As All Hallow’s Eve draws near, beware of unrest from the spirits those long departed. There are many areas teeming with the restless dead, such as Gettysburg Battlefield, Bell Witch Cave and Waverly Hills Sanatorium, but even here in Rome, spirits abound.
Most people go their whole lives without having a supernatural encounter, but here in Rome, some have regular experiences. The Printup House in the Between the Rivers District, the spirits of the former owners, the Printup Sisters, continue to haunt the upstairs area of the home. With disembodied footsteps and often turning the lights on despite nobody being home. A little further down the street,Bass’ Home’s original structure dates back to an 1860 slave cabin, and the present house was built by prominent merchant, Charles Bass. While giving birth to twins, his wife died from complications during the birth of the second child. Fast forward many years when a fire damaged the home, a lone wall was left untouched and when workers removed a mirror hanging over the fireplace, they were shocked to see an untouched silhouette in the charred wall of a mother holding two small children.
In the shadow of the clocktower, Colonel Augustus R. Wright still visits his “town” house from time to time making sure everything is still in its place. Along Broad Street at the Rome Area History Museum, strange phenomena sometimes occurs late at night. Workers have gone upstairs only to suddenly feel as though cold water was thrown over them, despite the warm summer nights. Very ominous indeed. On another occasion staff and patrons have sworn to hear a child playing and giggling in a hall under the staircase, but when going to investigate the source, the giggling often turns to crying.
Exploring outside of Downtown Rome, you’ll find the staff of the Chieftain’s Museum & Major Ridge Home have their own equally chilling experiences. Said to be haunted by the spirit of his daughter, Nancy, who died in childbirth in 1820 and only appears to women. Also along the Oostanaula River, near Bells Ferry, there were stories of a family guitar that played on its own along with a ghostly woman with dark hair who would frequently comfort the sick daughter. However, the ghost appeared to haunt the family more so than the property and followed the family as they relocated to Kingston.
On Jackson Hill, on the site of Fort Norton, it’s possible to glimpse residual Civil War ghosts roaming around the fort and trails. In South Rome, near Bob Moore Bridge, you could sight a headless ghost searching for his head. Legend has it, that the worker was accidentally hit with a board and fell on the tracks and was beheaded as a train came passed.
Berry College is home to some particularlyfamous sightings, from the Ghost of Mary Hall and The Green Lady. The Mary Hall Ghost haunts one of the towers of the Ford Buildings. According to the rumors, just after World War II, a female resident hung herself in one of the closets of the tower following her boyfriend’s death in the war. As for the Green Lady, speculation is that the Green Lady is the ghost of Lindsey Elizabeth Will, who was a student at Berry until her death in 1988. Lindsey Will died in bicycle accident on Stretch Road after having a fight with her boyfriend. Having ridden their bicycles on Stretch Road until night had fallen, she and her boyfriend parted ways in the dark as he rode ahead of her to calm himself down. When he turned around to ride back to his girlfriend, they could not see each other in the darkness. They collided, and Lindsey Will died when she suffered a head injury. Viking Fusion, Berry College’s student multimedia production organization, created a four part series detailing the mystery of the Green Lady.
Travel outside Rome to Lindale, and just off Booze Mountain Road, sits a home built in the 1820s that was restored. The home was built using Native American labor, and still features a jail for them with the gate in the floorboards in one of the rooms. There have been numerous sightings of a woman who climbs the staircase and will stop and smile should she know she’s being watched.
In Cave Spring, The bulk of the focus of the hauntings in Rolater Park are around the Hearn Inn, the Hearn Academy, the Cave, and Fannin Hall. The Southern Paranormal Investigators consider Rolater Park an ongoing investigation and have logged hundreds of hours in those buildings documenting paranormal activity. There is the ghost of a little girl that seems to go from building to building. Her name is believed to be Paige or Paisley and she has been watched writing her first initial in the condensation on an upstairs window in the inn. Locals feel that she is not alone, and has several other spirits watching out for her, especially the spirits of a man and a woman, who can be overheard in heated conversations in the Hearn Inn.
In Hearn Academy, disembodied voices of teachers, including a very authoritative voice who was quite helpful in solving the mystery of a fire in an upstairs room, were recorded during an investigation. The voice was very eager to share not only the number of men who set the fire, but also one of their names. The academy has its playful spirits too, knocking on command and giggling as investigators go from room to room to track down the source of the sounds. Once, their playfulness got a little out of hand as they knocked an investigator down a couple of steps.
The ghost of the little girl loves to play in theCave and has been seen as a pale white mist, and heard without any amplification equipment. She has interacted with the investigators in the cave, but does not like the sounds of the Indian drums you can hear filling the cave from time to time.
Fannin Hall‘s history as a field hospital for troops returning from the Battle of Allatoona Pass makes it likely the most haunted place in Cave Spring. Nurses, eternally on watch, flash their lanterns through the windows late at night and turn on upstairs lights. Soldiers have told investigators of injuries and have asked for help. Teachers who were assigned to the building when it was the Georgia School for the Deaf still maintain control of their classes, giving their students permission to answer questions asked by investigators. They also make themselves visible, much to the frustration of the people visiting Fannin Hall to pay their water bills.