Horrornkill.com got the opportunity to venture down to Savannah, Georgia where we spent an afternoon exploring Bonaventure Cemetery. Nothing says creepy like a visit to an old cemetery.
The cemetery was originally established in 1868 as the privately owned Evergreen Cemetery on the site of John Mullryne’s plantation. On July 7th, 1907 the City of Savannah purchased the Evergreen Cemetery Company and made the cemetery public. It was at this time the city changed the name to Bonaventure Cemetery.
The Bonaventure Cemetery is located on over 100 acres. The graves are eerily decorated with some of the most beautiful yet creepy statues. One such statue you might recognize is from the cover of John Berendt’s book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The statue was also featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Little Wendy aka Bird Girl
The statue is called Bird Girl and was created by Sylvia Shaw Judson. There were only four of the statues made from the original plaster cast. One of the statues was purchased by a family in Savannah, Georgia who placed it at the family’s plot in Bonaventure Cemetery. The statue was renamed Little Wendy. Little Wendy remained in the cemetery virtually unnoticed until she was discovered by photographer Jack Leigh in 1993. Jack Leigh (who is also buried at Bonaventure) was hired by Random House to shoot the cover for John Berendt’s book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book was later turned into a movie by the same name in 1997. The film was directed by Clint Eastwood and featured Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.
You can’t visit Little Wendy aka Bird Girl statue at Bonaventure Cemetery anymore. The statue was removed from the cemetery in 1997. However, if you want to visit a very creepy statue let me suggest that you visit the grave located at E-98.
Gracie Watson died of pneumonia two days before Easter at the age of six. Her parents, W.J. and Frances Watson managed the Pulaski Hotel in Savannah. Gracie was known to entertain guests at the hotel. Often times she could be found playing at the hotel or outside at Johnson Square. There has been several reports of the ghost of Little Gracie Watson playing in a white dress around Johnson Square where the hotel used to stand. The ghost will play for a few moments before disappearing into thin air.
There are other reports that her grave site is haunted. The stories go that if any of the toys, flowers, coins, or stones are removed from Gracie’s grave than her statue will cry tears of blood.
Gracie Watson’s grave is surrounded by a wrought iron fence and is marked with the following inscribed in stone:
“Little Gracie Watson was born in 1883, the only child of her parents. Her father was manager of the Pulaski House, one of Savannah’s leading hotels, where the beautiful and charming little girl was a favorite with the guests. Two days before Easter, in April 1889, Gracie died of pneumonia at the age of six. In 1890, when the rising sculptor, John Walz, moved to Savannah, he craved from a photograph this life-sized, delicately detailed marble statue which for almost a century has captured the interest of all passerby.”
Visiting Bonaventure Cemetery
The main entrance is at 330 Bonaventure Road, Thunderbolt, Georgia, 31404. The cemetery is open from 8 am to 5 pm every day of the year. There is no admission fee to visit. You can even get a free guided tour from the Bonaventure Historical Society. There are also companies that try to sell you a tour to the park. My recommendation is to drive into the cemetery find you a quiet area to park and walk around. If there are certain graves that you want to explore, than you can download an app for free from the Bonaventure Historical Society.
I would suggest that you plan to spend a few hours there. Just walk around and explore. Maybe you will run across a ghost but if not you will be able to see and photograph some of the creepiest graves in the world.