Friday, May 10, 2013

Newsworthy Haunts 5/10/13—Alabama Battlefields and Charleston’s Jail

Alabama’s Haunted Civil War Battlefields

What Alabama lacks economically as one of the poorer states in the nation, it certainly makes up for in history and ghosts. Alabama’s paranormal teams also appear to be some of the busiest and most active in the South. Among them, the Alabama Paranormal Association which is starting a series of investigations of Civil War sites within the state.

The group has compiled a list of 12 battle sites, mostly throughout Northern Alabama, where they will investigate. Among the 12 is one site not from the Civil War—the Horseshoe Bend Battlefield which was the scene of a battle during the Creek War (not the War of 1812, as cited in the article) which was fought in 1814 in Tallapoosa County. The article includes as list of the locations the group is anticipating investigating. These include:

• Siege of Bridgeport, Jackson County
• Sack of Athens, Limestone County
• Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle, Limestone County
• Battle of Decatur, Morgan County
• Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Tallapoosa County
• Battle of Mobile Bay, Mobile County
• Battle of Hog’s Mountain, Cullman County
• Battle of Crooked Creek, Cullman County
• Battle of Day’s Gap, Cullman County
• Battle of Blountsville, Blount County
• Battle of Bibb Furnace, Bibb County
• Skirmish at Black Creek, Etowah County

As the group has begun investigating, they have already yielded results. While gathering EVPs on the bridge in Bridgeport that was at the center of an 1862 skirmish, a female investigator said aloud, “A gentleman would greet a Southern lady.” Listening to the recording later, a voice clearly responds, “Huh?” Another voice was picked up pleading for help on the Sulphur Creek Trestle in Elkmont.

Also mentioned in the article is the historic Donnell House (601 South Clinton Street) in Athens. While not a part of the famous Battle of Athens, the house served as the headquarters for Union troops. During the Union occupation of the town, Union forces camped on the home’s lawn. One family member, Nannie Donnell, reportedly died of scarlet fever in the house during the occupation. A medium visiting the house in recent years felt the feverish heat that Nannie would have experienced before she died.

The Robert Donnell House, 1935. Photograph by Alex Bush
for the Historic American Buildings Survey. Courtesy of the
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Jacque Reeves, director of the home, states that the spirits of the home’s builder Rev. Robert Donnell and his mother, Mary Bell Donnell, also reside within. She is a descendent of the Rev. Robert Donnell—who built the home—and author of a handful of books on regional history including When Spirits Walk which details a number of ghost stories from the area.

While the APA is working with Reeves to document the ghosts of the Donnell House, they’re also conducting town hall meetings to gather information on the history of these battles as well as experiences locals may have had at these sites. For further information, please see the Alabama Paranormal Association website here.

More from Charleston’s Old City Jail

In an article from Kingston, Ontario, Canada’s Kingston This Week, Rob Mooy published a photo he’d taken on a tour of the ancient Old City Jail. It was here that I took two interesting photos myself (see the entry here) and I have also covered the location here. Mooy’s photo, apparently taken in one of the basement rooms, shows another tour participant but with an odd figure passing between him and the photographer. The somewhat amorphous figure appears to also be in motion. The photograph may be seen here.

     Association (Odd Travels List).” The Huntsville Times. 9 May 2013.
     ghost says, ‘huh?’The Hunstville Times. 9 May 2013.
Mooy, Rob. “Paranormalphotography: Is it possible?Kingston This Week.
      3 May 2013.


  1. Is it possible to catch up with the group and accompany them?

    1. You may want to contact them to ask. I'm not sure if their investigations are open to the public.