3 of the Most Haunted Roads (and 1 Parking Lot) in Georgia
Every day is Halloween when your plans include a spooky road trip. The great Peach State has some of the scariest stretches in the South. Headless railroad specters, creepy shadow people, and some all-too-real horrors of Southern history drive these chilling tales of the most haunted roads in Georgia.
Strange sounds abound in an Athens parking lot
The home of the University of Georgia has a lot going for it. The Bulldogs have won two national football titles since 2021. The Athens music scene has been producing indie-rock luminaries as far back as R.E.M. and the B-52s. There’s even an Athens Beer Trail.
Alas, for would-be Bulldogs, the city seems to have at least one drawback: one of America’s few honest-to-goodness haunted parking lots. 295 E. Dougherty St., now a parking lot, once held the 19th-century home of the Gilmore family. In 1862, the story goes, the Gilmores’ 16-year-old daughter lost her beloved at the Battle of Fredericksburg. The heartbroken girl hanged herself from a tree in the yard, forever marking the spot with her pain. Witnesses have reported weeping and screaming coming from the lot.
The adjacent Graduate Hotel is said to have its own specters, including shadow people flickering around the bar and poltergeists in room 119.
Railroad Bed Road is so haunted that locals call it ‘Ghost Road’
Many American ghosts seem to favor cities. Across the country, there’s hardly a town of more than 20,000 people without at least one haunted hospital, hotel, bar, or music venue, usually all of the above.
But Brooklet, Georgia, bucks that trend. About 10 miles outside the city of Statesboro, Brooklet’s population stands at barely over 2,000. The town throws a yearly Peanut Festival, complete with a beauty pageant and parade. There’s also an annual Slow Tractor Race (the last one over the line wins). On paper, Brooklet is positively idyllic — classic small-town America.
Of course, it has a ghost.
When locals skip euphemisms and just call a street “Ghost Road,” investigators know they’ve struck hauntological paydirt. Railroad Bed Road in Brooklet is infamous for unearthly lights and flickering presences that plague motorists late at night. Stories of gruesome accidents — one source claims a man, decapitated after collapsing on the railway, wanders the road looking for his head — and raging specters abound.
There’s even a documentary, The Legend of Ghost Road, directed by Jason Martin, an avowed witness of weirdness on Railroad Bed.
Abercorn Street in Savannah is a notoriously haunted road in Georgia
Savannah, Georgia, is one of the most beautiful, oldest cities in America. Warm weather, antique architecture, a thriving cultural scene, and quick access to some of the nation’s best beaches make the “Hostess City of the South” a delightful place.
The unhallowed dead might agree with that assertion. At 432 Abercorn St., right in the middle of the Savannah Historic District, stands a 19th-century mansion with stories to tell. The most popular tale credits the house to Benjamin J. Wilson, a Confederate veteran who built the home just after the Civil War. As soon as it was finished, the story goes, the house at 432 Abercorn began suffering strange happenings, all chilling, none proven.
Some say the first owner’s horrific war experiences imposed an uncanny atmosphere on the otherwise lovely home. Others say Wilson built over an unmarked burial ground for people once enslaved nearby. As with so many horror stories in the American South, the ghost stories of 432 Abercorn mine the darkest corners of Southern history for their scares.
Savannah is also home to the haunted River Street
Maybe Savannah is so nice that locals, alive or otherwise, simply don’t want to leave. River Street, just a five-minute jaunt from the putatively haunted Abercorn, has its own slew of undead tales.
As Savannah’s waterfront, this street partakes of the same historical horror as Abercorn, being one of the city’s primary landing sites for enslaved people. As was often true in the South, when slave ships landed, enslaved laborers worked the docks, forced under threat of violence to unload cargo, human and otherwise. Just to add to the tragic horror of the place’s history, much of it was reportedly built atop a Muskogee burial ground.
Weeping specters and agonized screams allegedly haunt the homes and businesses lining the otherwise peaceful riverfront. If anywhere in America has earned a ghost or two, Savannah’s River Street qualifies.
A polite reminder
There’s no proof of any of these tales of haunted roads in Georgia. For those inspired by these stories, visit by all means, but keep it inside the lines. Paranormal sightings aside, these are real places full of real people. Treat them respectfully, don’t venture onto private property without an invitation, and stay within the bounds of the law. Happy haunting!