Grand old home: The Cox’s residence Orange Valley. *Photo supplied
Grand old home: The Cox’s residence Orange Valley. *Photo supplied
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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14: We’ve all heard of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. But this Christmas we can meet three other ghosts who have long spooked the hallways of the Cox’s household.

The Garden Club of Bermuda is to host an open house this Saturday at the centuries-old haunted residence of Bermudian historian and author John Cox.

Set in acres of woodland gardens, the beautiful Georgian home was built by a Captain William Cox in 1802 after he returned from a voyage at sea. The  house has remained with the family ever since.

Mr Cox says his home is haunted by three ghosts — one of Mary, the first wife of Captain William Cox, who died in 1806; Laura, Captain Cox’s daughter who died in 1861; and Aubrey, the grandson of John Cox’s great-great-great grandfather also named William, who died in 1929.

As well as having the chance to meet these ethereal beings, guests at the Christmas In November event can learn about the rich history of the house and gardens through a number of guided tours.

The house will be decorated with festive cheer and the grounds transformed into a beautiful enchanted garden by the garden club’s award-winning floral artists.

Joy Nash of the Garden Club of Bermuda said: “It is a gorgeous Georgian house — it has a lovely great room full of cedar and they have just put in a brand new country kitchen which will be in keeping with the rest of the house.”

She read from a brochure: “The grandfather clock standing in the hallway arrived in 1808 on Captain Cox’s return. Ticking away the centuries it still keeps perfect time.

“The great cedar room is a splendid addition to the historic house. Designed by Michael Cox in 1981 and it affirms the skills of 19th century carpenters and shipwrights by its adherence to the traditional methods of construction.

 “Woodland paths lead down to the garden past natural arbours shaded by guavas, palmetto, black ebony and mahogany trees. The coffee trees were planted in the early 1800s, the Royal poinciana and Indian rubber tree are amongst the oldest trees on the island.

The sapling brought by Captain Cox has grown into a colossal kapok tree its pale pink and white flowers bloom at night.”

There will be Christmas crafts for sale as well as a bake sale and plant sale that includes poinsettias and Bermuda roses. Santa will greet the children from 11am to 1pm, there will be hayrides and Christmas carols will be performed live. Host John Cox will be present and signing copies of his book Ghostly Tales.

Christmas In November takes place from 10am to 4pm on November 17. The house is Orange Valley, Devonshire (turn off Middle Road on to Orange Valley Rd & Devonshire Post Office and follow the  signs). Parking is at Prospect Primary School. A shuttle will be available.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and free for children under the age of 10 — they will be available on the day. All proceeds will go towards the Garden Club Scholarship Programme. Visit www.gardenclubbermuda.org for more information. The two main organizers of the event are Rosalind Gutteridge and Heather Brewer.