From headless snakes in Marietta to inexplicably mobile hand-tools on Peachtree Street, metro Atlanta doesn't lack when it comes to (alleged) paranormal activity. Being Halloween, we've collected a few sights and stories that you might not be privy to, including the story of one poor, executed servant in Lawrenceville who still (allegedly) weeps for his lover. Feel free to share your encounters with apparitions or the undead elsewhere in our fair city.
Ellis Hotel (pictured above)
176 Peachtree St.,
The building formerly known as the Winecoff Hotel played host to a 1946 disaster so horrific it's been nicknamed "The Titanic on Peachtree." The suspected arson fire killed 119 people. They were burned alive, jumped to their deaths on the sidewalks and alleys or died of smoke inhalation. The building was reopened six years later, and was revamped as the Ellis Hotel in 2007. Reported Creative Loafing in 2011: "During its various renovations, workers have reported episodes of tools being moved, and apparitions in places inaccessible to the public. Sometimes disembodied sounds, such as running children or screaming women, resound through the halls. And once, for two weeks in a row, the fire alarm went off at 2:48 a.m., which perfectly fits the timetable of the deadly blaze's first spark."
Old Lawrenceville Jail,
More than 150 years ago, a servant named Elleck was housed here to await execution for his owner's death (a horseshit charge, if there ever was one). In a desperate escape attempt, he tried clawing through a weak spot in the granite (see photo). Once shackled to the floor, he sang a sad song to his lover until he was hanged. Visitors still claim to feel a presence and hear tidbits of Elleck's song ringing out.
[ABOVE: Photo: CL]
Anthony's Fine Dining
3109 Piedmont Road N.E.
Featured on the Southeastern Institute of Paranormal Research's hotlist, Anthony's Restaurant on Piedmont Road was a fine dining location built in an old plantation home, now serving as an events space and bar (or has it shut down altogether?) Anyhow, reports of apparition sightings and odd sounds upstairs and downstairs abound.
The Noonday Cemetery
(AKA "The Devil's Turnaround")
Going here could get you arrested for trespassing, but in Marietta the Noonday Extension Cemetery is known as "The Devil's Turnaround" for a damn good reason. Named for its semi-circular collection of graves, the cemetery is also a magnet for vandalism and cult-like activity. Here, you might be lucky enough to find beheaded snakes, headstones with empty graves, and dead dogs buried in shallow graves, according to the book Haunted Marietta.
The Kennesaw House
1 Depot St., Suite 200
Home to the Marietta Museum of History, the circa-1840 Kennesaw House has certifiable history to match local reports of apparitions here. It once served as a cotton warehouse, railroad restaurant, Civil War hospital and, yes, a morgue.
Further reading, and more locales to make your skin crawl:
· Atlanta's Most Haunted Places [CBS]
· The hauntings of Atlanta [Creative Loafing]