Saturday, August 26, 2017

Duwall Manor - The Wine Cellar

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when Duwall Manor was built, a large wine cellar was built as a basement. The space is large, with several smaller storage rooms around the periphery, while the main room in the center housed a large oak table and several cabinets. The cellar was used for atmospheric gatherings of Abraham and his friends, and as such, had only oil lamps strategically placed along the walls for light. 

Of course, a dark, underground room such as that is prime for stories of equally dark happenings. Before their deaths, it was rumored by locals that the Duwalls sometimes took slaves or local girls down into the wine cellar, got them drunk and then had their way with them. It was said that even the Duwall women took part, abusing the slaves with broom handles or whatever else their tool of choice was. These stories are largely unsubstantiated though. 

After the Duwall family passed away, the wine cellar was ransacked, and every bottle absconded with by thieves or locals with a grievance. It sat empty for years afterward, most of the owners who's hands the property passed through only truly having time to use the space for storage before they passed the home on again. 

In 1894, the size of the home and property found itself well suited to be used by its owner as an orphanage, and at one point in 1899 housed as many as 60 children. 

In 1901, a girl of thirteen by the name of Carrie found herself living at Duwall. She was mentally incompetent, but became close friends with one of the girls caretakers, Dana. They bonded well, which was good for Carrie because she failed to get along with the other girls her own age. 

As it happened, Dana became engaged, and planned to leave the orphanage. Carrie was happy for her, but during one of Dana's fiance's lunchtime visits, Carrie became badly enamored with him. After a few instances of kindness, Carrie became convinced that Dana's fiance was actually interested in her, and not the older woman. 

Carrie's delusion grew, until she was absolutely convinced her and Dana's fiance could be together if Dana wasn't in the way. 

One day, when Dana went upstairs to bring Carrie her dinner, the younger girl lay in wait with a heavy bookend. When the woman's back was turned, Carrie smashed it into the back of her head, killing her instantly. 

Dana's fiance came looking for her a few days later after having no contact. Nobody knew where she had gone or what had happened to her. It was only when he pressed Carrie for answers that the truth came out. 

Unable to carry the body out without people noticing, Carrie had pushed the body under her bed. But she had also known that it couldn't stay there. Not knowing what else to do, the young girl had taken to eating the body in order to get rid of it. By the time the act was discovered, one arm and leg had each been chewed down to the bone, while the hand and foot were gone entirely.

Disgusted, and horrified at the idea of the story getting out into the community, the woman running the orphanage decided not to inform the authorities. Carrie was taken into the old wine cellar and locked away, without food, water, or light. A heavy padlock was placed on the door, which wouldn't be removed until 1914. 

In the darkness of the wine cellar, they found the remains of the girl propped up in a corner. The investigator determined she had likely starved to death in the darkness, her body feeding rats running around, given the tiny teeth marks on her bones. 

A paranormal investigator, wandering through Duwall Manor in 2016 claimed to have seen the spirit of a little girl in the wine cellar. He also said from the moment he entered the basement until the moment he left, he was beset by a fierce hunger for something very specific, although he couldn't quite identify exactly what that desire was for. 

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