Most people enjoy the adrenaline rush they get at a spooky mansion or reportedly haunted house. It’s even more fun when you go with friends or family members because you can share your experience together afterward over lunch or dinner. You can find some of the best spine-tingling places at several locations around Eatonton and Putnam County.
Here is your guide to a few places that can conjure up those frightening feels:
When you arrive at Panola Hall, you may encounter Sylvia. It is said that Sylvia has been haunting Panola Hall since Civil War times, and the reason why may surprise you.
Legend has it that as her wedding music was playing below in Panola Hall, young Sylvia was supposed to be upstairs in her room getting decked out as the beautiful bride. She put on her white hoop dress and rose perfume, but then she stopped. You see, Sylvia was being forced to marry a man she did not love. So she decided to escape by climbing out her window to find freedom, and perhaps her true love.
Yet it was not meant to be. Some say that as she attempted to climb up to her window, she fell into a large trunk and it closed on her, perhaps knocking her unconscious. When her family came to look for her, they assumed she had escaped through the window. After some time, they boarded up the room and Sylvia was never seen again, at least in human form. Fortunately for us, people say her spirit lives on in Panola Hall.
Sometimes we assume all ghosts are malevolent. But not Sylvia. Those who claim to have seen her notice that she is still wearing the white hoop dress from her wedding day and has a rose in her hair. And yet she is not seeking revenge for the way she was treated. Instead, she has always been welcoming and playful, according to homeowners. She likes to mischievously open and close drawers and move furniture around just to remind residents that she’s still there.
According to legend, to this day if you look up at the second-story window, you may see her smiling back at you. Sylvia is very popular around Eatonton, and you may catch a glimpse of her likeness around town, especially during Halloween.
Oakland Hall is another place in Eatonton that might give you the chills. It was featured on the television program Ghost Hunters because of its own haunted history.
Built in the 1800s, this private home with a wide front porch covered by a colonnade was home to a disabled young girl. Sadly, legend has it that she was locked away in this house by her own family.
Yet according to local tales, this young girl’s spirit has found a way to soar beyond the boundaries that were placed on her. It is said that she has been heard playing in the home many times, turning this sad story upside down through her playful personality.
As you pass Oakland Hall, slow down and listen for the joyful sounds of a child laughing. Will it scare you or cheer you up? Do a drive past the Hall and find out for yourself.
The Plaza Performing Arts Center
The Plaza Performing Arts Center used to be the town’s elementary school, called the Eatonton School. Back then, the students always tried to fall in line for Mr. Dickey, the very strict principal. Students remembered Mr. Dickey and his many rules long after he died, and apparently, he wanted to keep enforcing the rules even from the grave!
Locals tell of times when Mr. Dickey’s picture was found in the middle of the room in his old classroom. Perhaps he wanted to make sure everyone knew he was still watching to make sure they behaved. We may never know, but one thing is for sure, his legend lives on.
Today, the Plaza Performing Arts Center is home to entertainment and arts events as well as civic and social events. As you enjoy the shows and events there, make sure you sit up straight and pay attention, or perhaps Mr. Dickey will put a cold hand on your shoulder!
If you’ve ever been near a haunted mansion or mysterious old house, then you know that it’s easy to get caught up in the spine-tingling atmosphere. You can enjoy Ghost Tours with the Haunted Eatonton Ghost Hunting Tour through the Georgia Writers Museum. Visit their website for more information. After you explore, visit one of our local establishments to share your own ghost stories with friends and family!