Saturday, November 21, 2009
History Press has a series of books called Haunted America. One of the books in that series is called Haunted Marietta by Rhetta Akamatsu. On October 30th, in Decatur, I had the privilege of meeting Rhetta at a joint book signing we did at Eagle Eye Book Shop. Reece Christian, author of Ghosts of Atlanta, was also there signing books.
One of the stories she recounts in her book is about a cemetery in Marietta called the Devil's Turnaround. The cemetery, according to Akamatsu, is associated with an African-American church in the area that was founded in the 1800s. There are old graves in this graveyard, some dating back to the 1860s. Apparently, burials are still taking place there, as there are also some plots as recent as 2006. The reason the graveyard is called the Devil's Turnaround is due to strange activity that happens there, as well as the fact that the older graves are aligned in a semicircle for some reason.
Akamatsu says that there is a lot of activity in this cemetery of the human kind, as well as the supernatural. Apparently, there is a good bit of vandalism, but there also appears to be cult activity there as well. She and her team have visited the cemetery and seen holes where bodies had been dug up. She has also found snakes with their heads cut off, and there have also been reports of dead dogs being buried in shallow graves there. Perhaps this is what has contributed to what Akamatsu says is a malevolent spirit present in the cemetery.
Paranormal research groups have gone to the graveyard and investigated. On a recording, one researcher picked up a voice (possible EVP) that said, "I think I'll kick you." Other weird happenings include large objects being picked up and hurled through the air by some unseen force. Some visitors and researchers at the cemetery have reported being bitten, scratched, and bruised without knowing how these things happened to them. Investigations at this graveyard have been featured on such television shows as TruTV's Haunting Evidence. Patrick Burns of the Atlanta Ghost Hounds, once visited the cemtery and when he returned home that night, he discovered a deep scratch on his arm as he disrobed for bed. He was unsure as to how the mark got there, and did not remember feeling anything at all in the cemetery, especially anything that could have left a mark as deep as it was. Other visitors to the graveyard have reported things being thrown at them, bite marks on their arms, and being lifted off the ground by unseen hands.
So what is it that seems to taunt visitors to the Devil's Turnaround in Marietta? Could it be that vandals, cult rituals, and other nonsense have roused an evil presence that was there? Or is it the spirit of some soul buried on the grounds who does not like his/her resting place being the scene of such activity? Urban legends about this place abound. What can be certain is that something strange is going on at the Devil's Turnaround.