Alabama has a dramatic history including the Civil War, slavery, the Trail of Tears, and the Civil Rights Movement. Every part of the state has its own story to tell. With all of this history it is no surprise that Alabama has its share of haunted places. If you know where to look you will find the places where people were wrongfully murdered, people were killed by accident, and people took their own lives. And if you are lucky, you might even see their ghosts.
Choctawhatchee River Bridge, Newton, Alabama
Next to the new concrete bridge in the bank of the Choctawhatchee River is a shallow hole about thirty inches wide and eight inches deep. If you fill in the hole during the day, by the next morning if is empty again. Highway workers once filled in the hole and spent the night on top of it in a tent. The next morning, the hole was empty again with no sign of the dislocated soil. Local legend has it that Bill Sketoe is responsible. He was a Methodist pastor falsely accused as a traitor to the Confederacy and hung on December 3, 1864 by a group of six vigilantes. When they hung him, the limb of the oak they used bent and Sketoes’s toes could touch the ground. The vigilantes dug a hole under him so he could not hold himself up and he slowly strangled to death. Soon after all six men died violently. Bill Sketoe’s ghost can still be seen wondering around. His grave is in the Mount Carmel Cemetery.
Highway 11, Decatur, Alabama
Lonnie Stephens was falsely accused of killing his girlfriend in 1934. He was found guilty and put to work on a chain gang. He escaped and tried to catch a ride on Highway 11 but was struck by a passing car and killed. His ghost is still seen trying to flag down cars. He is most often seen standing in the middle of the northbound lanes between Decatur and Huntsville. He holds out his hands as if begging for help.
Pickens Country Courthouse, Carrolton, Alabama
On November 16, 1876 the Carrollton Courthouse was burned down. An African American named Henry Wells was blamed and arrested. He was put in the attic of the building that would become the new courthouse. Soon a lynch mob gathered and wanted Wells surrendered to them so they could do with him as they saw fit. While they argued with the sheriff a storm was rolling in. Wells was looking out of the attic window when a bolt of lightning struck the roof and he was killed instantly. His facial expression was etched into the windowpane by the lightning. No amount of scrubbing, cleaners, or solvents have been able to remove his face from the glass. The locals say that when a thunderstorm rolls through Carrollton, you can still the ghost of Wells staring out of the window.