I’m going to insert my two cents into the introduction of this first story because I think it’s important to remind us all that mourning jewelry brought a great sense of peace and comfort to the people who originally owned it. I know that many people see mourning jewelry as morbid today. As I wrote in a previous 3 part blog on Sentimental jewelry, there was a spiritual belief of the afterlife that was driving the creation of these particular forms of keepsakes. It was widely understood that a body had to be resurrected prior to the final judgement before going to the Afterlife. If you held a piece of the person who passed away (i.e. the hair of deceased), that person would need to come find you to retrieve that part of them before they could move on. Having a piece of jewelry with the person’s hair guaranteed that you would see that person again. That belief of being reunited brought a great sense of peace and comfort to the person who had the jewelry originally.
It is in that spirit that I will tell you the story of
The Peaceful Ring
Sarah Nehama is the author of In Death Lamented- The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry. With her extensive collection of mourning jewelry, she was asked in an interview when she curated a show at the Massachusetts Historical Society if she had ever had any bizarre jewelry stories. She talked about a pendant that came with an unusual coincidence.
When Sarah went home, she decided to do more research on Clara. Benjamin Franklin’s sister turned out to be Clara’s great-great grandmother and the grave she was overlooking was Clara’s great-great-great grandparents! Sarah had brought the pendant of Clara (along her picture and hair) all the way home to Clara’s ancestors!
I’m always interested in how jewelry travels from place to place and how it gets to its current destination. Sarah had purchased this pendant of Clara from a dealer in England. She had no idea how the pendant found its way there, but it can almost be seen as if Sarah was guided by some spirit within the pendant itself. She mentioned in the article that she was simply attracted to the picture of Clara. Was that attraction some guiding spirit from Clara herself? Had Clara’s spirit wanted to meet her relatives after so many years in a different county? Did the spirit of Clara know that Sarah would be the vehicle to achieve that goal? Is there a spirit in the pendant at all? Who can say? After hearing so many unusual coincidences, I’m reminded of the saying that there are no coincidences.
*You can read the article for yourself here
If you remember from Part I of this blog, I told you a story of a woman who was visited by the spirit of a downed girl in her dreams. Dreams, some people believe, are a common way for those who have passed on to communicate with the living. While this next story takes place after waking from a dream, the woman whose story this is will tell you that she was NOT dreaming during the occurrence.
Maelgwns_muse is an Instagram friend who will tell you that she has been able to read objects and people since she was a small girl. She has a number of stories of objects carrying residual impressions of those who have come before. No Halloween blog about ghost stories would be complete without an actual ghost, so here it is!
Maelgwns_muse had just bought a Victorian baby rattle, similar to the one below from the sold archives of a Skinner Auction.
Shortly after acquiring the rattle, she woke one night to see a baby with a bluish glow wearing a Victorian Christening gown crawling toward her in her bed!
I don’t know about you, but I think I’d have to think twice about keeping that rattle! As an aside, I was in an antique store recently where I found one of those Victorian rattles. I remembered that story and left the rattle there for someone braver than I am. If you are the brave sort, ask me and I’ll tell you where you can find it. If you bring it home and it has a ghost attached to it, don’t say I didn’t warn you!