Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Move Over! You're Hogging The Casket! Two to a grave always sucks - especially when vampire legends rise up.
The tombstone lies among the indigent graves at the Lafayette Municipal Cemetery and legend has it belongs to a vampire. It is said that a man born in Transylvania rests disquietly below and that folks have been seeing unusual lights, hearing disincarnate voices, and those who dare visit the site alone are attacked by an unseen force. Some have claimed to have seen spirits hovering about the grave. Those wary of whatever dwells below in the earth have been known to leave behind tokens meant to dissuade any evil forces: voodoo dolls, salt, and rosaries.
Truth be told, according to reports in the Lafayette Leader, there are actually two men in the grave - both miners. Theodore Glava, aged 43, was born in Austria and John Trandafir, aged 27, was in fact from the Transyvania region of Romania. Ostensibly both men were brought to Colorado during the booming days of Rocky Mountain mining, but influenza struck down Glava and Trndafir succumbed to pneumonia. Since the men had now family on these shores, they were interred among the less-fortunate.
However, the men were given a tombstone to share. Crudely etched into a wet cement slab was a scant epitaph for each. Several words were misspelled and information belonging to one man was mistakenly attributed to the other.
Some hold fast to the belief of a haunted grave site. Facts don't seem to diminish that. Drea Penndragon, a local paranormal investigator, reports having collected an EVP, upon which she claims a spectral voice can be clearly heard asking the ominous question, "Do you want to see my stake?"
Through misunderstandings and ignorance, many believed the grave belonged solely to a man named Glava. From this half-truth, interesting local legends sprouted. Some claim, for instance, the tree that seems to rise up from the center of the grave germinated from the wooden stake thrust deep into Glava's heart. Local legend also grows thorny around Trandafir's name, which in Romanian means "rose". For a while roses grew by the grave. The story is that these were Glava's fingernails sprouting out as a rosebush as he tried to free himself from the ground. This undoubtedly arose prior to anyone discovering that a second person with this Romanian word as a surname was buried alongside Glava.
This is both a prime example of how legends arise and the importance of proper research for paranormal investigators.
You can read more about this in Weird Colorado, which has just been released.