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September 5, 2022

Ghost of the Tiffany Room – Lightner Museum – St. Augustine Florida

I froze in my tracks, chilled by the hostile presence I might really feel behind me. A pall of silence fell over the room. Speckled, dancing colours from the stained glass home windows, paused of their motion on the partitions. Folks coming into the room stood stalk nonetheless. I slowly turned to see what had so startled me. I noticed nothing. The presence remained. I squinted, attempting to pierce the veil stopping me from seeing what ever it was. The picture shaped in my thoughts of an offended lady nearing seventy. Her darkish hair confined in a bun on the again of her head was streaked with grey. She wore a print gown reaching nicely under the knee. Her black, wool sweater hung open. Her eyes flashed in anger as she ordered me out of the room.

On my first go to to the Lightner Museum in 1977, I labored my manner slowly by means of the rooms and reveals. Numbed with a relentless onslaught of uniqueness and wonder, it took the Tiffany room to shake me into slightly brighter consciousness. “These articles had been made by the very palms of Louis Consolation Tiffany,” I bear in mind pondering.

Within the middle of the room, a big chandelier hung inside my attain. In years previous, artists instructed me that the mark of a real masterpiece is the compulsion the viewer feels to the touch it. This cut-glass shade was little doubt such a masterpiece and I felt that compulsion. I quietly approached it. Pausing in entrance of it for a couple of seconds to admire its magnificence shut up, it occurred to me that there may be an alarm system and if I touched it, bells and whistles would possibly go off bringing within the museum’s safety. I nonetheless wished to the touch it. Elevating my hand in defiance of the potential penalties, I prolonged my index finger and really gently touched an actual Tiffany, cut-glass Chandelier.

At precisely that second, the hostile presence made itself recognized proper behind me.

Thirty years handed with out my giving that have a lot thought. In time I went to work for Historic Excursions of America. The corporate wished me to overview all of the historic sights earlier than I got here on board fulltime, so I visited the Lightner Museum once more. This time I moved extra slowly, in all probability as a result of in my thirty years in St. Augustine, I had realized extra about Otto Lightner and his contemporaries than I knew on my first go to. A lot of what I noticed this time dropped at thoughts tales I heard and articles I learn. I remembered seeing a room devoted to Musical Machines, on my first go to.

One among Otto Lightner’s collections was machines that may play musical devices. On my first go to I missed the live performance (11:00 A.M. and a couple of.00 P.M. day by day). This time the live performance was simply starting as I walked into that room. Within the early 1900’s folks had been rising enthusiastic about MACHINES. They constructed mechanical gadgets to do issues unimagined prior to now and this room loudly echoes that pleasure in a group of cleverness and creativity forming an artwork type of its personal. One machine even performs a violin. There are a number of organs and avenue pianos together with a hurdy-gurdy. Machines had been the craze of the day.

An adjoining room on the primary flooring reveals two purposeful, blown glass, steam engines; the very essence of the age of business blown into artwork. An early “phrase processor” (an vintage typewriter) is displayed in that room proper beside seashells and Indian spears. Otto Lightner’s ardour was accumulating. His spouse in all probability stated, “he simply by no means throws something away.” His button assortment is upstairs with the minimize glass and crystal. He collected fairly, marble women, elaborate furnishings and strange dishes. The record is limitless.

Lighter made his cash within the Hobbies Journal enterprise advocating the interest of accumulating. He traveled the world doing his personal shopping for. He was an avid collector of collections and he opened a museum to deal with them. A customer will discover the whole lot there from toasters to Tiffanies, from Steins to Steinways. He even collected an Egyptian Mummy. That in all probability has a ghost related to it, too. Lightner’s Museum is sort of a spot, however probably the most dramatic, historic artifact there’s the constructing itself, a tribute to the creativeness of Henry Morrison Flagler. From his gardened courtyard to his marble fixtured steam room, The Alcazar Resort is an architectural assertion about magnificence, luxurious and pleasure.

The swimming pool fascinates me much more than the bathe with the sixteen shower-heads. The pool’s ceiling, 4 tales above the water as soon as could possibly be opened to the sky. Huge decks wrapped across the pool within the higher tales, wanting down upon swimmers in one of many largest, indoor swimming pools of its day, fifty ft large and 100 twenty ft lengthy. Viewing the room housing the swimming pool haunts the creativeness. The room is cavernous. Outlets line the perimeters of the pool. The Café Alcazar serves lunch within the deep finish, however the ghosts are nonetheless there. Even when they cannot be seen, they are often felt echoing by means of the silence of that giant corridor. I’m wondering if Henry Flagler chafes over his swimming pool being become a theater, and if Richard Boone regrets the choice to engineer that change. The times are gone when kids splashed each other in that water to the echoes of Beethoven from the orchestra above, whereas their dancing dad and mom in formal apparel watched over them, far under.

My visits to the Alcazar Resort all the time embody time within the pool and reflection of the grandeur of these previous spring nights. As I wander by means of the constructing, I attempt to think about the way it will need to have been as a resort. On this final go to, I wandered and mused as earlier than however to my shock, I had a jarring reminder of my first arrival on the Museum.

After visiting the gymnasium, Lightner’s eating room and the minimize glass creations, I lastly reached the Tiffany Room. A few years had handed since my final journey to see the precise museum reveals. The marginally darkened room allowed the colours of Tiffany’s fantastic creations to be highlighted by the solar shining by means of the window. It took my eyes a second to regulate and after they did, the very first thing I noticed was that Tiffany chandelier. I walked nearer for a greater look and felt the identical compulsion I felt, the primary time I used to be there. I wished to the touch it. The identical ideas occurred, as earlier than – what if there’s an alarm system. This should be fairly beneficial. I did not wish to trigger a stir or get into bother, however nonetheless. I wished to the touch it. I raised my hand, prolonged my index finger and touched an actual Tiffany creation. The ghost was nonetheless there.

I went again to the Lightner Museum at this time to get images particularly to {photograph} that Tiffany Chandelier for this text. I anticipated to search out orbs in plenty of the images, since many individuals in St. Augustine discuss of how haunted that constructing is. I used to be wanting ahead to discovering out if the ghost was nonetheless there.

Not solely was the ghost not there, the chandelier was not there, both. I went to a museum attendant and requested concerning the chandelier and was instructed to go to the desk downstairs and ask there. The particular person I spoke with on the desk had been working on the Lightner Museum for many years. Once I requested concerning the chandelier, she answered, “What chandelier?”

I requested if the exhibit had been modified in the previous few years and was instructed that the Tiffany exhibit had not been modified or altered in any manner in additional than forty years. I walked away shaking my head. Not solely was there no chandelier, there had by no means been a chandelier.

Once I obtained house I referred to as the one who was with me on my final go to and he or she confirmed that we had seen a chandelier and that I used to be not shedding my thoughts. The expertise left me considerably disconcerted. I am not used to having ghosts play with my senses on this manner.

Source by Robert Makin

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