The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Stanford House

a.k.a., "The Governor's Mansion" was recently restored and is now part of California's Parks System. I don't know if Leland Stanford, Jr's ghost likes the renovations, but I'm not going to be the one to ask. It sounded like it was an amazing place when it first opened up in 1872...I don't think I would like to leave, either!

...It [the mansion] contains forty-four rooms, all most elaborately and luxuriously furnished and fitted up. Good taste and cultured imaginations have been exhausted in furnishing the establishment. Magnificent and costly furniture in every room; lace curtains of the finest fabric; carpets that receive with noiseless tread the footfall; frescoes beautiful in design and exquisite in artistic perfection, adorn the wars and ceiling. Large bouquets of natural flowers are placed in every room, and their fragrance perfumes the air. Added to these are numerous baskets of artificial flowers, pendent from which artificial birds warble forth the rarest music, imitating canaries and other sweet singers. These artificial birds are an ingenious piece of mechanism, winding up like a clock. It requires an expert to say that they are not live birds. The bedroom and adjacent apartment in which the supper is served present a most inviting appearance. For each guest there are six different wine glasses. The entire service, from napkin-rings to centerpieces, is of solid silver, all being entirely new. There is room for 200 guests at a sitting. [From] the sidewalk to the grand entrance of the mansion is a waterproof canopy. Ladies descending from carriages are thus protected from rain, and an elegant carpet adds to the comfort. Everything is on a scale of unsurpassed magnificence. - California Historical Society Quarterly- September 1940

According to legend, Stanford University owes its existence to the ghost of a 16 year-old boy. In 1884 while voyaging in Italy, Leland Stanford Jr., the only child of Jane and Leland Stanford, fell ill with typhoid fever and passed away. Leland Stanford Sr., refusing to leave the bedside of his gravely ill son, fell into a troubled sleep the morning the boy died. Little Leland appeared to him in a dream, a ghostly image urging him to move on with his life. "Do not say that you have nothing to live for," he implored, "live for humanity." When he awoke, Stanford had a new purpose in life. "The children of California shall be our children," he announced to his wife. And thus, Stanford University was born.

The ghost of Leland Stanford, Jr. is said to still roam around the ornate mansion. Wandering around the halls....looking for his toy trains of which he was so fond of....


Blogger Carnacki said...

cookie jill,

I love it. Great post and pic. Was beginning to worry that skippy and his crew of merry scalawags had chained you to a keyboard in the hold of his ship and the Haunted Vampires would have to rescue you, swinging on board like middle-aged versions of Errol Flynn.

10/04/2005 05:26:00 AM  

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