Heather and I knew nothing of the story of the ghost of Sue Howard Hardy when . . . .
. . . . on the evening of June 4, 2012 I poked the lens of my camera between the wrought iron bars of the fence around the graveyard at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina to get some shots of the tombstones. Thanks to the magic of digital photography I didn’t have to wait for film to be developed. When the first image popped up on the screen Heather let out a little scream, saying something about a ghost. We both laughed, and then thought no more of it. Sure enough though, if you look at the small tombstone in the back right portion of the frame, just under and to the right of the left side window, you can see what appears to be a face.
Neither of us had ever heard of Sue Howard Hardy, Harry Reynolds, or the ghost. We never did take one of the many “ghost tours” offered in Charleston. What caught our attention was this sign, positioned just inside the fence. We had no idea what it meant at the time. We found out a few minutes later.
Just as Heather mentioned the "ghost" in my first shot (the one above), we noticed that we had an audience. About 15 people had walked up in a group – it was an actual ghost tour. I was kneeling on the ground propping my camera on the low stone wall at the base of the wrought iron fence. The guide started to tell the story of Sue Howard Hardy, and even had a convenient prop (me) when he got to the part about the amateur photographer “taking photos of the tombstones, much like this gentleman right here”. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few patrons thought I might have been a plant.
Later we moved across the street to another part of the graveyard, where we spotted a trio of dark gray cats. Two of them found a cool spot to lounge on one of the stone vaults, and Heather asked if I could get a shot of them. It was pretty dark, but I tried a bit of light painting with my pocket flashlight, which illuminated them just enough to make them look like ghosts. The camera's flash would have totally ruined the nighttime effect, so I didn't bother with that.
Here's a closer view of the Ghost Cats of St. Philip's.
On our first night in Charleston I had spotted an interesting view through a dark corridor alongside the graveyard at St. Mary's Catholic Church. I took a couple of shots, but they were somewhat blurry since I didn't use any sort of support for the camera in the low light. I decided to go back the following night to try for something better. Here's what I got on the second visit.
On the first visit, however, I did get something a bit more interesting, even if not quite as sharp. Look closely in this next image and you can see the Ghost Cat of St. Mary's running from right to left just in front of the statue.
With the lights in the church off at night, the red glow of the votive candles made for an eerie picture across the graveyard.
Next time we're in Charleston we'll have to take a real ghost tour - I'm sure there must be more stories and more ghosts.