If you’re looking for hauntings to celebrate Halloween this year, Atlanta offers numerous options for ghost sightings throughout the month of October. Indulge in one, two or even more tours to get a full experience of the paranormal sightings and activities well known throughout the city and its surroundings. The rich history of town settlers throughout the early 1800s bears the spirits of the soldiers, gold traders, farmers and merchants who braved the elements and the Civil War. This year, Atlantans commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war, and doomed Confederate soldiers will eerily have their say.
Ghosts of Marietta
131 Church St.
Marietta, GA 30060
If there are any ghosts in the Atlanta area, they are surely haunting Marietta, the first city founded in the region in 1824. The Ghosts of Marietta is a 90-minute walking tour by lantern light, exploring Victorian mansions and buildings around the Town Square created in 1852. Tours are led by storytellers such as Dr. Paranormal, an investigator with the Georgia Ghost Trackers Crew. Near the Square is the Marietta Confederate Cemetery, resting place to 3,000 Confederate soldiers, many of whom decided to never leave for the afterlife. Ravaged by General Sherman’s forces in the summer of 1864, Marietta was burned to the ground by Union soldiers as they progressed on their “March to the Sea.” This year’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is expected to bring out the spirits of the departed soldiers in full regalia. Ticket prices are $17 for adults and $12 for children.
HOWLpharetta Ghost Tour
90 Milton Ave.
Alpharetta, GA 30009
This two-hour downtown walking tour explores the history of Alpharetta, incorporated in 1858, and originally a business center for gold prospectors and farmers. A highlight of the tour is the Rest Haven Cemetery, located down Milton Avenue, the town’s main street through the historic district. The tour guides don’t claim to be paranormal investigators, but happily relate the hauntings, folklore and legends of the former gold trading town and surrounding farms. They have complete access to the cemetery at night, and permission from historic building owners to disclose their ghostly tenants. The tour price is $15.
Lawrenceville Ghost Tours
128 Pike St.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Lawrenceville is on the radar for paranormal activity throughout its historic district, with records of hauntings in its old cemetery, railroad depot and jail. It was once a sleepy historic town in the Atlanta metro area until rapid growth and development renovated its historic treasures. The ghosts of the town’s past were rattled from the cacophony of the construction and increased human presence. Take a 90-minute walking tour around the historic town square and courthouse, and step inside its original jail. Hop on a trolley for hauntings beyond the center of town. Tour prices start at $15 for adults and $9 for children.
Ghosts & Zombies of Atlanta
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Midtown Hotel
97 10th St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309
(888) 811-9237 for Direct Tour Information
This three-day package is for the paranormal enthusiast who wants to have a complete experience exploring Atlanta proper’s haunts. The tour starts Friday evening with a nighttime trip on the Ghost & Legends Segway Tour. Find out about shady characters in the city’s history and the Civil War trauma including General Sherman’s burning of Atlanta. Experience the earth-bound ghosts in the heart of the city. The package tour feature actors who take you through the television and movie sets that have featured zombie shows. The price is $439.95 per person and includes two nights at the Hilton Garden Atlanta Midtown hotel.
Decatur Ghost Tour
101 E. Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
Guides Boo Newell and Teri Rice will tell you that this is the place to experience Atlanta’s paranormal activity. The walking tour is offered year-round. Commencing at the Decatur historic town square, the tour features the oldest homes in the city where human spirits haunt fireplaces and the grounds. Travel down historic streets and see the original train depot, with the ghost of the station master peering out at the group. Hear voices of wounded Civil War soldiers brought to town by the trains. The Old Decatur Cemetery inters many of the city’s early settlers of importance to the town. The operators of the tour tout paranormal activity at each stop. Price of the tour is $15 for adults and $12 for children.
Di Chapman has been writing professionally for trade journals, audiobooks and a global business clientele since her early 20s. A coauthor of four books and a regular contributor to numerous blogs, she currently lives in the historic district of Roswell, Georgia, in the greater Atlanta area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.