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There is a saying in the South that Savannah was built on the backs of its dead. It is true that nearly anytime construction workers dig into the thick red clay earth they discover bonesâ??remains from the Native Americans in the area, remains from the Revolutionary War and Civil War. And it seems that with all the history below the gorgeous gardens and fountains of the city, some ghosts have decided to remain.
Forsyth Park is a lovely escape near the heart of the city. Spanish-moss laden trees cast strange shadows and the perfume of magnolias and azaleas is heavy in the air. Just across the street from Forsyth Park is a beautiful yellow Victorian B & B. Built in 1893, the Forsyth Park Inn and its romantic courtyard evoke a feeling of the deep South at its most luxurious.
But haunting this gorgeous eleven-room and its accompanying cottage is the spirit of a heart-broken young girl. Early in the houseâ??s history, a young couple owned it. Aaron and Lois Churchill were married, very much in love with each other, and sadlyâ??infertile. Dreaming of a child of their own, they brought an adorable little girl, Lottie, home to live with them. Details as to how or where they obtained the girl are now seemingly long-lost to history, but we do know the child lovingly referred to the Churchills as â??Aunt Loâ? and â??Uncle Aaron.â? Lo and Aaron gave Lottie an enviable lifestyle. Well-loved, perhaps even spoiled by her doting guardians, Lottie flourished. Lottieâ??s life seemed perfect.
And then her family changed.
Lois brought home her ailing sister, Anna, a girl well her junior. Anna quickly became like a big sister to Lottie. And as Lo worked to nurse her sister Anna back to health, someone else was working on Anna, too, but in a vastly different way. One day as Lottie was rushing to visit Anna she stumbled into a shocking sceneâ??Anna locked in a romantic embrace with Lottieâ??s Uncle Aaron. Shocked, thoughts raced through Lottieâ??s disillusioned mind.
That night, trapped with the secret of their illicit love, Lottie tossed and turned, unable to sleep. She devised a planâ??a way to rid the household of the problem that threatened to forever shatter her happy little family. The next day Lottie set her plan in motion while the ladies awaited their afternoon tea in the garden.
A little bit of poison in a teacup did the trick. In a moment Anna was choking, struggling to breathe. She fell to the ground, Lois holding her head in her lap as she choked out her final few gasps of breath. As she died, Lottie standing triumphant, Lois spilled out the tragic truth. It seems that, in killing Anna, to save her family, she had actually killed her biological mother. Poor Anna had been unable to raise her and had trusted her darling daughter to the only person she felt could give Lottie the life Anna so desperately wanted her to have. Anna had sacrificed her happiness, and now lost her life, so that Lottie could be truly happy.
And that was when Lottieâ??s mind snapped. Lottie went insane, right then and there. She was then committed to a mental institution, where she lived out the rest of her life.
So is Lottieâ??s ghost the poisoning, vengeance-seeking spirit that she was at her last moment of sanity? No, in fact, it seems Lottieâ??s ghost is a happy spirit with a childâ??s simple enthusiasm. Visitors occasionally report a childâ??s laughter and footsteps echoing in empty rooms. Some claim theyâ??ve spotted Lottie on the staircase, dressed in the clothing of her time period. Others claim to feel her presence near the fountain in the courtyardâ??near the scene of the mistake that changed her life forever. But mainly Lottie seems to just be revisiting the happiest moments of her lifeâ??the moments before she inadvertently destroyed the rest of her life.
In this nineteenth century themed inn appears a friendly ghost that is frequently seen by both employees and guests at the establishment.
During the gold rush days of the 1800’s, a gold miner and his family lived a small wood shack along a dry wash in the heart of the canyon. Via mule, the husband would venture into the Northwestern Mountains in search of gold, returning semimonthly with food for his wife Luana and their young children. One month, however, the gold miner did not return. Soon, supplies ran out and the children began to starve. Luana, not able to tolerate the sight of her starving children, lost her mind. During a thunderstorm, she put on her wedding dress and chopped her children up into several pieces. Luana went to the river and tossed the remnants down stream. Luana returned the next morning and crying for the return of her children she died. It is said that on certain nights the her wailing may be heard from within the canyon’s walls.
Home to thousands of mentally ill people, this asylum in Weston, WV, opened in 1864.Â Also known as the Weston State Hospital, the asylum was originally designed to house 250 beds, which grew tremendously over the years.Â At times, resident numbers peaked at 2,400, which lead to overcrowding, extremely poor conditions and infrastructure deterioration.Â Due to this, the asylum closed its doors in 1994.
Now, the historic grounds can be toured where many visitors have encountered ghost sightings from those that died in the asylum–some dating back to the Civil War era.
Gadsden High School in Anthony, New Mexico brings a whole new meaning to the phrase â??school spirit.â? The Old English building located at the front of the school seems to house not just one or even two ghosts, but four.
All deaths of children are tragic, but the torture of the ghostly child who still haunts the High School is the stuff of parental nightmares. Many years ago, during a school dance, a young female student named Ana was supposedly forced into the building’s basement by two males, where she was raped and murdered. Another story says that Ana committed suicide in a second floor classroom. Whichever horrible end Ana came to, she is seen now as a white apparition. Ana walks through the school’s halls from one end of the building to the other, walking straight through walls. Students and staff have claimed to either see her or hear her, and some have even witnessed her trek as they were standing outside of the school building, looking in.
A student saw her recently while waiting for the after school buses to leave. She and a friend were looking up at the very last classroom on the north side of the second story when they saw a girl in white looking out the window. Behind her the building was dark, but the girl seemed to be luminescent. Ana seems to concentrate her wanderings to this location of the building.
One employee who used to work in the library claimed that there is a yearbook where you can actually see Ana’s apparition. It seems the boy’s basketball team had an extra member in their team photo. Standing at the steps of the Old English building behind the team is Ana.
Another haunting is that of an Hispanic janitor who was accidentally locked in the basement under the boy’s gym next to the Old English building over winter break supposedly sometime in the late 1970’s or early 80’s. In late December, stand by the railing next to the concession stand. You will hear him pounding on the metal door and calling out â??Ayuda me!â? forever pleading for help. The janitor is said to be joined by a boy ghost who also died needlessly in the basement. He broke in on a dare, got lost, and did not make it out alive.
The girls’ gym is said to have a spirit that turns the showers off and on as well as the lights.
Many students say not to ask the teachers about those who haunt the hallways of Gadsden high School, but go to the custodians. It seems they are not nearly as sketchy about what they have seen roaming the halls, bathrooms, and basements of this tragic school.
This house is said to be haunted by two different ghosts. One man appears to be the present ownerï¿½s father. He has allegedly been seen holding his great-granddaughter in an upstairs window. A grayish-smoke like figure has also been reported to pass through people in the home’s kitchen. As the basement was being renovated, an unexplained swastika was found built into the linoleum floor. There were also large amounts of very old ammunition located in the ceiling.