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Local folklore lives on

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Noreen Hyslop photo The Enchanted Holmes, located atop a hill on the north end of Dexter, is the backdrop for tales of hauntings that have been around for decades.
Tonight's the night! Little ghosts and goblins, witches and warlocks, and sometimes even scarier Hillary Clintons and George Bushes will be roaming the city streets and country roads on a mission to fill their bags with sweets and treats.

While society has gradually departed from the "spookier" side of Halloween, there still exists some aspects of the macabre that cause the hair to rise on the back of one's neck. Among them are dated cemeteries where the wind blows fallen leaves across grave markers that are so weathered that the dates depicting birth and death are barely legible. Tales of local hangings and tragic accidents whose victims occasionally pay a visit to the site of the tragedy continue to be savored from one generation to the next.

Perhaps no more infamous tales exist locally than those associated with the former house of Ira Holmes, now appropriately named, "The Enchanted Holmes." The house was purchased three years aog and refurbished last year by Joni Burleson and has been welcoming guests, some invited, some seemingly uninvited, since its doors were opened as a lodging home in the spring.

"I think sometimes that the old house is as spooky as guests wish to make it," says Burleson, who has been witness herself to some unexplained occurrences as she worked long hours preparing the home for the public.

Holmes himself was buried in the front yard of the home upon his death decades ago, but seeing the tombstone as a deterrent to prospective buyers, descendants of Holmes decided to move the grave to a local cemetery when they put it on the market a few years ago.

"Because of the love that Ira Holmes had for the old home, he seems to always be there," explains Burleson.

Whether or not hauntings exist in the majestic old place is irrelevant to Burleson, who has no fear of an overnight stay at the place.

"I think the stories and history of the old place just enhance its appeal," Burleson explains. The mind is a powerful thing."

Residents are reminded that the house will not be available for trick-or- treaters this Halloween, since Burleson will be hosting a private murder mystery party.

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There use to be a coffin in the frontroom ...... as a kid we would walk up there and show other kids that didnt believe us ... i have been up there on Halloween for many years .. and believe me there are spirits all around !!

-- Posted by BootheelBoogieMan on Wed, Oct 31, 2007, at 2:47 PM

Love these Halloween stories!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 6:08 PM

BootheelBoogieMan, I bet I may know you...did you used to own a trailer up by that house?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 10:07 PM

@yahoo.com send me a email

-- Posted by BootheelBoogieMan on Mon, Nov 5, 2007, at 12:29 PM

This House use to be a Doctors Office yrs ago ...... And the basement was the Morgue ......

-- Posted by BootheelBoogieMan on Tue, Nov 6, 2007, at 6:49 PM

When exactly was there a coffin in the front room of the Holmes estate? Are you talking about when it was a funeral parlor, or something more recent? During the prohibtion, it was used as a speakeasy. I am the 5th child of Ira Holmes, we lived there.

-- Posted by holmeschild5 on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 11:27 AM

I'm not really sure that the Ira V. Holmes house was really ever used as a

funeral home, although with many families, when a family member died, their body would lay in state at the house. Which is what happend in Mr. Holmes house. On the wall on the left

side coming into the house at the entrance under the carport. Their were

two kerrosene lamps attached to the

wall. Between these lamps is where the

coffin would sit,until burial.

-- Posted by holmeschild3 on Sun, Apr 27, 2008, at 3:49 PM

-- Posted by holmeschild3 on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 3:10 PM

I have been told recently that people

who knew Ira.V Holmes thinks that his

children abandoned him, and wanted nothing to do with him. That is so untrue. His long time friend betrayed

him for his money. And wouldn't let

us visit him. My sister would go to see

him and this person would turn her away.

saying that he can't come to the door.

Ira was not a mean man,and we would never have been mean to him. When the

5 of us children moved away from his

house, he had a house full of wonderful

antique furniture which was supposed to

stay with the Holmes estate. This so

called friend, had a sale on the front

lawn. All of the furniture is gone.

What a cruel thing to do to someone who

thinks your a friend... His family did

care for him...And we are so grateful

to Joni Burleson that she has given new

life to the Holmes estate.

-- Posted by holmeschild3 on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 3:46 PM

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