I found this on youtube and, living in Savannah, I found it inrtuiguing enough to watch. It tells the story of a Savannah couple that captured the photograph of a shaodw person while visiting Colonial Park cemetery. The show then goes on to explain, with the help of a “paranormal expert”, the story of Rene. The expert tells the couple that the shodow being they caught on film is in fact, the spirit of Rene. Rene is described in this episode as a monster, showing pictures of Petrus Gonzales, who suffered from a disease called Hypertrichosis. I’m not sure why they keep showing the painting of him, trying to make the audience think that it is actually Rene. They then continue on to explain that Rene killed small children. They tell us that a 200 year old statue of a little girl is in Colonial Park to commemorate one of these “victims”.
There is so much wrong with this video. First off, historical record supports none of the truly wild tales of Rene being a monster. In fact, There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there ever was a Rene Rondolia, and he was never buried in Colonial Park Cemetery. But, as the tales go, on the eastern side of Savannah in the early 1800’s, there was an area known as Foley’s Alley. This is the setting for the Rene story. Rene was born in his parent’s home here at 16 pounds, four ounces. By age of 15 he stood over seven feet tall. He was simple minded and did not speak any English, only some French, which he learned from his mother. He would roam Foley’s Alley at night and catch and play with small animals, but since he was of such a simple mind, he did not know his own strength and ended up usually killing the animals. Noone minded Rene, but when the body of a young girl was found near Foley’s Alley, everyone blamed Rene. Some angry citizens took the law into their own hands and hung Rene from a tree in the southwest corner of Warren Square. After his death, the murders continued.
They did not lock Rene in Colonial Park cemetery. And the statue commemorating one of his victims? It is actually the statue of Gracie Watson who contracted pneumonia at the age of six and died two days past Easter in 1889. This statue is located in Bonaventure Cemetery which is 10 miles from Colonial Park. Now, the tunnels that Rene hid in to eat dead bodies? Those are the supposed yellow fever tunnels that run from Candler hospital to Forsyth Park. Scariest Places on Earth: You Failed.