THE PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE       ALABAMA           ADAMS GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (DALLAS COUNTY) BACKGROUND: The church was built in 1853 and remained open until 1986. Typical of churches of that era, it was adjacent to a graveyard. The church still stands today. STYLE: Greek Revival CURRENT USE: Privately owned PHENOMENA: Urban legend alert >>One resident spirit is called the “Red-Eyed Shadow Man” who reportedly sneaks up on unsuspecting visitors to the location and supposedly has flames where his eyes should be. A Confederate soldier also roams the grounds patrolling his post with rifle in hand screaming at trespassers to leave the area immediately and will give chase if his command isn’t met. A former minister dressed in black with a Gaucho hat is said to appear on the steps and has the ability to call on thunderstorms by reciting some type of spell. A baby’s cries are heard and will stop when investigated only to start again when you walk away. A underground spirit churns up the ground in pursuit of the living and another dressed in a black cape has been seen on the grounds before vanishing into thin air. Locals also say the area is visited by UFOs. In 1978, seven v-shaped craft were said to appear and perform incredible maneuvers. AUBURN UNIVERSITY CHAPEL (AUBURN) BACKGROUND: The second-oldest building on the campus of Auburn was built in 1851 and was originally a Presbyterian church. The college bought it in 1921 and it became a YMCA/YWCA center and later a theater for the university’s acting clubs. STYLE: Gothic Revival PHENOMENA: It’s said the building was converted into a hospital during the Civil War and an English Confederate soldier named Sydney Grimlett died there after undergoing a leg amputation. His ghost was reportedly haunting the building when it was still a theater. Glowing orbs would appear around the actors and props started to vanish from sets. Rehearsals were interrupted by whistling and tapping from the attic area. Apparently he identified himself when student-actors tried to contact Sydney via a Ouija board. As an offering, they left him candy before theater productions to placate him. When the college moved the theater to another location in 1972, it’s said that his ghost followed. Drawers will open and close, rattling noises are heard in an otherwise empty building, lockers and doors will shake violently and a piano plays by itself. Equipment in otherwise good working order will suddenly fail and immediately work fine again. BEAR CREEK SWAMP (AUTAUGAVILLE) BACKGROUND: The Bear Creek Swamp, located just outside of Montgomery in Prattville, Alabama is perhaps one of the oldest untouched parts of Alabama. The Alabamu Indians, who lived in Autauga County, are among the oldest tribes in Alabama, settling in the area since archaic times. Legends from the native people here speak of the strange creatures that lived in the swamp and of the spirits that haunt it. PHENOMENA: There are rumors of phantom cars that speed by and vanish into thin air, a 4-foot tall apparition that appears in front of cars and floating orbs of light. It’s also said that the creek is haunted by the spirits of Creek Indians, early settlers and soldiers killed in battle. Urban legend alert >>There is also a legend of a woman searching for her child who will attack anyone that says, “We have your baby” three times. In 2014, the Autauga County Sheriff’s Dept. recovered 21 dolls from the swamp that were mounted on bamboo stakes placed into the swamp. Many were of the porcelain variety and were spray painted white. They felt it was nothing more than a prank. BILL SKETOE’S HOLE (NEWTON) BACKGROUND: During the Civil War, Bill Sketoe was lynched for allegedly paying a substitute to fight for him through the war while he came home to care for his sick wife. He denied the charge, but was hung from the bridge. Being a very tall man, a hole had to be dug under his feet to make certain he was executed properly. PHENOMENA: It’s said even today that hole has not and cannot be filled. There are reports that debris or trash placed in the hole is nowhere to be found the following day. At one point the Alabama Highway Department filled the hole in and the very next day the hole was found completely empty. BOYINGTON OAK (MOBILE) BACKGROUND: Behind the main branch of Mobile Library is an old oak tree groqwing from the grave of a man named Charles Boyington,  an African-American man who was hung in 1837 for murdering a friend named Nathaniel Frost. It’s surmised that gambling and an unpaid debt was the cause of what happened but the victim had been stabbed when his body was found outside the Church St. Graveyeard. Boyington was apprehended fleeing the city, claimed that he had been falsely accused and legend has it he told his executioners that an oak tree would grow from his heart confirming his innocence. PHENOMENA: Urban legend alert >> Late at night, if you put your ear up to the tree you can hear Boyington whispering to you or mournfully crying, still proclaiming he did not commit the crime. CAHABA (”CAHAWBA”) BACKGROUND: Cahaba, also spelled Cahawba, was the first permanent state capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1825.  Located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers, it suffered regular seasonal flooding which was one reason that the state legislature moved the capital to a better location in 1826. After the town suffered another major flood in 1865, the state legislature moved the county seat northeast to Selma, which was better situated. CURRENT USE: Historical park PHENOMENA: Visitors and guides frequently hear disembodied voices and the sounds of children laughing. Site director Linda Derry lost her keys in a cemetery where a father and son named Bell were buried after being killed in a shootout on Cahaba’s main street. Hours later, someone on horseback found the keys in a nearby cemetery where the Bells’ family slave, Pleas, is buried. The story goes that Pleas was often ordered to steal keys by the Bell family. Another ghost story concerns a ghostly orb in a long-vanished garden maze at the home of C. C. Pegues. DEAD CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND (HUNTSVILLE) BACKGROUND: There is a small playground in a park space adjacent to Maple Hill Cemetery complete with swings and a modern jungle gym. As the historic cemetery began running out of room in 2007, officials from the city of Huntsville decided to remove the play area to make room for more burials. Locals were so outraged at the loss of their playground that a replacement was built. PHENOMENA: Known as Dead Children’s Playground, the otherwise mundane site has gained a reputation as a haven for the paranormal. Swings are often found swaying by themselves, spheres of anomalous lights can be seen floating about and the ghosts of children have been spotted inside the playground at night, often calling out to passersby. Legend says that during the 1960s, the area around Huntsville was gripped by a rash of child abductions that terrified the city. It’s said the bodies of those who became victims of the killer are buried somewhere on the property. THE DRISH HOUSE (TUSCALOOSA) BACKGROUND: Built at the center of a 450-acre plantation on the edge of town for Dr. John R. Drish in 1837. Drish, a native of Virginia, was among the earliest settlers of Tuscaloosa, settling there in 1822. A widower himself, he married a wealthy widow, Sarah Owen McKinney, in 1835. By that time he had a successful physician's practice and worked as a building contractor, with many skilled slave artisans. These slaves executed much of the early plasterwork in Tuscaloosa. John Drish died in 1867, reportedly from a drunken fall down a stairway, and Sarah Drish died in 1884. STYLE: Greek Revival / Italianate CURRENT USE: Event venue PHENOMENA: Sarah mourned his death by lighting candles in his memory and left orders that when she died, the same would be done for her using the same candles. She hid the candles someplace in the home, but did it so well that upon her death they couldn’t be found. This is said to have angered Sarah’s spirit to a degree that she has come back to haunt the house, allegedly causing a fire in the third-story tower by lighting the candles. There have been repeated phantom fire sightings at the home and her ghost has been seen in the tower. EDMUND KING HOUSE (SHELBY COUNTY) BACKGROUND: Built by Edmund King, a native Virginian who arrived in Alabama in 1817. First constructing a log cabin, he eventually built the house in 1823. After becoming a successful planter and businessman, he donated land for churches, roads, and schools, including for the Alabama Girls Industrial School (today known as the University of Montevallo). Upon his death in 1863, the house passed to a son-in-law, and was deeded to the Industrial School in 1908. The house has been used as a classroom, an office building, an infirmary, a home economics practice home, and a summer home for male students. STYLE: Federal CURRENT USE: Guest house for U. of Montevallo PHENOMENA:  During the Civil War, King decided to bury a considerable amount of money under a peach tree to keep it out of the hands of the marauding Union army. Since then, the apparition of an old man carrying a shovel has been seen wandering outside the property, a lantern has been seen moving by a second-floor window by students at the college and the ghost of an elderly man has been seen at the kitchen table counting coins. Students also report a genial old man in 1800s garb waving to them from a second-floor window and cold spots felt inside King’s old bedroom. In a most unnerving sighting, a large white-robed entity was seen first under the dining room table and then floating out a window by a number of guests attending a wedding reception there. FORT MORGAN (GULF SHORES) BACKGROUND: Construction on Fort Morgan began in 1819  by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mainly using the labor of African-American slaves. Brick and mortar were the only materials that could be obtained locally so other essential construction materials such as granite, sandstone, iron and cement had to be shipped by boat from New York. The fort was known as the "Work on Mobile Point" until April 1833 when it was named to honor Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan. It was finally completed in 1834. PHENOMENA: It’s been said by visitors that the anguished cries and screams of men late into the night can be heard, and the ghost of a solitary woman assumed to be searching for justice after being killed at the fort has made herself known. Experiences also include hearing voices and noises, seeing apparitions and lights, having doors slam and the sounds of battle heard as visitors exit the Fort. At night, people have reported seeing shadowy figures wandering inside the crumbling walls, as well as strange mists and odd noises. TRIVIA: In June 2008, a 90-pound live Union naval shell was uncovered at the site. The shell was from a Parrott rifle on a U.S. Navy warship and was fired at the fort in the summer of 1864. GAINES RIDGE DINNER CLUB (CAMDEN) BACKGROUND: It’s generally assumed the dwelling was constructed in the late 1820s. The builder of this house is not known, but one of the early owners was Reverend Ebeneezer Hearn, a Methodist Circuit Rider, whose family gave the home its historical name, “The Hearn Place.” It was acquired in 1898 by the family of its current owner, Mrs. Betty Gaines Kennedy. It was a family residence until 1985 when Mrs. Kennedy and her sister, Haden G. Marsh, opened the house as Gaines Ridge Dinner Club. PHENOMENA: Several guests have reported hearing screams, the aroma of pipe smoke when no one is smoking, a woman seemingly floating in the windows, the cries of a baby and the apparition of a tall, bearded man in black reflected in mirrors. The owner has absolute conviction that spirits reside there and says she once heard the screams of what she thought was a co-worker who denied calling out to her because she too heard the yelling. GAINESWOOD (DEMOPOLIS) BACKGROUND: Gaineswood was designed and built by General Nathan Bryan Whitfield, beginning in 1843. Whitfield was a cotton planter who had moved from North Carolina to Marengo County in 1834. In 1842 Whitfield bought the 480-acre property from George Strother Gaines, younger brother of Edmund P. Gaines. By 1860, Whitfield would own as many as 7,200 acres and 235 slaves and produced nearly 600 bales of cotton that year, though not all at Gaineswood. STYLE: Greek Revival CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: Whitfield had a housekeeper known only as “Miss Carter” and allowed her to send for her sister Evelyn who was living in Virginia. Evelyn was a skilled pianist and she and the General (accompanying her on the bagpipes) loved to play rousing Scottish tunes. Evelyn fell very ill and tragically passed away during a brutal winter and her corpse was kept in a pine box under the stairs in the cellar until spring when it could be transported back to Virginia for proper burial. Soon after her death, footsteps could be heard ascending the stairs from the basement and into the drawing room where the piano was kept. Music could often be heard throughout the building but upon investigation would abruptly stop. Even after her burial, Evelyn still returns from time to time to climb the cellar stairs to play. HARRISON CEMETERY (COFFEE COUNTY) BACKGROUND: Grancer Harrison was a plantation owner who would host lavish dance parties almost every Saturday night. The gatherings got so large that his slaves built a dance hall to host them. Near the end of his life, he told his family he wanted to be buried in his dancing clothes and shoes near the hall and that the events should continue every Saturday night. PHENOMENA: A tomb was erected before his death in preparation for his eventual passing and after his death in 1860, the dances did continue for a while but eventually when they stopped, the sound of dancing clogs and a fiddle were heard near his grave. In the late 1800s, a family in a horse and buggy were traveling down an old dirt road when suddenly their horses panicked and the sound of a fiddle playing and dancing could be heard. There would be similar claims for decades afterwards, mainly on Saturday nights. In a bizarre twist, it was said Harrison had a treasure buried with him and in the 1960s vandals dynamited his tomb, effectively blowing his skeletal remains all over the immediate area. Today the dance hall and home are gone and the tomb was rebuilt in the shape of a bed, but some still claim to hear the fiddle and Grancer Harrison dancing in the afterlife. HUDSON HOUSE (ASHLAND) BACKGROUND: It is thought the house was built in the early 1900's, but accurate records are difficult to come by. PHENOMENA: There have been stories of disembodied voices and footsteps and what has been described as the sound of panting dogs inside the house. There are reports of a spectral, dark figure who walks along the roof. Another claim is the front door constantly opening and closing on its own accompanied by it scraping on the floor. An former occupant of the house claims to have heard this many times, but when checked, it was always locked. It is also said that those standing in front of the house have felt an invisible hand tapping them on the shoulder. HUNTINGDON COLLEGE (MONTGOMERY) BACKGROUND: Huntingdon College was chartered on February 2, 1854, as "Tuskegee Female College" by the Alabama State Legislature and Governor John A. Winston. In 1872 the name was changed to "Alabama Conference Female College" as the college came under the auspices of the United Methodist Church. The college admitted its first male students in the aftermath of World War I, graduating its first male student in 1934. STYLE: Late Gothic Revival / Tudor Revival PHENOMENA: The college is home to the "Red Lady," alleged to be the ghost of a female student from the early twentieth century who committed suicide inside her room in Pratt Hall. Oddly, there is said to be two such ghosts at Huntingdon, one a young woman emanating a red glow wearing a scarlet dress and carrying a scarlet parasol who walks silently up and down the halls of a women's dormitory and the other a former student named Martha (or Margaret) who reluctantly came to Huntingdon from New York only because her father's mother had gone there. Being aloof and shunned by other students, she eventually committed suicide by slashing her wrists. Her spirit is said to wander the halls and she is celebrated by students every October who take part in "The Red Lady Run," painting their faces, wearing all black, and running around the campus. Another haunting involves a former student who was jilted by a girlfriend and shot himself on the college green in the 70s. He tugs on clothing or musses the hair of students crossing that area. Other spirits alleged to haunt portions of the Huntingdon campus include those of a murdered co-ed, a young boy who allegedly drowned in the college pond, a female student clad only in a towel, and a poltergeist known as "Frank the Library Ghost". INDIAN MEADOWS AND SHADY GROVE (ADAMSVILLE) BACKGROUND: The communities of Indian Meadows and Shady Grove are said to have been developed on ancient Cherokee Indian burial ground. PHENOMENA: Dark figures are reported lurking in the woods and on the outskirts of the neighborhoods. There have also been reports of people hearing scratching noises outside their houses late at night. In one incident, a man kept hearing scratching sounds on his front porch but each time he turned on the light to investigate he saw nothing out of the ordinary. The following morning he noticed claw and scratch marks all along the banisters of his porch. It’s common to see shadows of people rushing past windows at night and witnesses have reported footsteps going up and down the hallways or on the stairs of their homes, doors slamming on their own, voices calling out their names, and disturbances with electrical equipment. In one home, the face of a crying man appeared on several of the doors inside the house at the same time. JACK COLE ROAD (HAYDEN) BACKGROUND: An unpaved road surrounded by dense woods and wilderness, since 1890, 68 deaths have been reported on Jack Cole Road, 60 of which were related to an outbreak of Cholera in 1900. The other eight were caused by some bizarre events, including murder and most involved died in a closed hospital, but not all. PHENOMENA: A woman was found mummified in her home, later dubbed a witch, and blamed for many misfortunes. A man was butchered with an axe and an innocent man was falsely sentenced to death for it. Another man hung himself after telling his friends he feared what might happen to him because of strange sightings in and around his home. A photographer's death on the road remains unexplained and another woman was murdered at the end of the road. People claim to see lights in the woods, hear strange loud sounds, watch ghostly figures walking along the road and, strangest of all, report a deformed Bigfoot-like animal that is described as half-wolf and half-man.            JEMISON CENTER/ OLD BRYCE HOSPITAL (NORTHPORT) BACKGROUND: At one point a plantation called Crab Orchard back in the 1820s, so named for the many crab apple trees located on the property. It was owned by William Jemison, who passed it down to his son Robert, a successful politician and businessman. Jemison was a major advocate for the establishment of a hospital for the insane in Alabama and was the main influence in selecting the site for the first asylum in the state. Jemison Center operated as a state work farm, where able-bodied African American patients would work the fields to produce food for the hospital, as well as performing other kinds of labor. Old Bryce Hospital had a reputation for treating its patients horribly, some acts verging on actual torture. PHENOMENA: Visitors claim to experience hot and cold spots, watch items moving of their own accord and hear ghostly sounds and footsteps. Some have seen the tail of a doctor’s coat travel through the halls. Screams, the scuffling of feet and unexplained creaking of doors have also been reported. KENWORTHY HALL (MARION) BACKGROUND: Kenworthy Hall (also known as the Carlisle-Martin House, Carlisle Hall or Edward Kenworthy Carlisle House) is a plantation house located in northern Alabama. It was built from 1858 to 1860 and was designed and constructed for Edward Kenworthy Carlisle as his family residence. The Civil War arrived in 1861 but Carlisle continued to have success in his many business ventures. One of his cotton trading firms, Carlisle and Humphries, actually saw profits increase during the Union blockade. His fortunes changed after the war, however, and his taxable property was valued at less than $20,000. The house was completely vacant for much of the 1950s and suffered at the hands of vandals. STYLE: Italian Villa PHENOMENA: During its abandoned stage, locals began to claim that the house was haunted. It’s said that Edward’s daughter Anne fell in love with a local boy who went off to fight for the Confederacy and made plans to marry after his return. (Other stories identify her as just “a young woman”) She asked that he send his personal servant, a slave named Big Tom, back with news after his first battle. He was to come on horseback waving a white flag if the young soldier had made it through the fighting. If not, he would instead carry a red flag. Weeks went by until one day she saw Big Tom approaching with a dark red flag. Distraught, she screamed in agony and flung herself over the stairwell to the hall three floors below. By the time her father arrived at her side, she was dead. Some say that her cries can still be heard in the tower as she yearns to join her lover in death. KING CRISWELL PLANTATION (MONROE COUNTY) BACKGROUND: Built in the late 1850s by William ‘Dock’ King, the nephew of the only U.S. Vice-President to hail from Alabama. When the Civil War broke out, the plans for the grand mansion were scaled back a great deal, but nevertheless, it is still said to have the broadest facade of an Alabama plantation home. About 100 years after it was built, it was purchased by former state legislator Eugene Garrett and moved to its current location is Uriah. PHENOMENA: One former owner reported that an evil entity attached to the home was attacking her and that she feared for her life. The paranormal show The Dead Files once featured the plantation. LUCAS TAVERN (M0NTGOMERY) BACKGROUND: From 1820 to 1840, the tavern was a destination for upscale travelers who wanted to enjoy a clean bed and safe place to stay. It was run by Eliza Lucas, who enjoyed hosting these travel-weary guests. The tavern eventually became Lucas private home and in 1980, long after her death, the tavern was restored extensively. PHENOMENA: During renovations, the ghost of a friendly hostess named Eliza Lucas began to visit its occupants. The most common description of her is that of a short woman dressed in a Victorian dress waving kindly and smiling at passers-by in the doorway. One oft-told story takes place when her spirit attended a committee member meeting. When one member became hostile and angry in his response to a controversial topic, Eliza allegedly blasted a great puff of ash and smoke at him to express her dismay at his lack of manners. OAKLEIGH MASION (MOBILE) BACKGROUND: Built in 1833 by James Roper, a brick mason originally from Virginia. During construction, Roper lost his first wife, Sarah Ann Davenport, and a child. He remarried in 1838 after completing Oakleigh and had four children with his second wife, Eliza Ann Simison. PHENOMENA: One day many years later, a little boy refused to go into the parlor. When asked why, he claimed the ghost of a woman was inside the room as sher always is, which made her quite happy. Staff reports furniture moving by itself, the sound of footsteps as if someone is angrily pacing the floor and a disembodied voice on the second floor. There is scratching heard downstairs and its been said a couch in the parlor and some pillows in the library will rearrange themselves. PICKENS COUNTY COURTHOUSE (CARROLLTON) BACKGROUND: Built in 1877-1878 as the city’s third courthouse after the first had been burned down by invading Union Army troops during the American Civil War. In the difficult days of the Reconstruction, when materials were scarce and money was even scarcer, rebuilding the courthouse seemed to be an impossible task. Yet, through hard work and deep personal sacrifices by residents, the courthouse was rebuilt. STYLE: Italianate PHENOMENA: Noted for the ghostly image that is seen in one of the garret windows that’s assumed to be the face of a former slave named Henry Wells who was convicted of arson and theft and lynched by a white mob. However, a local newspaper reported that Wells actually died of gun shot wounds while fleeing arrest for robbery in January 1878. He denied the crime, but ultimately confessed to burning the courthouse before dying. It has been said that his face is often seen in that window, the one in which he defiantly yelled down to the assembled crowd below, “I am innocent! If you kill me, I am going to haunt you for the rest of your lives!” Early the morning after the execution, a member of the lynch mob passed by the courthouse and happened to glance up at the garret window and was shocked to see Wells' face looking down at him, just as it had the night before. The face remains in the courthouse window to this very day and no amount of washing has been able to remove it. (A variation of the story is that a bolt of lightning etched his face into the window.) PRATT COTTON GIN FACTORY (PRATTVILLE) BACKGROUND: The factory was built in 1844 by New Hampshire-born Daniel Pratt, the industrialist who founded Prattville. While in Georgia he met Samuel Griswold, another New Englander, who manufactured cotton gins and tried to convince him to open a mill in Alabama. Griswold, citing hostilities between settlers and Native Americans, refused so Pratt went it alone. PHENOMENA: Some in the town believe that the property is haunted by the ghosts of factory workers who died while there, or by Daniel Pratt himself. Willie Youngblood was a 10-year-old working in the mill who fell to his death in one of the mill’s shafts. As a result, his mother fell into a dark depression and eventually jumped to her death from the dam just outside of the mill. She is now known as the “Lady in Black”. She has been spotted floating through the mill or near the dam between 1 and 4 am, and according to those who have seen her, she isn’t hostile, but rather forlorn.  RICHARDS D.A.R. HOUSE (MOBILE) BACKGROUND: The house was built in 1860 for Charles G. Richards, a steamboat captain, and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth Steele. It remained in their family until 1946, when it was purchased by the Ideal Cement Company. That company renovated it for office use in 1947. It was turned over to the city of Mobile in 1973, which then leased it to the Daughters of the American Revolution for operation as a museum. Charles and Caroline had twelve children, four of whom tragically died at very young ages. Caroline passed away in 1867 after giving birth to their twelfth child. STYLE: Italianate CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: In a bedroom that has been decorated in the manner of a child’s room, marbles that have been places in specific pattern are found moved around the following morning. A shadowy figure in an upstairs bedroom has revealed itself in photographs. Doors open and slam shut, disembodied footsteps are heard as have the voices of children under the stairwell. The apparition of a man in mid-1800s attire has been  seen sitting on a couch and a ghostly figure is said to appear in an upstairs window. REDMONT HOTEL (BIRMINGHAM) BACKGROUND: The Redmont was opened on May 1, 1925, as a 200-room hotel with plans by architect G. Lloyd Preacher of Atlanta, Georgia. It was unusual at its time for having a private bath attached to every room as well as chilled water and ceiling fans. The "Rainbow Room" lounge debuted in 1937 and became the watering hole for an informal group of influential persons called the "Knothole Gang". In 1946 the hotel was purchased by businessman and hotel magnate Clifford Stiles. In 1947 Stiles converted the entire top floor into a New York-style penthouse apartment for himself and his family. This elegant penthouse was complete with terraces, private elevator, a lawn for pets and was the scene of many glamorous parties. STYLE: Chicago PHENOMENA: The ghost of a woman who died at the hotel is seen on the 9th floor dressed in white. Former owner Clifford Stiles is also said to haunt the building, walking the halls and a ghostly dog wanders the hotel as well. It’s most famous ghost is thought to be iconic country singer Hank Williams who stayed there right before his death. Doors that open by themselves and the manipulation of furniture or luggage is another common claim of guests. ROCKY HILL CASTLE (COURTLAND) BACKGROUND: The plantation at Rocky Hill Castle was founded by James Edmonds Saunders in the mid-1820s, shortly after he and his wife came to Alabama from their native Georgia. Saunders, born on May 7, 1806, was a farmer and an attorney and began construction of Rocky Hill Castle in 1858. The American Civil War effectively stopped construction in 1861, although the estate was largely completed by that time. The house served as a Confederate hospital during the war, with several soldiers being buried nearby in the Saunders' family cemetery. The last Saunders to own it was James Saunder's grandson, Dudley Saunders. STYLE: Greek Revival / Italianate / Gothic Revival CURRENT USE: Demolished (1961) PHENOMENA: Saunders and his family are alleged to have abruptly abandoned Rocky Hill Castle in the 1920s, purportedly after experiencing ghostly activity. Legend has it that the home was built by a Frenchman that Saunders refused to pay and when the builder died, his spirit haunted the home by continually chipping away at the foundation, the sound of a hammer striking stone being a common claim. Another has Saunders’ wife challenging a ghost to reveal itself and hearing a voice say, “Madam, I’m right here.” It was also said to be home to the “Lady in Blue”, who is seen in the wine cellar and on a stairway and is thought to be searching for a lost lover. The ghosts of Civil War soldiers have been seen along with the clanking of chains and the sound of a piano playing with no one inside the plantation ruins. ST. JAMES HOTEL (SELMA) BACKGROUND: Built in 1837, the St. James Hotel is one of the oldest operational hotels in Alabama. During the Civil War, soldiers used the hotel as a place to plan and discuss battle strategies and when the Battle of Selma took place, almost the entire town burned to the ground, save for the St. James Hotel which remained standing. After the Civil War ended, a man named Benjamin Sterling Tower became the new owner and allowed a group of outlaws, led by the famous gang leader, robber and murderer Jesse James, to stay at the hotel one night. PHENOMENA: Guests have reported seeing the spirits of Jesse James and his girlfriend, Lucinda, as well as a man fully dressed in clothing from the 1800s in rooms 214, 314 and 315. Lucinda, who was fond of the scent of lavender, allegedly leaves that scent in her wake, alerting guests to her presence. James’ black dog also haunts the halls of the hotel, as evidenced by guests accounts of incessant barking with no dog in the hotel or in sight. SLOSS FURNACE (BIRMINGHAM) BACKGROUND: Colonel James Withers Sloss was one of the founders of Birmingham, helping to promote railroad development in Jones Valley, Alabama and participating in the Pratt Coke and Coal Company, one of the new city's first manufacturers. In 1881 he formed his own company, the Sloss Furnace Company, and began construction of Birmingham's first blast furnace on 50 acres of land donated by the Elyton Land Company for industrial development. CURRENT USE: Public venue PHENOMENA: Thousands of workers lost their lives in this dangerous profession. A foreman named James “Slag” Wormwood who was very demanding and in many cases, cruel to the workers, died in 1906 by falling from the top of the highest furnace into a vat of molten iron ore. His spirit remained at the job site as workers felt his presence inside the facility with one claiming he was pushed from behind as a disembodied voice told him to “get back to work”. In 1947, three supervisors were found locked in a boiler room unconscious and when they were revived, they told of seeing a man with burned skin who yelled at them to “push some steel”. In 1971, on his last night at Sloss, watchman Sam Blumenthal encountered what he described as “half-man, half-demon” who attempted to push him up some stairs and beat on him with his fists. He was found covered in burns and passed away before he ever returned to the furnace. There have been a number of other physical attacks on visitors including a former worker who inexplicably caught fire and some members of the media who were doing a feature story on the location. TRIVIA: Has been featured on episodes of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. SPRING VILLA MANSION (OPELIKA) BACKGROUND: Originally used by Penn and Mary Godwin Yonge and built by Horace King, a freed part African/part Catawba Indian slave who once “belonged” to John Godwin, Mary’s father. King was one of the most renowned bridge builders in the South and his success led him to being contracted to build several iconic buildings in Alabama. When Mr. Godwin died in 1859, King was given his freedom by the Godwin children, but he continued to look after them much like his own children, which is why he built the house for Penn and Mary. STYLE: Gothic Revival CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: Urban legend alert >> Penn was said to be a gracious host, but he also owned many slaves and worked them very hard. It’s said he was killed by one of his slaves who was seeking revenge for harsh punishment. When Yonge started up the stairs, the angry slave sprang from a hiding place and stabbed his master to death. Legend says he died on the 13th step which rotted away and was replaced in 1957. A dark red stain on it was said to be this Penn’s blood and today, visitors are instructed to avoid stepping on this “haunted” spot. People have seen figures in the upper stories of the house and its 1934 addition as well as disembodied voices, music from a piano that does not exist and the sound of footsteps. Visitors report feelings of unease and invisible hands pushing them on that 13th step. STRINGFELLOW MEMORIAL HOSPITAL (ANNISTON) BACKGROUND: Opened its doors in 1938 after Susie Parker Stringfellow's death in 1920 upon which she bequeathed  money and plans for the development of the hospital. It opened as a 10-bed tuberculosis facility and has since expanded into a large, multi-functional hospital that is the central to the area. PHENOMENA: Mrs Stringfellow was a talented organ player and nurses often report the sounds of one being played late at night from the chapel where, upon inspection,  no one is found. A former patient took his own life in one of the rooms by shooting himself in the head. Other patients report seeing blood on the walls and the ghostly figure of a headless man sitting in the corner of the room where the suicide took place. STURDIVANT HALL (SELMA) BACKGROUND: Construction of what is now known as Sturdivant Hall began in 1852, but was not completely finished until 1856. Following completion, Edward Watts and his family lived in the house until 1864, when the house was sold for $65,000 and the family moved to Texas. The buyer was John McGee Parkman, a local banker, who, following the end of the Civil War, became president of the First National Bank of Selma. The bank engaged in cotton speculation and accumulated huge losses so the military governor of Alabama, Wager Swayne, had his Reconstruction authorities take possession of the bank and arrest Parkman. He was imprisoned at the county jail at Cahaba. Assisted by his friends, Parkman attempted to escape from the prison on May 23, 1867, but was killed. STYLE: Greek revival CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: Said to be haunted by Parkman who has often been seen in the same window where he often watched his two daughters playing outside. The daughters have also been reported looking out an upstairs window. The girls have made their presence known in their former bedroom as toys and clothes are sometimes strewn about as if children had just been playing there. Museum staff and visitors have witnessed howling winds inside on calm days, sightings of a ghostly male figure, objects moving on their own, footsteps creaking upstairs and doors opening and closing without explanation.  SWEETWATER MANSION (FLORENCE) BACKGROUND: A plantation house designed by General John Brahan of the Alabama Militia. A veteran of the War of 1812, Brahan owned more than 4,000 acres in eastern Lauderdale County. Sweetwater Mansion received its name from the creek and was first occupied by Brahan's son-in-law Robert M. Patton, a post-Civil War governor of Alabama, who completed the mansion in 1835. CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: There is a dubious claim of black magic being practiced here, but many have claimed to see a host of apparitions here. Former caretaker Emmer Lettie Region claims she saw a casket with the body of a Confederate soldier inside in a downstairs room with a bullet hole in the corpse’s head. It’s thought this may be the body of the son of Patton whose funeral was held in the home. Numerous anomalous photographs have been taken in the mansion. One room is said to inexplicably lock women inside it and there is a “secret room” that is only accessible through a small interior window and it has been said the bodies of two sons of former owners are buried there under the floor. TRIVIA: Was featured on an episode of Paranormal State. TOMBIGBEE RIVER (PENNINGTON) BACKGROUND: The steamship Eliza Battle was moored on the Tombigbee and had a storied history. Built in 1852, two years later the vessel hosted a reception for President Millard Fillmore. On March 1, 1858, just after midnight, the side- wheel paddled ship caught fire resulting in the deaths of many passengers and crew, some from exposure to the freezing waters of the Tombigbee. It is assumed that bales of hay being transported served as the accelerant. PHENOMENA: On cold and windy nights, many claim to see a phantom ship on fire on the river as well and hear the screams of men, women and children. Local fishermen believe any sighting of the ghost ship is an omen of disaster. TUTWILER HOTEL (BIRMINGHAM) BACKGROUND: In 1914, two of Birmingham’s most prominent businessmen, Robert Jemison Jr. and George Crawford, joined forces to build The Tutwiler Hotel. Much of the funding and inspiration for the name came from Major Tutwiler of Tutwiler Coal and Coke and addressed the absence of a luxury hotel in the city. CURRENT USE: Hampton Inn & Suites PHENOMENA: A bartender working at the hotel in 1995 experienced a multitude of sightings when the lights of the bar and kitchen would turn on by themselves. For five nights in a row, the bartender would turn the lights off only for them to be snapped back on. On the sixth night, he was welcomed by a multi-course meal complete with candles and wine. It is believed this was courtesy of Col. Tutwiler whose presence seemed to vanish as the bartender began to wish him a good night and ask him not to cause a disturbance anywhere. USS ALABAMA (MOBILE) BACKGROUND:The Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Alabama was decommissioned on 9 January 1947 and placed in the reserve fleet in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Bremerton, Washington. Despite her 37 months of active service during World War II, during which she earned nine Battle Stars, the USS Alabama never suffered any casualties from enemy fire, with the deaths from an explosion being the only ones reported aboard ship. It was moved to Mobile Bay in 1965. CURRENT USE: Museum PHENOMENA: People have long reported strange sounds and shadowy figures below its decks. At night, the sound of footsteps can be heard on the deck of the ship, but investigations of the source reveal nothing there. Some surmise these spirits could be those of the 5 crew members who perished in a gun turret explosion in 1944. Apparitions are seen in the officer’s quarters and the galley with tapping noises heard in bulkheads and steel hatches closing themselves. Visitors have a sensation of being watched and in one case, a woman passing by the sleeping quarters had the earrings snatched off of her. VICTORIA INN & HOTEL (ANNISTON) BACKGROUND: Built in 1888 by John McKleroy, a partner in the Anniston Land Company who lived there with his family for 25 years. In the 1920's, the president of the Emory Foundry Company, Mr William Coleman Wilson bought this house from McKleroy's widow. Then in 1949, the house was bought by the Kirby family and Mrs. Kirby entertained guests in what is now know as the Victoria Lounge. After her death, it remained in trust of their sister and in 1984, a South Carolina developer purchased it from the Kirby trust and converted the mansion into the inn that exists today. PHENOMENA:The restaurant is believed to be extremely haunted as phantom footsteps are heard as is the sound of piano music in the otherwise vacant restaurant. Witnesses there have seen a woman’s apparition on the upstairs landing that is referred to as the “Lady in Black”. The sounds of glasses clinking together from the empty bar at night is another common audible experience. Laughter is heard that can be quite unnerving to staff and guests. There is also unexplained tapping on doors and anomalous light activity reported. BACK TO PARANORMAL WORLD DATABASE
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