THE GHOSTS OF
by Dianna Avena, guest contributor.
[WeeklyUniverse.com] I conduct two-hour tours through the historic district of Roswell, Georgia. Many spirits reside within the antebellum mansions that General
Sherman never burned.
In deep ravines with ruined
mills hold secrets of exiled mill workers, whose toilsome moans may still
In Founders Cemetery, burial
site of Roswell founder, Roswell King, where bodies are buried beneath
modern streets and houses.
Grand Greek revival mansions
and humble mill workers' apartments are some of the haunted sites you'll
when I accompany you on the Roswell
Ghost Tour, and its one mile of easy walking.
flurry of paranormal activity that tour-goers have seen involve the Old
-- the first townhome-type buildings constructed in the United States. They were built for the mills' foremen and their families. During
the Civil War, they were taken over by Union soldiers and used as a hospital
for their wounded.
early 1990s, the Old Bricks were purchased by a family who organized the
Founders Club, a social club they rented out for events. They decorated
the Old Bricks's interior with Civil War-era antiques, and installed a
security system with motion sensors.
they placed two large prints on opposing mantles in a large room. The next
morning, the owners found the print of a Union soldier face-up on the floor,
lying far from its mantle. The security system had not been tripped. The frame was undamaged, but the glass was shattered in a spiderweb effect,
as if a large boot had stomped on it.
to occur to that Union soldier's print whenever the owners tried to include
it in the building's décor. The inhabitants surmised that
a ghost of a Confederate soldier was unhappy to see a large photo of a
Union soldier in his own dwelling.
and members of the Founders Club named this ghost Fred, and they witnessed
many other signs of Fred's presence. There was no reason for this
chosen name; just a need to name him since he was referred to so often.
Although Fred's first occurrence was aggressive, the majority of his actions
were more prank related.
occurred at an evening cocktail party in the club, in the late 1990s. A gentleman who lived across the street was in attendance, standing with
others in a circle, as he drank and told stories. Suddenly, he was
physically lifted up off of the ground, turned around 180 degrees, then
placed down. Right in front of everyone!
night, the owners' adult daughter was upstairs with two kitchen workers,
preparing a dining room for a business luncheon scheduled for the next
day. They readied seven tables with six chairs at each table, setting
cloth napkins, plates, glasses, and silverware. Once finished, they
went downstairs, and the workers were dismissed for the evening.
When the daughter ran back
upstairs to shut the lights and gather her belongings, she saw that at
one table, each chair had been pulled back.
Napkins were draped over
the backs of the six chairs and the silverware was crossed on the plates,
as if Fred had had his own little dinner party.
a common occurrence. It became a routine for the workers to check
any rooms that had been prepared for public events, to assure that the
furniture and items were still in place. Apparently, Fred often had
dinner parties during the middle of the night.
Club closed in 2005. The Old Bricks was gutted, to be divided into
condominiums. Our Roswell
Ghost Tour guides and attendees are currently seeing more ghostly activity
during this renovation. It seems that Fred is unhappy with all the
commotion, which is to be expected. Haunting reports normally increase
during renovations. Even changing a room's furniture, or paint color
or wallpaper, may illicit an increase in a haunted place's paranormal activity.
the gutting of the Old Bricks in the fall of 2005, I once faced a tour
group with my back to the building. I was relating the pranks that
Fred has pulled over the years, when I felt an intense cold on my back. As usual, I didn't mention this to the group; I prefer to let the tour-goers
tell us what they may be experiencing.
several attendees shouted that the upstairs window behind me was opening. I turned around, expecting to see an upper pane slowly lowering. With all the work being done, construction might have caused the windows
to loosen. But that wasn't the case.
watched in astonishment as the lower pane of the window rose upward!
doors were still intact, but the thresholds had been removed by then. We all saw through a four-inch gap (between the door's bottom and the brick
porch) that the bottom floor had been removed. We saw the basement
area. There wasn't a first floor. There probably wasn't a second
floor. And even if a person had gotten to a second floor, we couldn't
how a window could be lifted without us seeing an arm or a stick used to
This is the only time that
I wanted to quickly leave a location during a tour. I said I wanted
to leave, and proceeded to do so. I walked away -- backward -- so
I could watch the tour group, while also watching the window opening even
Suddenly, I heard loud, clunky
footsteps approach me from behind. I assumed someone from our group
had gotten ahead of me. I turned my head, planning to remark about
the rest of our brave group still standing there, when I realized there
was no one behind me after all!
Copyright 2007 by Dianna Avena
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