Halloween Haunted Houses

Written by Roxanne Ecklund on October 30, 2019

It’s the spookiest time of year! There’s a crispness in the air, and the smell of bonfire and burnt leaves is in full effect. The candy aisle is filled with nothing but emptiness, and kids all across the United States are counting down the minutes until the sun sets on October 31st. Children and adults alike have been waiting for the moment to throw on their costumes and enjoy all the Fall festivities that come along with this scary holiday. Corn mazes, pumpkin carvings, Fall festivals, and sunflowers galore. There’s something about this time of year that brings magic to life. But there’s several places in and around the Southeast region where the magic never dies. Below is a list of the top five most haunted homes in the Southeast.

1. The Olde Pink House: Savannah, Georgia

Originally built in 1771 as a family mansion by Joseph Habersham Jr., the Olde Pink House now stands as a popular restaurant in downtown Savannah. Known for it’s Southern-style cuisine and plantation-style charm, this 248 year old beauty is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Savannah.  According to Ghosts and Gravestones of Savannah, “ The most often seen apparition is that of Habersham himself, who is said to appear mostly between October and March. Others have been spooked by the sight of a man dressed in Revolutionary-style clothing sitting at the end of the bar, only to disappear when people turn their back on him. The ghosts of slave children are perhaps the most disturbing sight for many folks; these mischievous apparitions are said to have locked patrons in the downstairs bathroom. Waitresses at the restaurant encourage guests to use the upstairs restroom.” The Olde Pink House is located at 23 Abercorn Street, on Reynolds Square. If interested in dining at the restaurant, reservations are encouraged. For Libations, guests are welcome to visit their onsite bar at Planter’s Tavern. And for those interested in the spookier side of this historic home, there are several ghost tour options including Ghosts and Gravestones Savannah, Ghost City, and Cobblestone Tours.

2. Carnton Plantation: Franklin, Tennessee

The Carnton Plantation was originally built in 1826 by one of Nashville’s former Mayors, Randal McGavock and was passed down to his son after his passing in 1843.  According to the Battle of Franklin Trust on the afternoon of November 30, 1864, “The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle, believed to be the bloodiest hours of the Civil War, involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers.” The Carnton Plantation overlooks a historic graveyard home to over 1,000 Confederate troops killed in battle. These soldiers, as well as several other spirits, including a young girl, and the home’s cook are among those seen prominently throughout the Fall season. The Carnton Plantation is open for tours seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased through the plantations website.

3. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens: Charleston, South Carolina

Built in 1676 by Thomas and Ann Drayton and passed down to family members over the course of 300 years, the Magnolia Plantation hit despair in the late 1980’s but has since been restored and is open for tours year around. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, “Has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens.” The Plantation has also opened its doors to several paranormal activity groups, all of which experienced ghost-like encounters including mysterious music, growling, coughing, and even a woman’s voice saying “what are you doing.” The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is open for tours, attractions, and events year around! You may just get more than you bargained for.

4. The Henderson House: Dallas, Georgia

The Henderson House was built in 1854 by Angus Johnson, an inferior court justice and state senator who later abandoned the house mysteriously, uprooting his family and moving them to Texas under suspicious circumstances. After being bought and sold to several different owners, the house was eventually occupied by the Army and used as a base for Generals William Sherman and James McPherson. It was later used as an infirmary for wounded soldiers. In 1894, the house was sold to the Henderson’s who were the last family to use the house as an actual home., remaining in the family for over 100 years. It was later opened up as a restaurant before turning into a law office which it remains as today. According to Patch, “When Frank and Betty Sparti bought the historic Henderson house on East Memorial Drive, they got out their metal detectors and checked the home for hidden treasure. What they didn’t expect to find, though, were human bones. In the cellar, their then-9-year-old son found the first of what would be around 20 amputated bones from Civil War soldiers.” And if that doesn’t send chills up your spine, what the law office employees have experienced will. Footsteps have been heard walking around upstairs, while several others have noticed a female figure standing in the upstairs window. Doors have closed, and locked on their own and several paranormal investigators have research and findings of paranormal activity in the building. The Henderson House is beautiful, but you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

5. Rotherwood Mansion: Kingsport, Tennessee

Built by the wealthy reverend Fredrick Ross in 1818, the Rotherwood Mansion was meant to be a peaceful sanctuary, but quickly turned into the owner’s living nightmare after Ross’s daughter, Rowena, watched her husband drown in the nearby river on their wedding day. After becoming a recluse for several years, she finally remarried but fate again intervened with her fairytale ending and took the life of her second husband through yellow fever. According to Haunted Spots Blog, “One last time, Rowena tried to be happy and she did marry again and this time, her life seemed to be on the right track. She even had a daughter with her new husband and for six years, she finally seemed to find happiness but something was just never quite right. It is unknown how or why but what is known is how her story finally came to its tragic end. What is known is this. During a vacation back at Rotherwood to see her father, Rowena said that she had seen the ghost of her first love, her true love. She had said that she had heard his ghostly voice calling to her and had seen his pale white hand reach out from the dark waters of the Holston and beckon to her. That night, she slipped into her wedding gown, the garment flowing behind her like angel’s white wings as she made her way silently outside late at night, barefoot, following the trail to the shores of the river before slowly and calmly wading into the water, walking until the water was up to her neck and finally, she vanished below the surface, taking her own life.” The house has been filled with misfortune since the beginning of its days, and locals are convinced it’s filled with the spirits of its victims. But that’s only legend.

Halloween is tomorrow! For those seeking a thrill there are several haunted houses in and around the Atlanta area including Netherworld, Folklore Haunted House, and Paranoia. For a more kid friendly environment, we suggest Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze,  Woodstock Halloween Kidfest, and some good old fashion trick-or-treating. We hope everyone has a safe, spooky and treat filled day. Be careful, and watch out for all those ghouls and goblins!