Today is October 31, 2019. That’s right it’s Halloween. That day every year when we wonder how many times the door bell will ring tonight.
Halloween is a weird holiday. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which means end of summer. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
Speaking of ghosts, spirits abound in Rome
The Rome History Museum, the City Auditorium, the City Clock, Chieftains Museum & Major Ridge Home, Berry College and Jackson Hill are sites of paranormal activity in and around Rome.
Fannin Hall, in Cave Spring, used to house Georgia School for the Deaf. During the War Between the States, it was a field hospital for troops returning from the Battle of Allatoona Pass. Fannin Hall is the most haunted place in Cave Spring. Soldiers have told investigators of injuries and have asked for help.
I heard several great ghost stories, about real Romans, this year at Haunted on Broad. The following stories, not told at Haunted on Broad, I heard years ago.
Historic Floyd County Courthouse
October 10, 1951, in the lobby of the Floyd County courthouse, Nellie Mae Bosworth shot Eurcell Haney during divorce proceedings. Nellie Mae was the estranged wife of Harry Bosworth. Haney was her rival. Because of Mrs. Bosworth’s mental anguish, the jury acquitted her.
Southern Paranormal Institute investigated the Floyd County Courthouse to see if there is paranormal activity there. They set up a recorder in the lobby of the courthouse at 6 p.m. and let it record all night. When they listened to the recording, a gunshot can be clearly heard. It is, of course, difficult to say if that was the ghost of Nellie Mae Bosworth. However, what are the odds that you’d hear a gunshot on a nighttime recording during an investigation by SPI in the old Floyd County Courthouse?
SPI, because of several sounds on the recording, concluded their investigation believing the historic Floyd County Courthouse is haunted.
Located on Berry College land, it is the route to the Mountain Springs community. When you cross the bridge, on the way there, you will be able to count seven bridges. However, on the way back, you will only be able to count six. People have reported hearing music coming from the Mountain Springs Methodist Church, and crying, and footsteps coming from the cemetery.
When I was in school at Shorter, I was an active member of Pi Sigma Sorority. Sadly, the sorority is no more, but we had a lot of fun. Like the night the sorority decided it would be fun to scare the pledges. They blindfolded us and took us to a surprise destination. Blindfolded though I was, I was sure they were taking us to the cemetery at Mountain Springs. When we got there, and I got out of the car, I asked the driver to come over to where I was standing. She said, “Are you okay?” I said, “Well … are we at the Mountain Springs Cemetery?” She said, “How’d you know that? Oh yeah, you’re from Rome.” I said, “Please do not make a big deal out of it, but could we leave? My grandparents are buried in the cemetery here.” She said, “Yes!” They kept us blindfolded and got all of us back in cars and we left right away. The next thing I knew we were at Village Inn, which was a pizza place on Shorter Avenue.
Martha Berry is believed to haunt the Hoge Building. The story, as it was told to me, is that a Berry College faculty member stopped by the Hoge Building before a class one afternoon. The teacher’s 4-year-old daughter was with her. The teacher didn’t see anyone in the hallway other than the 4-year-old, but the child was talking to somebody. So the teacher asked, “Who are you talking to?” The child said, “that lady,” and pointed to a portrait of Miss Berry! The child said, “The lady asked me what is my name and how old am I.”
Not everybody likes to get scared on Halloween, but it is a fun holiday. Remember that when your doorbell rings tonight and Batman and Spider-man say, “Trick Or Treat!”
Happy Halloween one and all!