There’s a family of skeletons on the loose and it is the public’s job to help find them.
That’s the story behind a new virtual scavenger hunt this month at Wormsloe State Historic Site. Each Saturday in October, the state park is welcoming guests to come search for "Noble Bones" and his relatives, a spin on the former plantation’s founder Noble Jones.
Park staff have hidden novelty skeletons throughout the trails and woods representing each of the "Bones" family members. Guests will find clues at each stop which they unravel by scanning a QR code with their cellphone.
That clue will be the key to finding the next skeleton, until visitors have solved the mystery and locate their final destination in the park.
Park officials say the event is a great way for families to spend some time together outdoors and have some fun while socially distancing.
"It’s educational, fun and safe," says Katie Fitzhugh, Wormsloe State Park worker.
"You get to run around and learn more about each family member’s life and how they lived and what they would do."
The event takes the place of the park’s annual haunted trail event. With the coronavirus outbreak this year, park staff knew hosting a major event bringing together hundreds of visitors wasn’t the safest idea for the public.
So they came up with an idea that would continue the spooky tradition but allow families to keep their distance and explore the trails on their own.
"We just want people to know they can come and still enjoy the holiday while being safe," Fitzhugh shared. "Plus, it’s fun and all ages can participate."
The scavenger hunt enables the public to explore the history of Noble Jones and his family. Jones was an early founder of Savannah and purchased the site’s 500 acres in 1736, before constructing a fortified structure and stately home in 1739.
The house would serve as one of many coastal defenses against the Spanish to the South and was a functioning plantation before most of the acreage was acquired by the State of Georgia in 1973.
With each clue along the way of the scavenger hunt, visitors will learn more about the early settlers’ way of life.
To access the clues, park staff say most phones now come equipped with a QR code reader built into the phone’s camera, but for those without a cell phone or a reader, they can also utilize paper clues to solve the mystery.
The scavenger hunt will be available during the park’s regular operating hours each Saturday in October. The park will offer a different experience for guests every Saturday with unique locations and new clues for locating the skeletons throughout the property.
For those up to the challenge, there’s a mystery to unravel and a family of Bones to uncover at Wormsloe just in time for spooky season.