By: Ronald Brantley
When I was a young boy and there was nothing to do, we’d go sit on Bill Lindsey’s front porch. Some nights when it was rainy, cool, with the wind blowing we’d get around to telling ghost stories. Let me tell you what I’ve found out about ghost stories. People take a true story and add a lot to it, then it becomes a ghost story.
Many years ago there was a killing on Herd Street. There was bad blood between these two men. There was going to be a weekend party that Saturday night and both men started drinking, but not together. That night one of the men grabbed the other from behind, held him in front of a mirror and cut his throat. They wrapped the man in a quilt, carried the rolled up quilt out and threw the dead man over a small fence into the back alley. They had a trial, sent the killer to the pen and then the people of Herd Street started noticing something. The grass where the body was thrown quit growing. No self-respecting boy from Herd Street had the nerve to step on that bare spot where the body laid. As a matter-of-fact we wouldn’t even go by that spot after dark. The man that did the killing went to Kilby Prison where he became known as the “Gator,” the toughest man in prison.
I’ve only heard about this story recently. Most of you know about the big reservoir on Cliff Street in Tallassee. I was talking to a man that’s lived on Cliff Street most of his life and he said, I guess you’ve heard of the young woman that was found dead in that reservoir? “No,” I answered, “I haven’t heard and I’ve lived in that area most of my life.” He then continued, “Many years ago before mine or your time there was a young lady found floating in the reservoir. How she got there no one knew.” I’m looking for someone that knows this story. If you do let me know.
When I was a young man the mill had a bell tower and on occasion there was a report of someone seeing a woman in a white flowing gown climbing to the top of the bell tower. The mill would put people out watching for this woman. This would die down and then someone would report seeing her again. I guess that, now that the bell tower is gone, so is the woman that haunted it.
Then there’s a haunted house in the Kent area. The house has been occupied since the turn of the century (that’s 1900 not 2000). Some strange things have happened there. There was a woman named Annie that lived and died in that house back before mine or your time. There has been quite a few tenants and most have seen Annie or the results of her work over the years. Annie’s a good (ghost) woman and if there is ever a sick child that needs sitting up with that is mainly when Annie shows up. A lot of the time a child around six will ask their mother who was the woman that looked after her last night. There are many stories about Annie that I could tell but I can’t cover them in this story.
Oh, there’s so much I could tell you if I only had the space. The one about the man on Mill Hill that guards the Confederate rifles. Back when there was a back alley from Herd Street down to Mill Street, a lot of people witnessed this sight. There was a woman that was seen between Scotts Drive and Comer Lane around 10 at night or later. They say she waited on her lover to come that way. One night someone killed her, but that didn’t stop her. In the fall of the year about the time she was murdered she was always seen. This happened for many years.
That’s it. I’ve run out of space.