Are ghostly spirits among us? Augusta has its share of 'haunted' spots – The Augusta Chronicle

Augusta is rich with history, and some of the stories are mysterious and spooky. In fact, there are several local destinations where there have been reports of supernatural activity with ghostly spirits having been seen or heard, or in one case, even recorded as proof of their presence. Here are eight places in Augusta where you might encounter the supernatural.
506 Telfair St., Augusta
Middle Georgia Paranormal investigated the home of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, known as Ware’s Folly, in 2019. During the investigation, they conducted an electronic voice phenomena session and asked if any spirits would identify themselves. They captured via sound recording a male entity replying “Ian” and when they asked for confirmation, they captured a “Yep.” The investigators reported hearing other disembodied voices as well as experiencing sensations and hearing objects being manipulated.
More: Georgia paranormal society shares stories of ghost hunts
Bill Kirby: Augusta doesn’t have a real ghost story
Video: Kirby’s Augusta – Hauntings of Augusta
Ware’s Folly was completed in 1818, built by Augusta Mayor and U.S. Sen. Nicholas Ware. In addition to his family, the family of James Gardner lived there from 1830 until 1871, followed by William C. Sibley, an Augusta cotton-mill owner, from 1871 until 1909. The house became the Gertrude Herbert Institute in 1937 through the generosity of wealthy New Yorker Olivia A. Herbert who often wintered in Augusta.
The school on Telfair Street offers studio art classes and workshops, holds art exhibitions and rents out the space for special occasions.
1320 Independence Drive, Augusta
One of the house’s former tenants gave a secondhand account in The Augusta Chronicle on July 20, 1903, of a supernatural event there. A visiting physician entered the front parlor when he said he became enveloped by “a strange unearthly light.” He then saw “the spectral form of an early settler” crouching near the window and “the shadowy form” of an indigenous person jumping through the window with his tomahawk raised, as if the two were engaged in a fight.
Meadow Garden was the original home of George Walton, one of the three Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence. He also as a U.S. senator, a governor of Georgia twice and the state’s chief justice three times. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution bought the house in 1900 and placed it in the care of the Georgia State Society and the Augusta Chapter.
The house, which is located in downtown Augusta’s Medical District off 13th Street, was converted to a museum in 1901. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tours can be booked by appointment on Saturday. General admission is $4, children ages six to 18 years old get in for $1 and younger kids get in free.
1717 Goodrich St., Augusta
According to Explore Georgia, on Oct. 20, 1906, Maude Williams was working in the Sibley Mill weaving room when her jilted lover, Arthur Glover, allegedly barged in and shot and killed her. Williams’ spirit reportedly still inhabits the building. The story was featured on a 2015 episode of Destination America’s “Ghost Asylum” where a paranormal team investigated the mill. 
Sibley Mill opened in 1882 and operated continuously as a textile mill until closing in July 2006. It sits on land that was initially the site of the Civil War Confederate-era Power Works that manufactured most of the gunpowder used by the Confederates. The Augusta Canal Authority bought the mill in 2010 with the goal of preserving and cleaning up the property for redevelopment.
From the archive: Canal Authority protects Sibley Mill for future
A group of technology investors are adapting Sibley Mill into Augusta Cyberworks, a 10-megawatt data center costing $150 million. According to CapeAugusta, the project’s real estate development company, Cyberworks currently houses Cyberworks Academy, Corsica Technologies, M-Communications and UMBC Training Centers.
2110 Walton Way, Augusta
As recounted on Stories, Secrets & Sagas in 2019, the Partridge Inn was the site of a tragedy in the 1800s. As the story goes, a woman named Emily was preparing for her wedding when her husband, dressed in formal wear, was mistaken for a soldier wanted for treason and was shot and killed. Emily became overwhelmed with grief, and she lived the rest of her life alone and heartbroken. Guests have reported seeing or sensing Emily’s spirit over the years.
The building was originally a residence for a Connecticut family, until around 1900, when Morris Partridge, a seasonal hotel employee in Augusta who managed the Bon Air Hotel across the street, acquired the property and started offering guest accommodations. 
Partridge Inn, located on Walton Way in Augusta, now serves as a favorite high-end hotel in Augusta. However, according to a notice on the hotel’s reservation booking website, Partridge Inn is closed through February 15, 2022 as part of COVID-19 prevention efforts. They are accepting reservations for future travel dates.
1142 Arsenal Ave., Augusta
In the 1960s, an Augusta College professor was walking through campus when he saw a man dressed as a Confederate officer walking through the Walker Family Cemetery. Then, he vanished. The professor said he didn’t believe in ghosts, but he could offer no other explanation.
The land where the cemetery is located was initially owned by Freeman Walker, who served several terms on the Georgia Assembly, was mayor of Augusta and a U.S. senator. In 1817, he acquired 400 acres of land known as the Bellevue Tract. He sold 72 acres to the government so it could be used to build an arsenal, but he retained one acre for the family cemetery. Although the name on the gravestone may not be Walker, almost all interred in the cemetery are Walker descendants.
The cemetery is located on Arsenal Avenue near Augusta University’s Summerville Campus.
According to historian Jim Miles in his book “Haunted Central Georgia,” a young girl named Emily Galt lived at Bellevue Hall in the early 1800s and was engaged to a young soldier. She used her diamond ring to engrave “Emily Galt, 1861” in one of the windows. Galt argued with her fiancée about his going to fight in the Civil War and he was eventually killed in combat. Heartbroken, Galt died after throwing herself out the window she engraved her name in. Many employees have claimed to hear the disembodied voices of Galt and her fiancée arguing.
Bellevue Hall was also built by Freeman Walker and is AU’s oldest building. Galt and her sister, Lucy, were daughters of James Galt, an employee who lived at the house. 
The building is located in Augusta University’s Summerville campus close to the school’s Allgood Hall. 
1822 Broad St., Augusta
The history behind this house is intriguing. For years, Augustans referred to the building as the Old White House or Mackay’s Trading Post, the site of a horrible act during the American Revolution in which the British captured 13 patriots and hanged them from the stairwell. It was later proven that the house was not actually the trading post.
The Way We Were: Ezekiel Harris House has interesting history
But the house’s true history still has some dark patches. Ezekiel Harris built the house in 1797 on the village he founded, Harrisburg, which was meant to serve as a rival to Augusta in the tobacco trade. The Augusta Gazette reported on July 8, 1797, that Harris and three other men were found not guilty in a murder case. The four, apparently drunk, tied up a man on a horse. They claimed they untied him, but the man was found dead three weeks later with a rope around his neck, indicating that he had been hanged.
Scott A. Johnson reports in his book, The Mayor’s Guide to the Stately Ghosts of Augusta, visitors have reported seeing the ghostly form of a woman and experiencing the feeling of a rope around their necks.
The house now stands as a museum. The doors open for tours every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tours can be scheduled Monday through Friday. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.
Formerly at Broad and 5th streets
The tale goes that a preacher in the late 1800s was denied permission to evangelize at the city market, so he stood in the middle of the square and “threatened that a great wind would destroy the place except for one pillar and that whoever tried to remove this remaining pillar would be struck dead,″ according to the Year Book of the City Council of Augusta, Georgia, of 1977. A mysterious winter tornado destroyed all but one pillar of the market. 
More: Augusta still haunted by tale of cursed pillar
Video: Kirby’s Augusta – The Haunted Pillar
After that, the pillar was believed to have been cursed, and that if anyone caused harm to it, the perpetrator would also be harmed. It was even featured in an episode of The Weather Channel’s “American Supernatural.” 
While some contest that not everyone who disturbed the pillar was hurt, residents like John Greene have reported incidents stemming from the landmark.
“The pillar had been damaged by an auto wreck and my grandfather stopped by and took a brick as a souvenir while on the way to church,” Greene said via Messenger. “During the church service, he fainted. He [thought] it was because of the ‘curse’ on the pillar and took the brick directly back to the pillar.”
The pillar stood on the southeast corner of Broad and 5th streets until a truck smashed into it on Dec. 18, 2016. After this collision, it was not rebuilt. Though its existence has ended, the corner is still a favorite visiting spot for tourists and those hunting for some ghostly energy.


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