Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Southern Ghost Stories & Legends: Chickamauga Battlefield

Many Civil War battlefields are hotbeds of stories and legends, likely because of the violent deaths of so many people on these sites and the bloody nature of the war itself, and Chickamauga National Park is no exception.

The Cherokee Indians were no strangers to this area, and in fact the very name "Chickamauga" means "River of Death" in Cherokee. The bloody battle of Chickamauga claimed over 37,000 lives, and many of the dead remained unburied for months after the battle, only to be haphazardly buried unceremoniously in trenches all over the site. The bloodshed on these grounds didn't end there, and even in modern times, because of it's accessibility and remoteness, many murders have been committed here, and this is a favorite place to dump the bodies of murder victims.

Ghostly phenomena in Chickamauga runs the gamut of the supernatural spectrum, including sightings of orbs, and vortexes, ghostly figures, glowing eyes, rustling bushes with no apparent cause, odd sounds, gunshots (no hunting is allowed anywhere near this large area), and occasional disembodied voices. Many who have visited the site report a very strong feeling of uneasiness and of being watched. A full figure of a woman in what appears to be a white wedding gown has been reported by several people, and it is assumed that her lover was killed in the bloody battle. Many other apparitions have been seen, including what appears to be a soldier trying to surrender, and a headless horseman. The most bizarre phenomena here involves many reports of a specter with glowing green or green-orange eyes that has long hair like a woman, and fangs. What this might be is anyone's guess, but whatever it is, it may have been roaming the area long before the Civil War, as sketchy reports indicate a sighting by soldiers during a lull in the battle.

Chickamauga is a must see for ghost hunters that find themselves in the northwest Georgia/Chattanooga area. It is a very scenic place during the day, but becomes rather misty at times, making it seem sinister and frightening once darkness falls.

Chickamauga is located in the northwest corner of Georgia, very near both the Alabama and Tennessee borders, and is often reported incorrectly as being in Tennessee. It can be reached directly through Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia via route 27, and is also near both Interstates 24 and 75 from Chattanooga.


Sources: Weird GA, US National Park Service

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