Ghost in Springdale?

Published 1:31 am Friday, October 26, 2018

Something eerie about disappearing wedding veils

If there is a ghost at Springdale, as suggested by the title of last night’s Covington County Historical Society program, it seems to like wedding veils.

Nancy Clark shared her daughter’s wedding veil mystery.

“I have never told this story much to anybody,” Clark said. “But my daughter, Elizabeth Clark Loflin, had her reception here in February of 2012 and it was such a blessed event in so many ways.”

She went on to describe the very unique wedding veil.

“The veil was just wonderful,” Clark said. “We have memories of that veil from the walk from the First Baptist Church over to Springdale. It was a very cold windy evening and the veil was flowing in the wind. It was a long cathedral veil and there was a long story about how it tore one day when she was getting out of the car and the seamstress was able to fix it. It was a very unique veil, it had ribbons on the edges and it was homemade. It wasn’t that it was very spectacular, it was just a unique veil.”

Clark’s daughter said that she put the veil in a closet at Springdale and left for her honeymoon in Key West, hoping her mom would retrieve it for her.

“We had to clean the entire house before 11 the next morning,” Clark said. “So we had everything cleaned and made sure everything was out of the house. There was no veil in the closet.”

Clark said that for months they searched, unsuccessfully, for the veil.

“We never found the veil,” Clark said. “Until Kim Keahey’s daughter’s wedding.”

She said that Lexie Keahey’s wedding was also at Springdale. As a group prayed over the bride, Clark realized something.

“We were all gathered around, praying for Lexie,” Clark said. “And I noticed a veil on Lexie’s head and I thought to myself, ‘I recognize that veil.’ I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t want to embarrass Lexie, but I finally asked her after the prayer, ‘Lexie, where did you find that veil?’ and she replied, ‘It was the strangest thing. My veil disappeared this morning.’”

Clark said that Lexie told her that she had lost her veil that morning while she was getting ready.

“Lexie said that she put it in the same closet that Elizabeth’s was in,” Clark said. “And then when she opened it again, Elizabeth’s veil was sitting there.”

Keahey’s veil is still missing.

“We never found the other veil,” Keahey said. “But we did give Elizabeth back her veil.”

Aurelia Scherf Donald, a granddaughter of Springdale founder John G. Scherf, who presented a history of the home at the meeting, said she first heard stories of a ghost after the death of a cousin.

“My cousin Jay was my Uncle John’s first son,” Donald said. “In the early 2000s, late 90s, he got cancer and died. It wasn’t until then that this house was ever haunted.”

Dr. Charles Tomberlin lived in Springdale for nearly 30 years before selling it to the city of Andalusia in 2010.

“When Dr. Tomberlin lived in the house, he invited me over to give me a walk through,” Donald said. “When I was there he told me a story. He said that he and his wife were sitting in the living room, watching T.V., and it was quite late at night. He said that there was a noise in the pantry, and there were things falling off the shelves. They said that they did not want to go look, so they ignored it. Then, there were shelves in the living room that had books in them and they said that the books starting falling off of the shelves. He said that it freaked them out so they went upstairs to bed.”

Donald said that her cousin Jay was very good friends with the Tomberlins.

“They told me that he would always come over to the house and spend the night at the home,” Donald said. “And they said that the first thing Jay would do was to come through the kitchen door, and piddle around the pantry for food.”

Donald said the Tomberlins told her that after her cousin Jay died, the lights began to flicker, and the maids would not be in the house at night. The doorbell also started to randomly ring throughout the night.

Historical Society President Sue Bass Wilson said that the turnout was larger than at normal meetings.

“We usually have about 25 people show up to our regular meetings,” Wilson said. “But tonight we had around 70 and we acquired some new members tonight as well. I think we did a great job of preserving some history tonight. A lot of people learned something new.”