A few days, a few weeks.... time is meaningless, right? The important thing is that I'm back for part two of my spooky Cape Cod adventure.
First let me tell you about the inn where we stayed. I chose it because it is right next door to the Edward Gorey House Museum. It's called Chapter House and since this isn't an advertisement for them 😉, I'll let you look it up. The inn was great! I believe it is recently under new management and has been updated. Being off season, there weren't many people staying there, and we found our room (I could see the Gorey House from our window) was comfortable, cozy, and nicely decorated. I don't know about you, but I hate staying in rooms in historic inns that are overly decorated and busy. This room was very relaxing in its decor. A light, delicious breakfast is served in the morning and there is a small bar in the main house for guests. The inn keepers were very friendly and helpful and, of course, I was able to learn that the 1716 main house has ghosts and that a medium had recently pointed to an antique mirror on the stair landing and called it a portal for the spirits. I was so entranced that I forgot to take a picture. Duh.
We began our second day early in the misty morning with a stop at Ancient Cemetery a few blocks away from our inn on the advice of some friends. They told us about a certain gravestone we had to see. With rough directions from Roadside America (and a minor direction squabble between my husband and me) we located the gravestone of Mary Dolencie (1906-1985). Apparently, Ms. Dolencie lived in a gated community of sorts and had a disagreement with her neighbors over cats. I believe she was on the pro-cat side. This woman can hold a grudge and had her gravestone etched with the words:
May eternal damnation be upon those in Whaling Port who, without knowing me, have maliciously vilified me. May the curse of God be upon them and theirs.
That, my friends, is how you make sure people visit your grave. We walked around the cemetery for about 30 minutes. There are some old and new(!) gravestones with winged skulls that are interesting to see.
From there we headed to The Edward Gorey House. This has been on my bucket list for too many years to count. By the time we arrived, the sun was breaking through the mists and the front door was being unlocked.
The museum is the last house that Gorey lived in- he died in Cape Cod in 2000. He purchased the house in 1979 without ever going inside and ended up spending a great deal of time and money making it habitable. Lesson learned. This museum is not like a typical historic house museum (I say that with the lens of having degrees in Historic Preservation and Interior Design) but that made it even more interesting for me!
The museum was opened two years after Gorey died and you will find an assortment of interesting odds and ends that he collected over the years alongside his sketches, book drawings, famous fur coat, and a sense of how he lived in the house. The entrance room holds an exhibit of Gorey's work where the theme changes each year. This year the exhibit is Doing the Steps and it's a look at Gorey's ties to ballet, specifically the New York City Ballet, which he attended regularly for 30 years.
|Doing the Steps, Edward Gorey House Exhibit|
Throughout the house, there's a playful atmosphere. The curator-written descriptions of objects are amusing and fun to read. Best of all, there is a scavenger hunt to find all the characters from Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies that my husband had a good time locating. The house is small and you can see it all in 15 minutes, but if you take the time to read the descriptions and notice the placement of seemingly unrelated objects next to each other you start to step into Gorey's mind and you'll find an hour has quickly passed! I didn't take as many photos as I thought I would because frankly I was so focused on what I was looking at. I enjoyed our visit very much and it's the kind of place that you can return to again and again and see something you didn't notice before.
|Quote from Edward Gorey's mother|
|"The actual tassels themselves were found in a cigar box among Edward's things after his death. We have no reason to suspect they had anything to do with his passing."|
|The Gashlycrumb Tinies Scavenger Hunt|
|The famous coat.|
|The program for Gorey's Memorial Service|
We finished out the rest of our day with stops at local breweries (Barnstable Brewing and Bad Martha Farmer's Brewing), a visit to a lighthouse, and some seafood. It was a short and delightful trip with a side of spooky.
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