Haunted Spots in Georgia
Photo By: Holly Aguirre
Photo By: the Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel
Photo By: the Hay House
Photo By: Holly Aguirre
Originally located on Atlanta's Peachtree Road across from the Randolph-Lucas house, the Neel Reid-designed Willis-Jones mansion was hauled over to West Paces Ferry near the governor’s mansion in the late '60s. Its skeleton sat there for many years and mischievous local teens dared each other to spend the night in the shell, though no one lasted an entire evening. They reportedly heard footsteps across floorboards where there were none and knocks on doors that didn’t exist. The home was returned to opulent splendor in the '80s, and we’re not sure of its ghostly status. What we do know is that the home is hauntingly beautiful.
Located in the center of Buckhead is a 1797 structure that was originally located in Washington, Ga., 117 miles east of Atlanta. In 1963 the mansion was dismantled and moved to Piedmont Road just south of Peachtree. It first operated as Josephine’s and was then acquired and renamed by restaurateur A.J. Anthony around 1975. For more than 30 years the establishment entertained its fair share of dignitaries, celebrities and phantoms alike. Employees repeatedly reported ghost sightings all around the home, especially in the wine cellar and the attic, a place where some refused to go. Even diners reported hearing voices in the restrooms and felt taps on their shoulders when no one was there. In 2012 it ceased to exist as Anthony’s when an investor hatched a plan to turn it into a members-only yacht club. After firing most of the staff, he tore out the home’s centerpiece Tiffany-glass window and had it auctioned off. That plan lasted roughly six months and Anthony’s longtime general manager and partner recently died suddenly — some say of a broken heart. It now operates as a special-events facility called The Estate; we think they may have one more occupant.
There are plenty of reasons for ghost hunters to head down south to Americus. Located about 140 miles from Atlanta, not only is it adjacent to Andersonville, a town whose soil is rich with the blood of the Civil War dead, but it’s also home to the historic Windsor Hotel. The foreboding structure with its Romanesque tower and Flemish stepped roof was built in 1892 and inhabits close to an entire city block.
Speaking of inhabitants, the Windsor apparently has several that never managed to check out. An in-residence housekeeper and her daughter died after being pushed down the hotel’s elevator shaft. Guests on the third floor reported the chilling sounds of a child's laughter and the eerie cries of a woman. And according to employees, the ghost of Floyd Lowery, the hotel’s former doorman and elevator man for more than 40 years, can be spotted on a regular basis. Belly up to Floyd’s Pub and they’ll tell you all about it.
The Booth House
Located about 30 minutes outside of Athens is the small town of Bowman. Mostly a rural community, there are a handful of historic homes and a few that pre-date the Civil War. One of those homes, an 1858 antebellum, sits just off the tiny town square and is often the topic of town gossip for varying reasons, but mostly about the ghosts that inhabit the 5,000-square-foot structure. Built by a wealthy doctor, it once sat surrounded by farmland and pecan trees. The home passed to the Booth family in the '60s, who were quite popular in town. Mrs. Booth, the local math teacher, lived in the huge home after her husband died; she died in the home around 2007. The house sat empty for years and when a handyman finally moved in to make much needed repairs, he reported that the house was indeed haunted. He told stories of an old man who walked the halls and whispered in his ear. Overnight guests reported trying to get out of bed but a “force field” would not let them.
Just south of Atlanta in Macon you’ll find the Johnston-Felton-Hay House, one of Georgia's most historic homes. Dating back to the mid 1800s, the Italian Renaissance Revival-style structure was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. Several families, including the Johnstons, Feltons and Hays, called the house home before it was converted to a museum. The furnishings currently on display are mostly remnants from the Hay family's time spent there. Apparently fine antiques and art were not the only thing left behind. Museum employees as well as visitors have reported seeing the ghost an elderly woman dressed in 1860 garb roaming the home’s vast hallways. Others have heard footsteps on the stairs, seen doors suddenly slam, and felt unexplained dropping temperatures. Even worse, they’ve heard wailing noises coming from the master bedroom and felt taps on their shoulders. This is one you can visit and find out for yourself.
Located a few steps from Midtown Atlanta on 15th Street sits an Ansley Park mansion that was built around 1910. The foreboding structure was split up into six different apartments at one point and now sits empty. We’re not quite sure what the current plans are for the spooky property, but what we do know is that neighbors have reported seeing figures dart past the windows around dusk while walking their dogs. Concerned that perhaps mischievous teens (or worse) had snuck into the home, they reported the sightings to an architect they met in the driveway one afternoon. He laughed it off and said it was nothing of concern though they never saw him again and workers have not been on site for weeks.