There is no better time of year than October to embark on a spooky, spine tingling, hair raising adventure. It’s harvest season, the fall equinox is upon us and All Hallow’s Eve looms just over the evening horizon. If your days of Halloween trick or treating are gone, why not take in a bit of local history (and possibly some paranormal activity) on the day of the year ancient Druids believed the veil between worlds is thinnest?
Marietta author and historian Rhetta Akamatsu recently shared some of her favorite local haunts, attributing the high levels of paranormal activity to the area’s long, and sometimes sordid, past. “I think just about every inch of Marietta has a story attached to it because there’s so much Civil War history here and was occupied by Union forces after,” Akamatsu said. “That set the tone for it, but there are other more contemporary stories here too. Some that are more chilling than anything I put in the book.”
So, what are some of her favorite haunted places?
Located on The Square, the old Kennesaw House is the current site of the Marietta Museum of History. According to Akamatsu, it gives every indication of being a very haunted location and even attracted a visit from the History Channel who surmised, given its previous status as a war hospital, there are possibly hundreds of ghosts in residence here.
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was one the Civil War’s bloodiest, with more than 3,000 Union soldiers alone lost in only three hours. So, it’s no surprise there might be evidence of paranormal activity here. “A lot of re-enactors have gotten much closer to history than they thought they were going to,” Akamatsu said. “When I was writing the book, a man and his son saw a phantom rider cross their path.”
Kolb Creek Farm
The stories here, according to Akamatsu, are not related to the family who once worked these lands. Instead, they are linked to Civil War traumas, including the skirmish fought here and the unfortunate reports of escaped slaves caught and lynched on the grounds. Reports of otherworldly screaming and crying, cold spots and apparitions have plagued this area for decades and possibly longer.
The Witch’s Graveyard
The Witch’s Graveyard is something of an urban legend to local teens, but there is no evidence an actual witch was ever buried there, according to Akamatsu. “It’s just called that because it’s such a strange place,” she said. How strange? Hordes of frogs, a noticeable drop in temperature (some say as much as 15 degrees), fog only within the boundaries of the cemetery, orbs caught on camera, batteries draining and much, much more.
The William Root House
William Root was Marietta’s first druggist and his home, built in 1845 and now operating as a museum, is one of the oldest and most well-preserved in the area. No one associated with the Root House acknowledges any supernatural presence in the home, but they do give tours and local lore says otherwise, so be sure to keep a look out for the ghost of Mrs. Root in the upstairs windows.
Rhetta Akamatsu is a certified paranormal specialist and member of Ghost Hounds Paranormal Investigation Team. She also is the author of several books, including Haunted Marietta, Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places, as well as a number of history books on subjects such as women in the Blues and Irish slaves. She is a mother and grandmother and lives near Marietta Square with her husband, Ken. Her books are available on Amazon.
For a guided tour of some of the haunted places mentioned, sign up for a Marietta ghost tour at www.ghostsofmarietta.com or, for a limited time, take a ride with the Historic Marietta Trolley Company during its Scary-etta tours. Sign up at www.mariettatrolley.com/scary-etta.html.
*Originally published in the October 2014 issue of Cobb Life Magazine.