool. The Café Alcazar serves lunch in the deep close, but the ghosts are even now there. Even if they can’t be observed, they can be felt echoing by means of the silence of that huge hall. I wonder if Henry Flagler chafes about his swimming pool currently being turned into a theater, and if Richard Boone regrets the conclusion to engineer that modify. The times are absent when young children splashed a single yet another in that water to the echoes of Beethoven from the orchestra higher than, even though their dancing mom and dad in official attire watched above them, far beneath.
My visits to the Alcazar Resort generally involve time in the pool and reflection of the grandeur of individuals earlier spring evenings. As I wander by the setting up, I attempt to picture how it will have to have been as a hotel. On this past go to, I wandered and mused as just before but to my shock, I experienced a jarring reminder of my 1st arrival at the Museum.
Immediately after checking out the gymnasium, Lightner’s eating area and the slash glass creations, I eventually reached the Tiffany Home. A lot of many years experienced handed considering the fact that my previous excursion to see the real museum reveals. The marginally darkened area authorized the colours of Tiffany’s excellent creations to be highlighted by the sunlight shining by the window. It took my eyes a minute to regulate and when they did, the 1st point I saw was that Tiffany chandelier. I walked closer for a better glimpse and felt the same compulsion I felt, the initially time I was there. I wished to contact it. The exact thoughts occurred, as prior to – what if there is an alarm system. This need to be pretty beneficial. I did not want to result in a stir or get into difficulties, but even now. I desired to touch it. I elevated my hand, extended my index finger and touched a authentic Tiffany development. The ghost was continue to there.
I went again to the Lightner Museum now to get photographs specifically to photograph that Tiffany Chandelier for this post. I predicted to uncover orbs in tons of the shots, because several people today in St. Augustine discuss of how haunted that creating is. I was looking ahead to locating out if the ghost was nonetheless there.
Not only was the ghost not there, the chandelier was not there, either. I went to a museum attendant and asked about the chandelier and was explained to to go to the desk downstairs and question there. The individual I spoke with at the desk experienced been doing work at the Lightner Museum for decades. When I questioned about the chandelier, she answered, “What chandelier?”
I requested if the show had been improved in the previous number of several years and was advised that the Tiffany exhibit experienced not been transformed or altered in any way in much more than forty years. I walked absent shaking my head. Not only was there no chandelier, there had never ever been a chandelier.
When I got dwelling I called the man or woman who was with me on my last take a look at and she confirmed that we had viewed a chandelier and that I was not shedding my head. The practical experience remaining me to some degree disconcerted. I’m not used to owning ghosts participate in with my senses in this way.