When it comes to local appearances of the ghostly kind, Halloween and the city of Roswell are a match made in heaven, so to speak. The city’s rich history makes for a dramatic story of hardship, love, birth, death and the Civil War. Explore its graveyards, town square and antebellum mansions to search for members of the afterlife who have not yet moved on.
From the 400S, take exit 6 to Northridge Road and go straight through the light at Dunwoody Club Place. Continue to the light at Roswell Road and go right. Travel 1.5 miles to the intersection of the Marietta Highway, #120 and Atlanta Street. (Note that Atlanta Street and Roswell Road are the same.) The Roswell Town Square is on the left. Parking is free on the streets and behind the Roswell Visitor’s Center on the right at Sloan Street.
From the 400N, take exit 6 to Northridge. Stay to the right, crossing over the 400. Take the first right at Dunwoody Club. Continue to the light at Roswell Road and go right.
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Roswell Ghost Tour / Roswell Town Square
617 Atlanta St.
Roswell, GA 30075
Tour Price: $15 for adults, $10 for children
Start your own free trek day or night or join up with the after-dark Roswell Ghost Tour, a business conducted by Dianna and Joe Avena, that starts and ends at the gazebo. This popular 2.5-hour walk throughout the Historic District is conducted every night in October. The 1840 town square has a plethora of trees that were suitable for local hangings. Officially, there was but one hanging tree and it stood where the gazebo is now.
Legend has it that a young woman’s love of a Union soldier led to his hanging in the square while the damsel watched. She subsequently hung herself in a room above the Visitor’s Center, overlooking the square, and now haunts it.
The intersection of Atlanta and Sloan Streets is frequented by the apparition of a man in black tails and shoes with a white button-down shirt. His story is unknown. Could he be a hanging tree victim or the hangman himself?
Bulloch Hall and Museum Shop
180 Bulloch Ave.
Roswell, GA 30075
Price: $6-$8 per ticket, children are free
Ghost tour guide Nathan walks along Bulloch Avenue to the home of Major James Stephen Bulloch and wife Martha, grandparents of President Theodore Roosevelt. Don’t be surprised to see some bats overhead and hear the eery sound of crickets while walking. Haunts include a girl drowned in the well out back. She cries in the dark and creates disturbances experienced by groups such as the Girl Scouts.
Next, Nathan follows Sloan Street past the Visitor’s Center and the Old Bricks, once a Union Army hospital in the Civil War. Here lives “Fred” the ghost of a Union Soldier. Farther on, Founders Cemetery reveals 23 marked graves including Roswell King, James Bulloch and John Dunwody. Tiny tombstones mark children who died in 1841 from Scarlet Fever and anonymous small rocks mark graves of slaves.
Retracing steps to Atlanta Street, take a right and walk to the third building on the right, recessed from view. It’s said that Roswell’s hangman lived in this creepy and haunted home. It is scheduled for demolition but the ghosts will remain.
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.