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Northern Alabama Hauntings

The picture above is the Dwight Mill Village. Please scroll down to read about this "haunted" site.

I have always heard ghost stories in my town and the surrounding areas in Northern Alabama. I have compiled these reported hauntings from the northern part of the state.

Gadsden: Broad Street (Downtown) - Paranormal activity sometimes happens here because of the history of the downtown district. Lady owns an art studio with a haunted piano in the back.

Gadsden: The Haunted Bridge (on Pleasant Hill Road near Noccalula Falls) - Legend goes that a couple were having a fight. The woman ran away with the baby to the trees near the bridge on Black Creek. The man got on his carriage and started searching for the wife. The woman appeared at the foot of the bridge, scared the horses, and was knocked down with the baby into Black Creek. Since then, many paranormal activity has taken place here. Reported sounds are carriage wheels, a baby's cry, screams, splashes, and other noises which are unexplainable. Sometimes people see an ethereal woman walking near the bridge. A house near the bridge reportedly had to have an exorcism to get rid of the "active" spirits.

Gadsden: Hinds Road - Known for the legend of the witch who lived on the road. People have taken pictures of orbs on this road which no one lives on.

Gadsden: Dwight Mill Village - Many houses and buildings in this area are reportedly haunted. My aunt always saw an old lady in the mirror when she lived in this neighborhood, the old library is reportedly haunted, and there are strange houses where paranormal phenomena reportedly goes on.

Gadsden: House on Tabor Road - Brick house which was renovated a couple of years ago. When it used to be empty, people reported hearing sounds of children coming from inside the empty house.

Gadsden: General Forrest Middle School - Ghost of General Forrest reportedly haunts the school. Doors reportedly open and close in the sixth grade basement, and a ball of light is seen floating down the basement hall.

Gadsden: Noojin Building - This vacant building used to house one of Gadsden's first hospitals. Somebody told me once that they could have sworn they saw somebody looking out a window of the building.

Gadsden: Gadsden Public Library - The third floor of the library is supposedly haunted by the original founder.

Jacksonville/White Plains: Camp Cottaquilla (on Cottaquilla Road) - Story goes that every Halloween a one-armed girl scout sells cookies to people in the White Plains Community. Only that the girl is dead. People have answered their doors to find nobody outside their houses.

Bridgeport: Russell Cave National Park - Russell Cave is a sacred burial site that traces ten thousand years of human history. There is evidence of prehistoric burial customs which progressed from throwing bodies off cliffs, to burial mounds, to elaborate entombment. People meditating in the cave report feeling the cave's history.

Collinsville: House on Highway 11 reportedly haunted.

Decatur: Decatur High School - White moving apparitions and the unexplainable sounds of footsteps coming from deserted corridors have been reported by students and teachers at this modern high school. The source of the paranormal activity is the fact that a woman died in a car accident right in front of the school. The houses in the surrounding neighborhood are also reportedly haunted.

Athens: Athens State College - The most famous ghost of Athens State College is a young woman with golden hair who appears in a third-floor window of McCandless Hall. The phantom is always seen wearing a formal white gown, and for many years people assumed she was Abigail Lylia Burns, an operatic soprano who allegedly died in the building in 1914. Sightings continued for decades. Many expected her ghost to appear onstage at a memorial concert staged here by the Huntsville Opera Theater on May 12, 1987. Hundreds of people showed up to witness her phantom, but only three sensed anything unusual. A subsequent investigation proved that Miss Burns had never visited the area in the years from 1908 to 1922, so the identity of the ghost remains a mystery. Another ghost here whose identity is well established is Madam Childs. She was a stern proctor at one of the women's dormitories, and she still haunts this quiet campus.

Fyffe: Became famous in the 1980's for the reports and pictures of UFOs taken in this quiet country town. Cattle mutilations were also reported.

Huntsville: Cedarhurst Mansion - This estate was established by Stephen Ewing in 1823. The two-story house, with its fifteen-inch-thick walls, has survived a number of new owners and a variety of challenges over the years. During a fierce thunderstorm in the 1950s, the ghost of a tall girl with long dark hair appeared to a visitor sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. Before she disappeared he heard her say, "Help me! The terrible wind has blown my tombstone over." Thinking he had awakened from a dream, he turned over and went back to sleep. The next morning, he asked his guests if there was a graveyard on the property. He was directed to a small fenced-in plot, where he found the freshly toppled tombstone of Sally Carter, the 16-year-old sister of Mrs. Ewing. She had died in 1837.

Limestone County: Louisville and Nashville Railroad Tracks - The ghost of a railroad bandit called "Railroad Bill" has haunted the pine woods along these railroad tracks for nearly a century. His apparition is described as a tall, broad-shouldered black man who usually has a broad smile on his face. Railroad Bill was credited with providing food and money to poor people in the area and came to be known as something of a Robin Hood. When authorities tried to capture him, he always slipped through their fingers. Some say he turned into a dog to escape.

Mentone: Desoto Falls - The ghosts of an old mountain woman and her dog are sometimes seen walking through the woods around this rural waterfall or near the ruins of her old cabin. Some say Nancy Dollar's ghost was looking for thieves who stole the money she set aside for a proper tombstone. She was 108 years old when she died in January 1931. Friends put her old dog Buster to sleep and buried him too. However, thieves broke into the cabin and stole the money Granny had set aside for her funeral, so no tombstone was set over her grave. That did not set too well with Granny. Her ghost was seen in the area so many times that people took up a collection in 1973 and had a marker placed. That seemed to satisfy the old lady, but the phantom of Buster, her faithful dog, is still seen.

Rocky Hill: Rocky Hill Castle - Rocky Hill Castle was a proud mansion built by a proud man. Lawyer James Saunders built his castle in the 1840s, and Rocky Hill's first ghost was the architect who built it. Saunders refused to pay the French architect's "exorbitant" bill. Shortly after the architect died, his apparition materialized in the cellar and started hammering away at the foundation. The pounding continued as long as the house stood. During the Civil War, the house served as refuge for rebel soldiers. Two of them died there and are buried on the grounds. Later, the ghost of a beautiful Southern lady came looking for her lost lover. The Lady in Blue started appearing on the stairway and was later seen in the wine cellar. When an aggressive male ghost actually spoke to Mrs. Saunders in her bedroom, the whole family packed up and was out of the house in two hours, never to return.

Winfield: Musgrave Chapel Cemetery - After Robert Musgrave was killed in a train wreck in April 1904, his family consecrated his grave site with an eight-foot-tall granite obelisk. His devastated sweetheart brought fresh flowers to the grave for fifty years. Her thin silhouette could often be seen kneeling in prayer next to his marker. In 1962, six months after she died, worshippers noticed the same distinctive silhouette at his tombstone. When they investigated, they found a dark stain had leached from the stone to form her exact image. News of the image spread and hundreds of strangers descended on the quiet cemetery. The family had the image sandblasted off the side of the obelisk, but it returned as cleverly as ever. Again they hired a stonemason to sandblast the image away, and again the eerie silhouette returned.

Corona - Old Coal Bed Graveyard - There is a very old cemetery located near Corona on Patton Hill, known as Old Coal Bed Graveyard. A wagon road once ran through the center of this cemetery, but today no one cares to travel through the cemetery, and the road was long ago abandoned. A new road was built all because of the story of a ghost. It was necessary for the traveler to pass two gates in passing through the cemetery. Just as soon as the driver drove his team through the first gate, a woman dressed in a white robe and a white cap would suddenly appear beside him on the wagon seat and say, "Don't be afraid, young man, I did not come here to scare you." The ghost would accompany the driver and wagon until it reached the second gate and then vanish again. It was the uninvited guest of many frightened travelers who passed through the graveyard to reach their destination and who were all addressed with the same warning. "Don't be afraid, young man, I did not come here to harm you." But whether the ghost meant to harm or not to harm, the people were fearful of its sudden visitations and departures, and the story of its appearance was widely circulated among the residents of the Goat Hill and Patton Hill communities, and they decided to build a road detouring by several miles the haunted Old Coal Bed Graveyard. This road is known as the road that the ghost built.

Fort Payne: Little River Canyon - This canyon, which is a popular family spot, is known also as a place where a haunted church is located. People claim to hear chanting coming from the other side of the canyon from the waterfall. People say that it is the chanting of satanic worshippers. I say that it is probably smart to stay away.

Fort Payne: The House????????? - One of my friends told me that there is a house in Fort Payne which is haunted because the man of the house murdered his whole family.

Duck Springs: Duck Springs Cemetery - Another one of my friends told me that this cemetery is haunted.

Florence: Different haunted sites - There is a place called Ghost Bridge in North Florence, a scary burnt down plantation in the Forks of Cypress area, the Bellmont Plantation in Tuscumbia, and an Indian mound near the banks of the Tennessee River in Florence. (Thanks to Teresa for providing me with this information.)

Guntersville: Whole Backstage Theater - This theater is haunted by two known ghosts. One is of an older man that has been known to set stage mattresses on fire and slam doors. The other spirit is of a little boy who can be heard laughing.

Albertville: Albertville Public Library - Some of the workers say that the elevator will go up and down by itself. One worker said that one day she heard the water running in the bathroom. She was all alone, and she looked in as it stopped. They say that the library was built over a house that was torn down in the early 1900's. They say that the people who lived there are mad about their house being torn down. Most of the things happen early in the morning, when the first person comes to work all alone.

Information taken from stories told to me and excerpts from "The National Directory of Haunted Places" by Dennis William Hauck, "The Face in the Window and Other Alabama Ghostlore" by Alan Brown, and the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index at (Just copy and paste onto your address bar to go to the website.)