Atlanta is a city which has a long and interesting history. It is not at all surprising that some of the older homes and buildings in the city come complete with their very own ghost stories. After all, these walls have seen some things over the years.
Let’s take a look at some of the properties that are said to be among the most haunted places in Atlanta:
10. The Thornton House
The Thornton House is believed to be the oldest restored home in Georgia having been built in 1784. It is also considered to be one of the most haunted places in houses in the state, never mind just Atlanta!
It has actually been moved completely on several occasions, but now has what is hopefully its forever home in Stone Mountain Park!
The bulk of the paranormal activity here has been attributed to the ghost of a girl described as a pre-teen. She has been spotted on the staircase a number of times and has a tendency to pull on the hair of any teenage girls who come to visit the house.
Staff at The Thornton House say that her appearance is usually marked by cold spots and unexplained breezes. She has even been known to blow out candles around the room.
The house has become a very popular stop on Stone Mountain Park’s historical tour, although not necessarily because of the hauntings!
9. Rhodes Hall
Rhodes Hall is affectionately known as ‘the castle on Peachtree’ thanks to its grand appearance. The building was constructed back in 1904 by Amos Rhodes.
These days the upper floors play home to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, while the lower portion is a very popular choice for some of Atlanta’s most opulent weddings.
However, as beautiful as this house is there is something dark lurking beneath the surface – it is haunted! The majority of the paranormal activity that goes on here has been attributed to the wife of Amos Rhodes who actually died in the property. She is said to play with the lights and there are reports of unexplained footsteps and disembodied voices.
However, she is not alone in her haunting. Some visitors to the house have reported seeing apparitions of giggling children and the basement is said to be home to a much more malevolent presence which witnesses have described as a dark and evil shadow figure.
Rhodes Hall makes no secret of its reputation as one of the most haunted locations in Atlanta, regular tours of the building are available and it has in the past hosted keen ghost hunters!
8. Meadow Nook
The name ‘Meadow Nook’ conjures up a tranquil image. However, the reality of this 1856 house is far from restful! Meadow Nook is Atlanta’s second-oldest home and it was built by Colonel Robert A Alson and recently it has been restored to its former glory by current owners Charlie and Sylvia Harrison.
However, the Colonel still feels some sense of ownership over his former home and many guests have encountered his apparition. He mostly lives in harmony with the Harrison’s although he has on occasion taken to smashing dishes in their kitchen.
He is not all bad, he is known for finding things and the couple says that they often have cabinets open by themselves to reveal previously lost items!
However, it is not clear if the Colonel’s ghost is the one hiding them in the first place!
7. Oakland Cemetery
No list of haunted locations would be complete without at least one creepy old burial ground, right? Well, for the city of Atlanta, that role is filled by Oakland Cemetery which is the oldest and the largest cemetery in Atlanta.
The cemetery dates back to 1850 and includes a large section for the Confederate dead. There are around 6,900 interments some 3000 of which are unknown soldiers.
No less than 27 of Atlanta’s mayors have been buried here as is the author Margaret Mitchell who is best known for writing Gone With the Wind.
The vast majority of paranormal activity that is reported at the cemetery seems to be centered on the aforementioned Confederate section.
Visitors have seen Confederate troops roaming around the area and one witness claims to have seen the apparition of a soldier in full uniform hanged from one of the trees!
On a couple of occasions, visitors have even heard a disembodied voice reading a roll call of his fallen Confederate regiment.
Urban legend suggests that those who hear this also hear their own name added to the roll call, but there do not seem to be any confirmed instances of this so it might well be nothing more than a tall tale or embellishment of the activity.
6. LP Grant Mansion
Another one of the most haunted houses in Atlanta is LP Grant Mansion, a home built by Lemuel Pratt Grant and his wife in 1856.
Since then, it has built up quite a colorful history as it went through a variety of different uses including a stint as a Civil War Hospital and serving as the birthplace of legendary golfer Bobby Jones!
It is easy to see why there have been various reports of unexplained paranormal activity linked to the property.
5. New American Shakespeare Tavern
Some of the paranormal activity that has been reported here includes things like hearing disembodied voices, unexplained light anomalies, and even shadow figures.
There are 3 apparitions which are seen with some degree of regularity although there are believed to be many others haunting the building.
The three who have made themselves known include a young boy wearing a blue velvet suit, an older man in period clothing and a woman who often takes it upon herself to rearrange things!
She has been known to move items in the dressing rooms, switch props, close doors and even knock down parts of the set! Sounds like she is looking for some attention from the living, doesn’t it?
4. The Highland InnBook a Room
The Highland Inn may often be overlooked by tourists. It is by no means a chic boutique hotel and is very much at the lower end of the accommodation scale. However, it is popular with a certain kind of guest – those with a keen interest in the paranormal!
Some suggest that the tired and at times shabby decor in the hotel is a deliberate ploy to add to the atmosphere and play on the properties haunted reputation, although if you ask them directly the staff usually deny that there is a resident ghost. In fact, more than a few people have noted a striking resemblance to The Stanley Hotel which was part of Stephen King’s inspiration for his haunted Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
The hotel has been around since 1927 and has seen various modifications over the years which have turned it into something similar to a labyrinth of corridors and staircases! This all lends itself to making The Highland Inn an ideal location for a haunting.
Not too much is known about who is haunting the hotel, or why they linger there, but various guests have comments on cold spots, strange noises, and shadows. Room 130 in particular seems to be a hotspot and guests have captured strange anomalies in photographs taken in that room.
This may not be one of Georgia’s many high profile hauntings, but it is certainly one that you may find interesting if you have some time to kill while visiting Atlanta!
3. Barrington Hall
Barrington Hall was built in 1842 by Barrington King and several generations of the family have lived (and died) there.
According to staff members, a lady in period dress has been spotted around the property and have even shown up in photographs taken in the garden.
Other paranormal activity that is commonly reported includes phantom footsteps, unexplained aromas of cigar smoke, and even disembodied voices.
Regular tours of the home are offered and it is also featured on local ghost tours of the area!
2. Kennesaw House
Kennesaw House is a museum these days, but during the Civil War era, it did serve as a hospital and later a morgue which is almost always a recipe for some spooky goings-on!
Several witnesses have, at separate times, claimed to see a complete hospital scene in the basement of the building with soldiers being operated on by surgeons!
The other reports of paranormal activity are not quite as disturbing!
There is said to be a female apparition, believed to be the original owner’s wife, who appears frequently and waves to visitors before disappearing.
1. Ellis HotelSpend a Night
Formerly known as the Winecoff Hotel, Atlanta’s Ellis Hotel has a rather dark claim to fame. It is best known for being the site of a horrific fire on Dec 7, 1946, which claimed the lives of 119 people. The scale of the tragedy was such that the hotel was dubbed ‘The Titanic of Peachtree’ – largely down to claims from the owners when it opened in 1913 that is was ‘fireproof’.
Many of those who died in the fire were burned alive or died of asphyxiation, but a large number also lost their lives when they jumped from the windows in an attempt to escape the flame, but ended up killing themselves anyway. The single staircase acted as a chimney and carried toxic smoke to the upper floors.The hotel was immediately closed and lay empty for many years before reopening as The Ellis Hotel.
Given the amount of death that the Ellis Hotel has seen, it is no surprise that it is considered one of the most haunted hotels in Atlanta, GA. Both hotel staff and guests have reported some terrifying paranormal activity throughout the hotel.
There are frequent sightings of various apparitions and it is also common for people to hear what they describe as heartbreaking screaming of women and children which is thought to be residual energy from the past.
Another common occurrence is for the hotel’s fire alarm to be triggered at 2.48 am – the exact time that the blaze broke out in 1946. The fire is one of the deadliest hotel fires in history and it was responsible for a major shakeup of building code.