Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Tragic Ghost of Garbrielle Bonnet
Mobile was celebrating the third Mobile Mardi Gras in 1703. The lovely Gabrielle Bonnet came to Mobile aboard the ship called Pelican in 1702. Breathtakingly beautiful, Gabrielle had been one of about two dozen young girls recruited by the French government to marry and mother the future of colonial France. These girls came to be known as the pelican girls.
Gabrielle was very lovely and was very popular among the colonial French Canadians who were stationed there. However, one man, who's name has been lost, won her heart and soon married her. Gabrielle fell deeply in love during the required month long courtship. Sadly, the day after her honeymoon night, her new husband rode off from the fort and deserted his young, beautiful wife. For a few months, Gabrielle wandered around Old Mobile with her black hair unbound, still wearing her white wedding dress.
The sympathetic Mobilians tried to look after the grieving girl, but she would not be consoled and her behavior became more and more erratic. She often cried out his name and wandered around the woods screaming in heartbroken anguish. Having no money, and no family back in Paris, Gabrielle was hopelessly destitute. During the Mardi Gras celebration of 1703, Gabrielle ran into the woods surrounding the fort in her white gown with long wavy black hair flowing behind her. She was never heard of again, while she was alive. The following Mardi Gras some of the superstitious Indians of the fort reported hearing Gabrielle crying out in the woods around them. Since these first reports, many people have reported seeing the sad Gabrielle wandering around during Mardi Gras looking for her lost lover. Stay out of the woods during Mardi Gras. You may see the ghost of Gabrielle Bonnet!