Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

This is the fourth Halloween that I have had the blog, and I do appreciate all of my readers and followers at Georgia Mysteries!!!  The Atlanta Ripper book is doing great.  Check out Barnes and Nobles, Books A Million, and Amazon to get your copy today.  The other three I have written are still available online!  Let me know if you are in metro Atlanta and I can help you find them at a local bookstore.  Happy Halloween, and KEEP READING!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Legends/Hauntings at Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon

For quite some time, visitors to the Ocmulgee National Monument, better known as the Indian Mounds in Macon, have talked about the strange feelings they get there. In fact, the daughter of a friend mentioned that on top of the big mound she felt someone or something pull her hair. When she looked around, no one was standing near her.  Her sister and aunt were nowhere near her on the mound.
My young friend was not the first, nor will she be the last to hear strange sounds and feel presences that cannot be seen at the mounds. In fact, as early as the late 1700s, traders who passed through the area and camped near the mounds heard shrieks and cries in the night.  Many have reported hearing voices and seeing images that disappeared in to thin air.  Not long ago, the late Sam Lawson, a former ranger at the mounds and adjunct professor at Georgia Military College, was locking up the visitors center at the park.  While closing the doors, he heard the laugh of a child.  His first thought was that a child had been left inside.  A complete search of the building turned up nothing.  A fellow ranger helped him search, and she too found no one.  Later, Lawson recounted his story to the gift shop manager who said that she had also heard a child's laughter in the visitor's center, but that upon inspection, no child could be found.  The two felt that there might be something to the story.
Ranger Sylvia Flowers told the author of Ghosts of Macon that throughout the years, a legend has floated around about a white and black dog being seen on the property by visitors and staff.  Lawson also mentioned that he had heard the stories, and that some have even approached the white dog only to have it vanish before their very eyes.  At one time, a Samuel Dunlap lived near the mounds and he owned a white dog. Perhaps the spirit of this dog has been left behind?  There is also a Creek legend about a large black dog that is often times spotted at ceremonial sites like Ocmulgee, and that this dog is a spirit guard placed there to protect the sacred site.
On another occasion, visitors to the mounds reported seeing a man dressed in what they thought was a Confederate uniform.  Since the mounds were the site of fighting in Georgia during the war, particular The Battle of Dunlap Hill, some reenactments have been staged there. The group thought that this was just a docent awaiting a reenactment of sorts, and they thought nothing of it, that is, until they were told no one was there that day wearing a Confederate uniform and the staff was unaware that anyone would be.  Perhaps the spirit of a dead Confederate solider is also wandering around the mounds?
The Ocmulgee National Monument is a fascinating place.  I take my Georgia History classes from the college there at times. This past summer, my class from our Madison campus visited. Although we were there in the hot July sun, the students loved it. They commented that this trip was one they were glad they took, and some even commented that they were going to bring their children back as soon as they could.  Perhaps they will see the spirits that keep vigil at one of the oldest settlements in the Peach State!

Who Built the Stone Wall on top of Fort Mountain in Murray County?

I have long been interested in the early native tribes of Georgia. As a matter of fact, I am reading Dr. Max White's The Archaeology and History of the Native Georgia Tribes now in an effort to learn more about the Paleoindians, Archaic Period inhabitants, Woodland Indians, Mississippians, and the recent tribes in Georgia (Creek and Cherokee).  One of the greatest mysteries from the past in Georgia that relates to native tribes, or possibly does, is the story of the stone wall atop Fort Mountain in Murray County.
On the mountain, there is what looks like a stone wall made with rocks and other stones. It was once thought that the wall was built for defense by some tribe that occupied the mountain. However, there is no water source to be found inside the wall, and this would make those being defended by the wall more vulnerable than if the wall were not there.  So this has been ruled out.
What is most interesting about this story is the Cherokee legend that is told in an attempt to answer who and why.  Apparently, the Cherokees talk about a race of people with "moon-shaped eyes" who arrived in their homeland and constructed the wall.  They were said to live underground, be nocturnal, and wear beards.  Who were these people.  Some have answered that question with another legend, this one of Prince Madoc of Wales.  This legend focuses on a Welsh prince who sailed from Europe in the 12th century, some two hundred plus years before Columbus.  He never returned to his homeland, but native legend tells of a race of fair-skinned men who landed near Mobile Bay and traveled inland, all the while making contact with native peoples, and, in some places, building forts, including the one on Fort Mountain.
There are quite a few legends about Fort Mountain. Some say that Hernando De Soto built the wall while in the area as protection from the Creeks. Others say that a tribe of natives used it as an observatory.  There is a Georgia Historical Marker there that discusses the mystery behind the wall.  Check it out at:

There is also a great site about ancient civilizations in Georgia, and it can be found at:

                                                           (photo courtesy of
This is one of the most interesting mysteries of early Georgia.

The Haunting of the Allman Brothers Home in Macon

According to a great little book my friend Rita and I found in Macon at the Goodwill Bookstore there (Goodbooks) last January right after the big ice storm here in Atlanta, the Allman Brothers home has quite the haunted history. The three-story Tudor style home was the residence of the Allman Brothers for three years in the city.  Before that, it was the home of former Georgia Governor Nathaniel Harris.
The book, Ghosts of Macon by Mary Lee Irby, highlights the fact that the new owners have experienced some major issues in the house since purchasing it some years ago.
Apparently, there is something strange about the stairs in the home, and Mary Lee Irby makes sure the image of the staircase is front and center in the chapter on the Allman Brothers Home in her book.  The new owners stated that the first weird experience they had in the house was on the staircase. It appears that the wife, Kirsten West, kept "...tripping and falling on the stairs."  She went on to state that "After one fall, I had to stay in bed for three months because my back went out.  I had a ruptured disk."  West mentions that she spoke with previous owners of the home and that the wife in that family also had the same issues on the staircase.  Quite strange, indeed.  From this, I gathered that there might have been some tragic happenings on the staircase when the original owners or the Allmans lived there.   I was not the first to have that impression.  West points out in her interview with the author that if you look closely at the staircase, there are a few spindles that do not match the others, as if they have been replaced because of some accident. Oddly enough, this is right where West repeatedly falls on those stairs.
On another occasion, the Wests were working with a film student from Atlanta who was doing a project on the Allman Brothers Band.  One morning, the student was making the bed in the room where she slept when she saw a door open by itself out on the landing as if someone were opening it and walking through it.  She also mentioned that some months prior to this, after visiting the Allman Home for a brief time, she returned to her home in Atlanta and was barraged with strange dreams of a woman running down the staircase of her own home while screaming.  It appears that something was sending a subliminal message to the film student.  Was there a connection here?  Why did she have those dreams at her home in Atlanta after visiting the Allman Home in Macon, only to come back months later to experience what seemed like some invisible presence opening a door on the landing and walking down the stairs?
Kirsten West also mentioned that her dogs seem to stare at something in the home that she cannot see.  We all know that dogs and children are supposed to have a sixth sense and be able to see things that the rest of us cannot see. Is this an example of such?
While all of these events are strange enough, they are not as off-putting as what happened to Kristen's dad when he came to visit his daughter and son-in-law.  Charles Olson, who has since passed away, related that while on his visit, he arose and dressed early one morning because he smelled what he thought were cinnamon rolls baking in the kitchen.  Who wouldn't be lured out of their slumber by that?  And, of course, it is quite logical to assume that his daughter would be cooking something like that for her dad in honor of his visit.  However, that was not the case. In fact, upon further investigation, he discovered that no one had even gone in the kitchen that morning before he arose.  There must be something about cinnamon rolls the ghosts in that house like, for not long afterwards, a reporter visited the home from the Chicago Sun Times and had the same experience.  But the cinnamon rolls were not the most disturbing of the father's experiences there.
One night, while sleeping in one of the guest bedrooms, Charles Olson, West's father, said he was awakened by something in his room.  He saw someone standing beside his bed.  It was a female.  A few nights afterwards, he was awakened again and this time, another female specter appeared to be lying above his bed.  He commented that "Her elbow was bent and her cheek was propped on her hand..  She had on some sort of bonnet and a long dress with ruffles that ran from the neck to her waistline.  He quickly jumped out of bed and looked at the image.  A few seconds later, it disappeared.  From this description, it appears that the apparition was from a time well before the Allman Brothers stint there in the early 1970s.
So is the Allman Home haunted? If so, by whom?  Are these ghosts from the era of Governor Nathaniel Harris?  What happened on that staircase?  Today, the home is a museum.  You can check out the website at