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Lewis Powell IV’s Haunted Georgia: A Primer Series – Part 4

This is the fourth and final part of the Haunted Georgia series of guest blogs Lewis Powell IV has treated us to this month. We sure have enjoyed having him take us on a customized haunt jaunt through Georgia like this. We hope you have too. Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you haven’t already. And be sure to stop by and check out Lewis’s great blogs: Southern Spirit Guide and The Southern Taphophile. Tell him HJ sent you!

16. Kennesaw House (1 Depot Street, Marietta)

Kennesaw House
Kennesaw House – Photo 2011 by Lewis O. Powell IV All Rights Reserved

Some visitors stepping onto the elevator at the Kennesaw House have been shuttled to the basement. The doors then opened to reveal the scene of a Civil War surgery to the horrified guests. Converted into a hotel from a cotton warehouse with the arrival of the railroad, Marietta’s Kennesaw House has witnessed much history and intrigue from its vantage point next to the tracks. Here spies and Union sympathizers met during the Civil War to plan attacks of sabotage including the events that would lead to the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862. As the battlefront reached into Georgia, this building became a hospital and saw many dead and dying pass over its thresholds. Among other spirits seen in this local history museum are a figure who is possibly the surgeon who tried to save so many young lives here.

17. Oakland Cemetery (248 Oakland Avenue, SE, Atlanta)

Oakland Cemetery Confederate Monument
Oakland Cemetery Confederate Monument – Photo 2011 by Lewis O. Powell IV All Rights Reserved

One of the most amazing historical sites to be found in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery has long been the resting place for Atlanta’s elite. This resting place is filled with architectural and artistic gems as well as spirits. “The Six,” the area just inside the entrance gate that is the oldest part of this cemetery (the original six acres), as well as the large Confederate sections have been the scene of some paranormal activity. Certainly one of the most unusual stories from this cemetery tells of a visitor hearing a roll call of the dead in the Confederate section.

18. Eagle Tavern (26 North Main Street, Watkinsville)

Eagle Tavern
Eagle Tavern – Photo 2010 by Lewis O. Powell IV All Rights Reserved

The date of construction for this early country tavern is sometime towards the end of the 18th and into the early 19th century. This structure served as a tavern and community center for decades and was restored to its earlier appearance in the 1950s. History abides here with a number of spirits including a dancing woman and “something unpleasant” in the basement that sometimes manifests itself with the odor of decomposing flesh.

19. Surrency

Train tracks
Train tracks – Photo from Haunt Jaunts’s clip art collection

This small town in rural Appling County was the scene of one of the most celebrated poltergeists in American history. The Surrency family, for whom this town was named, began to be tormented by activity in 1872. Items throughout the house would be thrown around and broken, a burning log once threw itself out of the fireplace in the presence of a minister, cooking in the kitchen was impossible as pots and pans would overturn or fling their contents and sometimes visitors would be pelted with household items. The activity was so pronounced that special excursion trains brought visitors here from Macon, Augusta and Savannah.

One afternoon, visitors sitting on a train were amazed to watch a large railroad tie levitate, pass through the open windows of a car, then spin itself and lodge itself vertically in the ground. The activity slowed and apparently died out around 1877. The family’s house burned in the 1920s, though the town is now haunted by a ghost light appearing along the railroad tracks. Perhaps the Surrency Poltergeist remains?

20. Central State Hospital (Broad Street, Milledgeville)

Central State Hospital
Central State Hospital Photo 1937, by L. D. Andrews for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), courtesy of the Library of Congress

Central State Hospital, opened in the mid-19th century as the State Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum, was at its height the second largest institution of its type in the nation. The number of patients has severely dropped since the 1960s and over time much of the huge campus has been abandoned. While this location has not been investigated professionally, curious teens have experienced apparitions and voices in these decaying buildings. This institution is still in operation and these abandoned buildings are quite unsafe. Please note that trespassers will be prosecuted.

Postscript

The ghosts of Georgia are marvelous and varied. As well, they have been documented in numerous books. I hope that for your next Haunt Jaunt you’ll keep Georgia on your mind.

Lewis Powell IV is the author of the blogs Southern Spirit Guide, which explores Southern ghosts and hauntings, and The Southern Taphophile, which explores Southern cemeteries. A graduate of Columbus, Georgia’s Columbus State University, Lewis resides in LaGrange, Georgia.

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