5 Haunted Places of Tuscaloosa
Halloween is right around the corner, which calls for spooky ghost stories and haunted houses. Some of these stories will spook you, getting you in the perfect mindset for Halloween.
Tuscaloosa is home to some of the spookiest places Alabama has to offer year round. With the Civil War having history in our backyard, Tuscaloosa has a lot of major history revolving around that time. The history of these five places will leave you curious, wanting to pay them a visit. Beware of the spooky spirits that lurk the grounds.
Built in 1837, the Drish House is on the list of National Register of Historic Places. Slave owner John Drish and his wife Sarah were each others second spouses, both previous spouses had died leaving both John and Sarah widows. One night rumored alcoholic, Mr. Drish, was supposedly sobering up from a day of drinking when he suddenly started to feel ill and hallucinate and threw himself off of his upstairs balcony where he immediately died when he hit the ground. Mrs. Drish grieved for years over the death of her second husband. Years later when she died, she had requested her husbands candles that were used at his ceremony to be burned at her ceremony. However, she had hidden them so well that no one could find them to burn them at her funeral. Rumor has it that the spirits of both Mr. and Mrs. John Drish still linger around Drish House. Some may even see what appears to be a flame coming from the balcony, which is a possible representation of Mrs. Drish's anger for not having her husband's candles burned at her funeral. This house was just as beautiful in person as it was in pictures. I highly suggest at least a simple drive by to check out this beauty, maybe you'll catch a glimpse of a something in a window too.
The Jemison Mansion was built beginning in 1859, around the same time as The Drish House. The mansion was the known to have the best plumbing in the state as well as house coal fueled lighting, gas, gas stove, and a refrigerator. The de Graaff mansion was owned by Robert Jemison, Jr., who was a bridge builder, mill owner and foundry just to name a few. Jemison also had a daughter, Priscilla Cherokee Jemison, who married Harvard Law graduate, Andrew Hargrove. Jemison died in the house a few years after Priscilla got married; people have said that his spirit still exists in the building. Hargrove was shot in the head during the Civil War and suffered from severe headaches post war, leading him to shoot himself in the head in the library of the house. Priscilla went into a deep depression after his death. People say that both Priscilla and her husband haunt the house as well. There have also been many rumors about a possible slave escape tunnel leading down to the Black Warrior River, but that myth was busted. This house was truly breathtaking to look at in person, definitely worth a visit!
Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library/The Gorgas House
The Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library on The University of Alabama's campus is known for some pretty spooky experiences. Rumor has it that Amelia likes to keep things in order in the library, where she once was a librarian. One elevator is known to open up randomly on the fourth floor with no one in it. Amelia's husband Josiah is known to haunt the neighboring building, The Gorgas House, where the Gorgas's once resided. The Gorgas House is also known to be one of the most haunted original buildings on campus. Josiah Gorgas did die in the house and is known for clanging his sword against the walls while he walks up and down the stairs inside the house.
Old Bryce/Jemison Center
If you live in Tuscaloosa, or even the state of Alabama, you know all about the Bryce Hospitals. But, for those of you who are knew to this place, here's a little rundown. Originally known as the Jemison Center, Old Bryce was originally a Crab Orchard owned by mister Robert Jemison, Jr.'s father, William Jemison. The Crab Orchard eventually became Cherokee Place, which housed Robert Jemison Junior until he moved into his mansion. Jemison is known to be a huge advocate for the creation of Alabama's first insane asylum. The Cherokee Plantation was eventually purchased and turned into State Farm Colony for Negroes. African Americans farmed food for the hospital. The number of African American patients increased by a great amount when segregation started. The Jemison Mental Institution was built on the plantation for the mentally insane African Americans. Many people have experienced paranormal situations while on the grounds of the Jemison Center. In 2003 the building was closed and has been abandoned since. However, the sight is private property so anyone caught trespassing could get in serious trouble.
Burials at Greenwood Cemetery date back to 1818, though the cemetery wasn't exactly "built" until 1821. African American graves were segregated from the white graves due to the period of segregation. The cemetery has a high percentage of children and babies buried there due to a cholera epidemic that came through Tuscaloosa in the 1800s. Many veterans of the Civil War and Revolutionary War are laid to rest at Greenwood. Many spirits are known to linger within the grounds of the cemetery. If you happen to walk through around dusk, you might hear or see something paranormal...