Ghosts of Mentone and Fort Payne, Alabama

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. I talked my husband into taking a ride up tp Mentone and Little River Canyon -sites of some haunted places I’ve been researching lately. I have always loved Mentone- it is in its own little world up there on the Mountain- with quaint little restarants and shops.

First, we visted the site of the Mentone Springs hotel. It burned March 1, 2014, taking a huge part of our hearts and memories with it. The Grand Old Queen of Mentone, she sat high on a hill watching over the town for 130 years. I had heard stories that one of the rooms was haunted by a woman. I have yet to hear the full story. (If you know it, contact me, please!)


We quietly walked among her ruins. There were no words for a loss like that.

Next, we headed out to DeSoto Falls. A part of the DeSoto State park (but located about 7 miles from the main park) this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls around. It takes your breath away. I was hoping we’d have a sighting of Granny Dollar and Buster- the spirit of a Native American woman and her dog. Granny Dollar was 105 years old when she died in 1931. (Buster was 20.) Upon her death, the money she had saved for her tombstone was stolen. The story circulated that she walked the area of the falls and her cabin seeking justice. We tried to find the cabin, but no luck. I hope to go back soon and try again. The full story of Granny and Buster will be in my book.  She ws an amazing woman and lived quite an interesting life.


Even without Granny Dollar and Buster, the falls were a sight to behold.

Next stop, Little River Canyon National Preserve. The largest canyon east of the Mississippi, The Canyon was made a National Preserve in 1992. The Canyon Rim Drive is a must -see with breath-taking views and one of the cleaniest rivers in the USA.


The Canyon is supposedly haunted. Visitors report hearing chants and otherwordly songs coming from somewhere deep in the canyon. I’d love to talk to someone who has heard them.

Eberhart Point on the Canyon rim is also the site of what once was Canyon Land Park. Though little-known outside the area, Canon Land is a favorite memory of all who grew up in this corner of the south. (Who could forget a chair lift that took you over the edge and DOWN IN TO the canyon?!) I still remember being scared of that thing.

A place like Canyon Land would never survive in today’s safety- concious , lawsuit- laden society- the sky lift going down into the canyon, swimming and picnicing in the river below… We 70’s kids were a tougher bunch, I guess. We thought the place was just GRAND! There was also a zoo and campground in addition to the rides.

Today, Canyon Land lies deserted and quiet, a few remnants left here and there to remind us of what once was a summertime tradition. A For Sale sign stands out front. (Anyone want to buy your own amusement park?!)


Stories abound that, when the Park closed in 1982, the zoo animals were turned out into the wild. There have been sightings of cheetahs, chimpanzees, and other exotic animals in the woods surrounding the canyon.

There is also an obscure tale of a ghost that haunts one of the old buildings . I’ve been chasing that tale for a while now, though, and come up with dead ends.

Haunted or not, Cloudland Canyon Park is a huge part of our growing up years. (I am going to keep on hunting the story of that ghost…)


If you have any memories or tales from therse places (or others in the area) please comment or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!

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Ghosts of DeSoto Falls and Canyonland Park

I’ve been researching a couple of places in Alabama. The first is the ghost of Desoto Falls in Mentone, Alabama. I love Mentone! What’s not  to love? Quaint restaurants. beautiful scenery…

I was quite surprised to learn that the DeSoto Falls area is haunted by an old woman and her dog. Supposedly, when the woman died in 1931, thieves stole the money she had set aside for a tombstone. She then haunted the site around her old cabin. Many people saw her walking with her dog. In recent years, someone bought a stone for her grave. Apparently, since that time, sightings have decreased dramatically.


Does anyone remember visiting Canyonland Park? As a child, my mom would take me there all the time. We’d load up the car (with picnic food and kids and my grandmother) and go. I remember being terrified of the sky lift.



Today, the park is abandoned. Stories abound of zoo animals turned out into the woods. According to local legend, exotic animals can still be seen in the woods surrouding the abandoned park.

What ghosts haunt this place that was once so full of happiness and fun?

Here is a facebook page link dedicated to the park:

I’d love to hear from anyone who has visited these places. I’d love to hear your experiences.

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The Curse of Lorenzo Dow

The curse of an angry minister lead to the demsise of an entire town- and became one of Georgia’s most famous stories.

Jacksonborough (later renamed Jacksonboro), Georiga replaced the town of Rocky Ford as the seat of Screven County in 1797 when Solomon and Mary Gross donated 50 acres of their property for the cause. Named for the Governor of Georgia, General James Jackson, Jacksonboro was a rough town with a terrible reputaton. Saloons outnumbered all other businesses combined. Fighting and drinking were the local pasttime. In 1849, George White wrote in Statistics of the State of Georgia that,  “in the mornings after drunken frolics and fights you could see the local children picking up eyeballs in tea saucers”. In other words, Jacksonboro needed redemption.

Enter Lorenzo Dow (Oct. 16, 1777-Feb. 2 ,1834), also known as “Crazy Dow”. Originally from Connecticut, the odd little man with long hair and hunched back was a traveling Methodist Minister of the fire and brimstone persuasion. As further evidence of his strangeness, it can be noted that Dow had buried his first wife, Peggy, not in a coffin, but standing straight up in the grave wrapped in layers of woolen cloth. He felt this would help her get to heaven faster. (Her epitaph reads, “Peggy Dow: Shared Vissitudes of Lorenzo”.) Lorenzo Dow was known for preaching against the evils of slavery and drunkenness. Jacksonboro had it’s share of both.

Upon his entrace to the wild town of Jacksonboro (in 1820 or 1821, depending on the source), Dow passed out handbills announcing his preaching that night at the local Methodist church. The handbills were passed around in the bars and saloons, whose barkeeps and patrons were not impressed. They began making plans…

While Dow made ready for his evening preaching at the home of fellow Methodist and Mason Seaborn Goodall, the town ruffians made ready for Dow. The ringing of the church bell called the good citizens  of Jacksonboro (few that there were) to the meeting. It also signalled to the hooligans that the time was right.

As Dow preached his sermon, a rowdy crowd gathered outside and began yelling, throwing rocks and bricks through the chuch windows, and shooting pistols into the air. After his sermon, an angry Dow followed the crowd into a local saloon where he grabbed an iron tool and split open a barrel of whisky. The crowd stared at the amber liquid quickly covering the floor, then immediately began to beat the daylights out of Dow. Luckily, Seaborn Goodall entered the saloon, seized Dow, and took him quickly to the safety of his home.

The next morning, Lorenzo Dow left the town of Jacksonboro crying.”Repent, Brethren, Repent!” at the top of his lungs. An incensed crowd threw tomatoes and rotten eggs at the preacher, who according to some sources, broke open another barrel of whisky. When he reached the bridge at Beaver Dam Creek, Dow removed his shoes and shook the dust of Jacksonboro off his feet. He then placed a curse upon the town, claiming that God would surely bring his vengeance upon the place the same as He had done for Sodom and Gommorah. The crowd laughed in his face.

A short time later, however, the good citizens of Jacksonboro realized that Lorenzo Dow’s curse was no joke. Windstorms came up suddenly, blowing roofs off many local buildings. Others were destroyed by mysterious fires. Beaver Dam Creek, always docile, suddenly became prone to flash floods that sept away entire houses. Slowly, the town of Jacksonboro began to disappear, with the exception of one home: that of Seaborn Goodall. Even when General Sherman passed thorough the town on his famous March to the Sea, Seaborn Goodall’s house was spared. It is said that Sherman camped in the home’s front yard.

On October 28, 1949, the last citizen of Jacksonboro, Georgia passed away. “Uncle Richard” Bryant , age 105, had been born into slavery in 1844. He remembers the last white citizens of Jacksonboro giving up and leaving for Sylvania (the new county seat) when he was around three years old. He spent his life in Jacksonboro, and his death brought an end to the curse of Lorenzo Dow. Jacksonboro was gone.

Seaborn Goodall’s home, now known as the Dell-Goodall house, still stands to this very day. It is located off Highway 301 at the intersection of SR24. Even when left in disrepair for years, the house stood intact. It was later restored by the Brier Creek DAR. The house is open for tours on the first Saturday of every month April- November.

Was there really a curse of Lorenzo Dow? He made no mention of the town in his writings. However, historians feel certain that he did visit the town. After 1821, quite a few children born in the area were named Lorenzo. Although some scoff at the story as merely folklore, others point out that many business have tried to establish themselves in the town since the curse, but none have survived. The lone standing structure remains the home of Seaborn Goodall.

Matthew 10 13:15 

13“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15“Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

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Old and (almost) Forgotten Cemeteries

I love the following article.  The location is actually very close to my home. I never knew this cemetery existed.

It makes me wonder- how many African-American cemeteries lie neglected and forgotten? I know of two near my home (besides the one listed in this article). Honestly, one is so remote, I have tried to find it again twice and could not.

I shared the article with a friend who is pretty well versed on local history. He had never heard of this cemetery either. I’d love to see it. It definitely needs to be preserved.

I found out a few years ago that the cemetery for my local community here on the  mountain was not the original. The original lies in ruins and weeds across the road in the woods. Nothing has ever been done to preserve it. Considering it lies on private property, I have my doubts that it ever will. Think of the generations of people, long forgotten… their memory erased forever.

I love old cemeteries. I love to explore them , read the stones… learn the stories of those long gone. Here are a few photos of cemeteries I love to visit.

Gate at New Bethel Presbyterian


Price Bridge Cemetery, Chatoogaville, Georgia

I think the Price Bridge Cemetery is one of my all-time favorites. It has suffered a lot of damage through the years, but is none the less beautiful.



Little Sand Mountain cemetery
Headstone from the original (abandoned) cemetery on Little Sand Mountain


The original cemetery on Little Sand Mountain lies abandoned and forgotten in the woods across the road from the church. I truly wish it could be preserved.

Another headstone from the abandoned cemetery on Little Sand Mountain
My Great great grandparents’ headstones, Little Sand Mountain
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I’m Still Here…

Ok, SO I know what you’re thinking…she starts a new blog and already she’s negelcting it…
But that’s not how it is…

I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time this weekend researching the haunting at the Old Floyd County Prison. Seems everyone knows about Big Red- supposedly he was so terrible his fellow inmates murdered him. However…no records that I can find tell WHAT he did that was so terrible, when and HOW he was murdered….  so that doesn’t exactly make for a good story, now does it? (And I would WELCOME any comments from anyone who knows more of this story…)

Another thing keeping me busy/ crazy is that I now have my own webpage, independednt of blogger, but setting it up is taxing my hamsters, you know? Learning a whole new language/ layout… hope to have it running soon. I will post a link here and I actually plan to transfer this page over to the new one. Don’t ask me how… I mean I read how last night but… Mandarin Chinese makes more sense at this point.

I have also been researching the Cowee Tunel haunting for my next book-stay tuned….

I would like to say THANKS to eveyrone faithfully visiting this page. I promise it will get better as I move it over to its new home.


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The Ghost of Attaway Plantation- Researching the Past

A couple years ago I found an article in the Waynesboro Citzen (Burke, County Georgia) from the 1800’s. The article claims that Colonel S. H. Attaway was having problems with a ghost on his plantation. According to the article, a house on the plantation was haunted by a rather noisy ghost. (I am curious as to whether the house was the main house of the plantation or another house located there.) It seems that no one could remain overnight in the house without being tormented by the ghost. It not only made scary, gutteral sounds, but also opened doors and slammed them shut. Footsteps could be heard walking up and down the stairway. Col. Attaway, himself, admitted to the haunting. He had searched for the source of the haunting, but never found anything.

Sam McClelland claims to have stayed several nights in the house. During this time, doors would open and then slam violently. Doors he distinctly remembered shutting would be found open. He, too, witnessed the mysterious footsteps, moanings and groanings of the Attaway Plantation ghost. Anyone else attempting to stay there overnight told the same story.

I was intrigued by this story. After all, the house had gained enough noteriety to be featured in a local newspaper.

In doing a little research, I found that, while there was a plantation owned by Attaways in Burke, County, Georgia, I could not link a Col. S. H. Attaway to the plantation. The plantation was named Mount Pleasant and was burned by General Sherman on his march of destruction. If any pictures or records of this plantation exist, they have escaped me.

As for Sam McClellend, he did exist. I found evidence of a Sam McClelland living in Burke County during this time period. In fact, both the McClelland and Attaway surnames are quite prevalent when researhing Burke County, Georiga.

Perhaps there was a haunting on the Attaway Plantation… I’d love to know more. Wouldn’t you?

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Estelle is a ghost town located west of Lafayette, Georgia on Pigeon Mountain.  A gold mining town, Estelle served the Alabama and Georgia Railroad.  Originally known as Shaw, Ga, the Estelle Mines were named for Estelle Shaw, daughter of Jesse Mercer and Mary Camp Shaw, owners of the mining operation. When the gold died out in the area, Estelle faded away.
At one time, the camp consisted of 175 houses, two schools, a commissary, a carpenter shop, machine shop, blacksmith shop, sawmill, a steam plant, and a supply house. A six mile railroad ran through seven tunnels into the mine. There is also a cemetery, which can still be found where the two schools were located.
Today, Estelle, particularly the cemetery, is said to be haunted. Visitors have claimed to hear disembodied voices. Ghost hunters have photographed orbs and vortexes, and have gathered quite a few EVP’s.
Have you ever visited the ghost town of Estelle?  Did you encounter anything unusual?
I visted the cemetery a few years ago. I was drawn to this lonely place on the mountain, although I knew nothing of its history. I love old cemeteries- haunted or not. I didn’t see or hear anything unusual, I just remember that the place carried a very sad feeling.
If you ever find yourself in Lafayette, Georgia, visit the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Receration Area. Take the time to explore this lonely ghost town. You just might encounter a few former citizens of Estelle.
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On Ghost Stories, Greed, and…well, Sometimes a Load of Crap

When I first began collecting ghost stories, I began spending a lot of time with historians and story tellers. I also spent a great deal of time in the Heritage Room at Sarah Hightower Regional Library in Rome. Ga. I made some great friends, I heard some great stories, and I came upon some ugly truths as well.

In one instance, I was reading a rare collection of ghost stories collected in the early 1980s. Copies of this book sold for over $100 on Amazon, as the book was out of print. I read the book front to back and took many notes. There was one story in the book that captured my attention. It was an interview with an old reverend who has since passed away. It was his sincere account of his own paranormal experience, which took place back in the 1940’s. He was sincere in his retelling and I had a great deal of respect for him as he tried his best to integrate his fundamental Christian beliefs with what he had seen. Fast forward to months later- I was searching online about a haunting in that same area and I came across a rather well-known website that covers strange and paranormal experiences here in Georgia. Lo and Behold, I read an account of the reverend’s story- yet is was being told be another storyteller/ historian who claimed it was HIS experience! As a teacher, writer, and former librarian, this set off every alarm in my little brain and heart. This was wrong on SO MANY levels.  Call me naive. I was floored! Seriously- this was outright plagiarism in my book.

Later on, I was interviewing another storyteller/ historian who was involved with a ghost tour in her town. As she told me stories from the area, I asked about one of the stops on the tour. “Oh no, honey, that one’s not true,’ she said. ‘I mean, the story happened, but it happened elsewhere, We just needed a story for that building so we could include it in the tour. So we just stuck that one there.”

A couple weeks ago I posted on the history site of a certain Northwest Georgia town (known for it’s “haunted places”) that I am collecting ghost stories for a book on Ghosts of Northwest Georgia. I got a (QUICK!!!) response from a lady in that town who informed me that, if I would PAY for a ghost tour of the town, they would share their stories. Sadly, I don’t believe a single tale I hear from this town now. I feel like that are making up ghost stories to gain tourism. Being noted in a book would bring in business, would it not? They just sell made-up tales for money, in my opinion.

This has changed the way I look at local legends and ghost stories.  I still love them. I still collect them. However, I also look at the teller as well as the tale. When the average Joe (or Jolene) sends me their sincere personal tale, I take it for the truth. They believe it, so I believe it. But do I believe every story I hear on a haunted tour? No, I am afraid I don’t. Where there is fame to be gained, or money to be made (or public recognition being sought)…. I take it with a grain of salt.

Am I wrong to feel this way? What are your experiences with tours and such? Maybe I have allowed a few bad apples to wrongfully color my opinions.  I DO honestly listen to and read every tale. It’s just that, when certain local celebrities have an agenda… it just makes me wonder….

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Resaca Confederate Cemetery

I first heard of this cemetery from a non-ghost-believing friend. However, my first visit was with a couple friends from Southern States Paranormal. We spent an afternoon walking and talking in this quiet, beautiful place.
This was the first Confederate Cemetery in the US- actually, it was created at the same time as a cemetery in Virginia, so both carry that distinction. Created by the daughter of a southern planter, the cemetery is dedicated to the memory of those who died in the Battle of Resaca.
Although peaceful during the day, the cemetery takes on another persona as night falls.  Spirits roam here. An invisible guard walks back and forth before the cemetery gate. Other soldiers march back and forth on the hill surrounding the cemetery. A little girl is said to haunt the grounds as well.  Ghost hunters have recorded EVPs as well as taken photos of orbs, vortexes, and even a soldier or two.
The problem with visiting the cemetery (at any time) is the crime rate here. There have been several incidents (non-paranormal) that have taken place here. This is a remote area. making it ideal for drug dealers and others with less than honorable intentions.
I visited the area with a couple of good friends during the summer of 2013.  Long story, but we ended up having to call the police- after getting cornered in the cemetery by some ill-intentioned creeps.
While a beautiful place to visit, and full of history, this is not a place to venture into alone. As  I mentioned, the crime rate here is considerable, and the creepier element thrives in this remote area. Be forewarned.
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The Ghost of Cloudland Canyon- True or Hoax?


In researching tales of the southern states, I came across a tale that takes place in Cloudland Canyon State Park- a hidden gem in Rising Fawn, GA. According to legend, the park is haunted at night by the ghost of a Native American on Horseback. Campers often see him as he quietly passes through the park. However, this spirit doesn’t incite fear in guests. Evidently, he makes them feel safe- as if he is watching over visitors to the park.

DSCN5363 (1)

Here’s the thing- In searching the web and the Heritage Room at Sarah Hightower Library, I can find nothing on this haunting. I posted the haunting on my FB page Ghosts of Northwest Georgia. No comments. No takers. SO… I am beginning to wonder- is this a true tale, or did someone make this up? And for what reason? To gain readership? To gain visitors to the park?

Maybe the ghost is for real.  Maybe he just has a small following….

Have you ever heard of the ghost of Cloudland Canyon? Have you seen him?

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