It’s human nature I guess to be afraid of the things we don’t understand. Most people, when confronted with a ghost would quickly turn and go the other direction. Most people would NOT invite a ghost to dinner. Yet, in this story, that is exactly what happened. Every time the owners of Cool Springs Plantation in Camden, South Carolina, had a party they would offer a glass of wine to a most unusual guest.
John Bonner, a former Curator of Rare Books at The University of Georgia, had purchased Cool Springs a few years earlier. The house, built in the 1800s had fallen into a state of disrepair and so Bonner spent the next several years repairing the house to its former glory. Upon completing the task, Bonner decided to have a dinner party both to celebrate his accomplishment, and to show off the home to his friends.
During the party, everyone was having a good time when one guest asked John who was the man he saw walking towards the back of the house in the oppisite direction of the dinning room. John asked the guest to describe him and the guest told Bonner the man was wearing a blazer and an ascot but that they seemed to be from a time lost since gone. John and his guest went to see who the man was and where he went. The guest pointed to the study as where he last saw the man headed. John and the man walked in to see… nothing.
The lamp was on is the room and music was playing but as the the men looked around the empty room the music changed abruptly from a lively piece to an old fashioned melody. John walked over to turn off the stereo when, without John getting close, the stereo turn itself off. The men chalked the event up to coincidence and left to search for the mystery man. They found nothing except a wine glass on the porch John Bonner had set down while greeting his guests. Although over half full when he had placed it there, the glass was now empty. A check of the other guests found no one had drank the wine as there was plenty inside.
The next day John called a friend of his to describe his ghostly encounter the previous evening. His friend said that what John had described sounded like Dixie Boykin, a former owner of Cool Springs.
Dixie Boykin had a heart attack in front of his daughter. As she rushed to get his medicine, she ran into her step mother who told the girl she was too panicked to be of any use and to go lie down while she, the step mother, took care of Dixie. The girl did as she was told. Twenty minutes later the woman declared her husband was died.
Some have suggested the woman killed Dixie, citing the fact that the woman forbade Dixie’s children from attending the funeral and the fact that Dixie was her third husband to die of ‘accidental’ death.
After learning of the history John Bonner was not afraid of his ghost, and always made sure a glass of wine was set out for the ghost of Dixie Boykin.