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Scary Sweet Extra Sugar: The Ghosts of Atlanta: A Spooky Tour of the City's Most Haunted Places

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Happppppy Halloween! While the kids are out gathering their candy tonight, we offer you this ear candy: a special ghoulish, extra spooky, Extra Sugar!


In episode 1 this season, we talked about the oldest houses in Atlanta. But we didn’t talk about the specters who saunter the halls of these historic homes. The apparitions who abide the walls of these well-lived manors and mansions. The poltergeists who… Well, you get it. Old houses+ghosts=spooky Extra Sugar.


Here’s a little more info on our sources, in case you want a bedtime story:


And since we know you’ll be munching that Halloween candy for a bit longer before you switch over to pecan pie, come back a week from Thursday for our regularly-scheduled “Extra Sugar” all about scary stories and urban legends, with a Southern twist, of course.


This Thursday we’ll still be nibbling with old school tea rooms and some delicious meat and threes.


Come on y’all, let’s get into it!




 

Transcript

Nikki: Hey, y'all, and welcome to an extra special extra Spooky, extra sugar.

Nikki: A few weeks ago with season five, episode one, I shared a Nikki sidebar about the Designing Women house as well as some truly historic houses in Atlanta.

Nikki: Looking at the calendar, we realized what unfortunate timing that we're not talking about Charlene's haunted encounter until next week's episode of Sweet Tea and TV.

Nikki: So, with Selena's permission, I'm dropping into your feed on Halloween to share some eerie stories of old Atlanta houses.

Nikki: I'm calling this segment the Ghosts of Atlanta, a spooky tour of the city's most haunted places.

Nikki: This segment started as wanting to wrap up some unfinished business with the sidebar I did in episode one on historic homes.

Nikki: But as I researched, I realized there was more, so much more spooky Atlanta to discuss.

Nikki: So let's get into it.

Nikki: If you remember, back in episode one, we talked about the Joel Chandler Harris home, or Ren's nest.

Nikki: Built in 1884, the house was the resting place of its namesake, Joel Chandler Harris, a famed and sometimes controversial Atlanta based author, according to a few sources I found.

Nikki: Apparently, Mr.

Nikki: Harris wasn't ready to leave his nest.

Nikki: Even at death.

Nikki: Some claim he still pops by from time to time.

Nikki: That misty creature people have seen sitting in his old rocking chair?

Nikki: That's definitely him, right?

Nikki: And what about those two young children staff and visitors have sworn they've seen playing on the stairs and out in the yard?

Nikki: Could that have anything to do with Mr.

Nikki: Harris's young grandchildren who died on the property?

Nikki: Not to mention the tall, slim man dressed in period appropriate clothing, standing peacefully in the dining room and in Mr.

Nikki: Harris's bedroom, one of Harris's sons?

Nikki: People wonder.

Nikki: Maybe Evelyn, the one who matched the ghost's physical description and loved to be in the house helping his mother with chores.

Nikki: Then there's Chloe, whose image directly matches that of a former worker in the house.

Nikki: Chloe silently stands guard, looking out through a window between the parlor and the library, reportedly oblivious to the fact that she's a ghost.

Nikki: In the early aughts, one of Mr.

Nikki: Harris'descendants invited a team from the Southeastern Institute of Paranormal Research to visit the house.

Nikki: What they found was spine tingling, sure.

Nikki: But malicious?

Nikki: Nah, probably not, right?

Nikki: They say the loud, unidentifiable bang you hear in playback of their team's audio is probably peaceful.

Nikki: The source of the sound is unclear, and the noise wasn't heard in real time during the investigation.

Nikki: So maybe just a technological artifact that goes double for the eerie whispers you can hear on playback of their audio.

Nikki: Whispers saying things like, that's crazy here.

Nikki: Now, is it possible that a spirit was trying to communicate with the investigators when it turned their flashlights on and off on command?

Nikki: Or was that, too just a technological glitch?

Nikki: But lacking a technological explanation, how do we write off the phantom scent of burning wax that some still smell in the house's library.

Nikki: Maybe only the spirits know.

Nikki: Either way, the ghosts aren't violent or scary yet.

Nikki: Meadow Nook on the other hand, another one of the oldest houses in Atlanta.

Nikki: Now, that's pretty spooky.

Nikki: Built in 1856 by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Augustus Alston and his wife Mary, the house has a lovely name and a lovely history.

Nikki: But maybe the history isn't all in the past.

Nikki: Current owners Charlie and Sylvia Harrison believe a spirit.

Nikki: Maybe the Colonel, maybe another unknown lost soul has smashed plates in their kitchen and placed photos upside down.

Nikki: Some visitors to their home refuse to sleep in either of the upstairs bedrooms because of the spooky vibes.

Nikki: The family chooses to believe the spirit is a good spirit, if not a bit mischievous.

Nikki: We can't discount those instances where he's opened cabinets revealing long lost items the family had written off.

Nikki: Charlie and Sylvia certainly haven't.

Nikki: What about the G.

Nikki: W.

Nikki: Collier house?

Nikki: The L.

Nikki: P.

Nikki: Grant mansion and the Tully Smith house?

Nikki: The fourth, second and the oldest houses on our lists, respectively?

Nikki: I couldn't find any reporting around ghosts at either of those houses, so I'd say those may be safe bets.

Nikki: If we can't rely on the oldest houses in Atlanta to bring the spooky, who can we rely on?

Nikki: Well, there's plenty of eerie Atlanta to go around.

Nikki: I found a list of very fittingly 13 of the most haunted places around Atlanta.

Nikki: It included the very creepy Ellis Hotel.

Nikki: Formerly the Weinkoff.

Nikki: Built in 1913 down on Peachtree Street, this historic hotel is allegedly very haunted.

Nikki: You see, that's because the Ellis Hotel was the site of one of the, if not the deadliest fires in American history.

Nikki: Some believe that many of the 119 people who died in that 1940 fire still haunt the place.

Nikki: But who's to say, really, they're just going off their own experiences, seeing ghostly figures in the hotel halls and windows, or hearing the sounds of chaos and running in the hallways, not to mention phantom smoke smells.

Nikki: And then there's the fire alarm.

Nikki: That alarm, which has been known to punctuate the dead of night promptly at 02:48, a.m.

Nikki: Coincidentally the time the fire started.

Nikki: Then there's the fabulous Fox Theater.

Nikki: The beautiful historic theater has been home to thousands of shows in its nearly 100 years, including some very spooky ones put on by souls who can't or won't cross over.

Nikki: These are the specters who cause unexplainable slamming doors, sudden gusts of cold, and unusual technical glitches throughout shows.

Nikki: List after list features rhodes hall this house is practically a baby amidst the oldest houses I mentioned earlier.

Nikki: It was built at the turn of the century, 1902.

Nikki: The 9000 square foot castlesque, former home of Amos Giles Rhodes, the owner of Rhodes Furniture of Atlanta, lives prominently on Peachtree Street.

Nikki: Today, it serves as both home to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and an event space.

Nikki: Allegedly, however, Amos and his wife Amanda never even left the home, even after they both passed in 1928 and 1927, respectively.

Nikki: Through the years, there have been many reports of weird sightings and happenings.

Nikki: It was even featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters.

Nikki: Most chillingly, people have allegedly encountered the ghosts of Amos and Amanda under very spooky circumstances.

Nikki: Over the years, the operators of Rhodes Hall have leaned into its spooky history, hosting ghost tours through the mansion, particularly around Halloween this year.

Nikki: In 2023, they hosted tours on October 25, 27th and 30th.

Nikki: But what spooky situations fuel these haunted tours?

Nikki: Well, Atlantaghosts.com reported two stories of apparent encounters with Amos and Amanda many years after their deaths.

Nikki: In one story, a tour guide was supposed to be alone in a section of the house after closing out a behind the scenes guest tour.

Nikki: As she was gathering her things to go home, she heard someone coming up the stairs behind her.

Nikki: Slow, heavy footsteps punctuated by a third item.

Nikki: Was it a cane?

Nikki: As she was gathering her things to go home, she heard someone coming up the stairs behind her.

Nikki: Slow, heavy footsteps, punctuated by a third item.

Nikki: Was it a cane?

Nikki: Then a fourth sound, a low, deep growl.

Nikki: Get out.

Nikki: Get out.

Nikki: Suddenly, the guide saw a vague shadow of an old man bent low, still growling.

Nikki: As he got closer and closer, his voice rose until he was practically screaming, get out.

Nikki: Not surprisingly, she turned heel and fled, never returning to the job.

Nikki: But as I said, Amos isn't the only hanger on to the singular turn of the century mansion right in the heart of Atlanta.

Nikki: His wife Amanda has reportedly been seen around the mansion as well.

Nikki: Atlantaghosts.com tells the story of a young woman who was dragged by her sister to the mansion for a tour while on vacation to Atlanta.

Nikki: As they slowly toured the home, she found herself face to face with a portrait of Amanda.

Nikki: As she studied the portrait of the stooped, elderly, unsmiling face, an unsettled feeling fell over the room.

Nikki: Suddenly, every piece of furniture began to shake.

Nikki: Every light flickered.

Nikki: And when she peered at an antique mirror, the ghostly image of Amanda overlaid her own face.

Nikki: According to other reports, lights have been known to turn themselves on and off around the mansion.

Nikki: Young children's voices can be heard, and a particularly dark spirit lives in the basement, where the groom's dressing room would be if you held a wedding there.

Nikki: Another haunted location that shows up again and again is the Thornton House.

Nikki: This is actually the oldest house in Georgia.

Nikki: It was built in 1790 and has lived in multiple places through the years.

Nikki: Currently, you can find it around Stone Mountain.

Nikki: The most notable specter at Thornton House is a young girl believed to have died of polio, but no one knows who she is.

Nikki: She's often been reported climbing the stairs to the second floor, wearing a long dress and glowing a bluish color there have also been reports of candles blowing themselves out in the home, and many people have reported an overwhelming sensation of being watched.

Nikki: In 2010, ghost hunters stayed on property conducting experiments.

Nikki: According to their research, a family of ghosts a father, mother, daughter and son live in the coach house on the grounds though they seem, and act happy, as if they're just moving about their daily lives.

Nikki: Finally, on our haunted tour of Atlanta, let's pause at Oakland Cemetery.

Nikki: Built in 1850, it's Atlanta's largest and oldest cemetery.

Nikki: This beautiful 48 acre plot of green space surrounded by majestic magnolias and pines should be a peaceful, tranquil final resting place for the more than 70,000 people buried in the cemetery, which includes a lot of notable Atlanta celebrities and scores of Union and Confederate soldiers.

Nikki: But with 70,000 dead, there are bound to be a few Afterlifers.

Nikki: No, indeed.

Nikki: According to reports, many have seen the specters of confederate soldiers, some hanging from trees, some marching through the cemetery, and on occasion, some ghostly soldier voices doing roll call and calling that person's name.

Nikki: With the history as long and twisted as Atlanta's, some say there are bound to be spirits who linger.

Nikki: Whether they're trapped by unfinished business or a tragic event, they remain tied to their homes or the homes of someone they love.

Nikki: Other people believe that sightings and unexplained events are just figments of our imagination.

Nikki: Only you can know for sure what you see if you visit any of these places.

Nikki: If you do decide to visit one of these places, please visit respectfully and let them know we sent you.

Nikki: And if you experience anything strange, be sure to let us know.

Nikki: We'd love to hear your story.

Nikki: In the meantime, stay safe and stay spooky.

Nikki: And who knows?

Nikki: Maybe you'll even see a ghost.

Nikki: Happy Halloween.




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