Atlanta is a city that has seen its fair share of both triumphs and trials. From its birth as a railroad town in 1836 to its destruction in Sherman’s march to the sea in 1864 to its prosperous rebirth after the Civil War, Atlanta possesses a diverse history unlike any other. There is no surprise that Atlanta is full of ghosts and haunted locations. Here are the stories of four of these sites
The New American Shakespeare Tavern is a playhouse and English pub located on Peachtree Street. Being the home of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company, which was formed in 1984, the structure is a relatively new one without any ominous history. None the less, two spirits have taken the tavern to be their home. Cast, crew, and patrons alike have claimed to see the two apparitions in period clothing moving throughout the building. One of these is a little boy in a velvet suit while the other is that of a woman. The two have both been seen in the upper and lower deck of the theatre and have made their presence known during performances as well as when no audience is present. Guests of the tavern chose not to frequent the upper deck due to a heavy , uncomfortable feeling that is present in this area. The female spirit also can be found being a trickster in the stage and backstage area by knocking over scenery, moving things in the dressing rooms, and even clearing the theatre by yelling ‘Fire!’ from just behind the curtain. While it is unknown why they have inhabit the playhouse, it is thought that the period costumes and décor of the building makes those of times past feel more at home.
The Masquerade is a goth concert venue located on North East Avenue. The building has gone through many incarnations since it was built as the DuPre Excelsior Mill in 1890. While the Mill was in operation, numerous tragedies befell the workers. Many young women who were employed there were killed by industrial accidents within the facility. There was also an outbreak of tuberculosis of spread through the employee body, causing many to pass from the disease. Multiple fires and structure failures during the years of operation cost even more employees their lives.
From the claims of current employees and patrons, many of those who passed are still lingering. Screams can be heard throughout the building and especially near the back stairwell. These are claimed to be those of the young female employees who tragically passed here. A tall, black male in old fashion clothing can be seen walking around the area between the stage and the restrooms. Often the large amplifiers that surround the stage are found overturned when the club is opened, and this action is attributed to this man. There are also cold spots felt throughout the venue and the sounds of footfalls can be heard when there is no one living is present to create them.
Rhodes Hall, also located on Peachtree Street, was the home of furniture mogul Amos Giles Rhodes, founder of the Rhodes Furniture chain. After a visit to Central Europe in the 1890s, Rhoades fashioned a home for him and his family after the Rhineland castles he admired scattered throughout the countryside. Completed in 1904, the Rhoades family remained in the home for decades and was willed to the state of Georgia for historical purposes. In 1983, the castle became the home for the Georgia Trust for Historical Preservation, which it still is today.
Rhodes Hall is an extremely lovely home, and it seems that Mrs. Amanda Rhodes is still taking pride in her home many years after her death. Mrs. Rhodes named her home Le Reve or The Dream, and it is claimed that she requires that those visiting the home treat it with the respect that a home of the stature demands. She is seen and heard in the sitting room and the dining area reprimanding those who threaten to damage her floors and spiral staircase.
Other spirits remain in the castle as well. The children of the Rhodes family as well as a caretaker can capture moving throughout the building. A smoky smell can be found throughout the building on the anniversary of the burning of Atlanta.
While most of Rhodes Hall’s spirits seem to be of a lighter nature, there is one claim that tends to feel more threatening. While the entity does not harm anyone, he can create a deep fright. Objects are thrown and pushed in the basement areas. People can get a sudden feeling of light headedness or nausea that appears and disappears suddenly. Claims of being touched have been reported. And even an EVP stating “We will skin you alive” has been captured. While it is uncertain as to why the phenomenon occurs here, it clearly makes Rhodes Hall a paranormal hot spot.
The Ellis Hotel was opened in 1913 as the Winecoff Hotel and is the location of the worst hotel fire in United States history. On December 7th, 1946, the elevator operator noticed the smell of smoke coming from the fifth floor. While she made her way to the lobby to announce her discovery, it was too late for many of those staying in the upper floors. The hotel bragged that it was absolutely fireproof and therefore, had no fire alarms, fire escapes, or sprinkler system. By the time that the fire was discovered, the third, fourth, and fifth floors were fully engulfed. The only exit was through the center of the hotel, and this rapidly became a chimney drawing smoke and fire to the floors above. Of the 280 guest staying there, 119 perished from either smoke initiation, jumping from windows in hopes of surviving, or burning to death.
While the structure had many lives after the fire, it was reopened after a major renovation as the boutique hotel The Ellis in 2007. But, unknown by the new management, some souls from that night in 1946 were still lingering. Guests have reported staying in rooms that have heavy feelings and feel that they must get out. Apparitions can be seen on all the upper floors. There are reports of hearing screams of woman and children heard throughout the hotel. Passer-byers have seen faces in the windows of panic stricken people looking for an escape. Items are moved about the rooms, and a fire alarm has been claimed to have been heard going off around 3:00 a.m., the time of the 1946 fire, but no source can be found.
This is only the tip of the ice burg for the hauntings in Atlanta. All of the above mentioned locations are open to the public, and while they may not be known for their ghostly tales, there are almost always employees and regulars that have a tale to spin.
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BethAnn Williams, Paranormal Journalist, is thrilled to be the newest staff member of Ghost Hunters Fans and looks forward to keeping you posted in the happenings of the paranormal world.
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