Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Move Over! You're Hogging The Casket! Two to a grave always sucks - especially when vampire legends rise up.

Within the spaces between fact and fantasy a curious legend has arisen like the undead around a mysterious grave marker in Lafayette, Colorado.

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.


Anonymous said...

I would like to correct it, since it seems to be misquoted everywhere. That location is believed to have residual energies and possibly one joker spirit who plays upon the vampire legend. I've done great amounts of research into who Mr. Glava is, and he is not suspected of being a vampire anywhere but legends and myths. That grave has gotten entirely too much attention over an urban legend.

The EVP I captured stated "Do you want my stake?" and the voice sounded highly condescending and upset in nature. Please do not mistake the EVP translation as an agreement of urban legend. I don't believe that came from anything other than some energy or entity being upset by the attention that cemetery gets. Not some mythical vampire.

~* Drea Penndragon *~

Cullan Hudson said...

Thanks for your added insight, Drea. Trust, I mistake nothing. However, I did accurately quote the paper of record. If there is an error, it is theirs. As for me? I've never visited the grave, but I can tell you I don't believe in vampires (aside from a historical construct) and I have heard precious few EVPs of merit in my time. This unusual grave exists as a fascinating glimpse into the human condition far more than a window to the unexplained. It is for this reason I have shared the tale with my readers.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, and folk lore seems to take hold of so many, thus my serious misquoting LOL In point of fact, one evening I was simply there as the sun went down to get headstone photos since so many there are old and rather pretty. Part of a genealogical society to locate lost headstones of family. A group of young girls walked through and squealed and ran when my camera flashed, terrified of the 'vampire'. ::shaking head:: Some people don't use much common sense when dealing with hauntings, they wish to assume it is as fantastical as they hope it to be and never really search for the meaning or history or something as simple as a natural cause or easy explanation.