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Filtering by Tag: Montevallo

School Spirits: Private Colleges (Part One)

Emma Wilson

Big state schools aren’t the only ones with big paranormal activity. Multiple private schools throughout Alabama have their own school spirits.

 

At the top of our haunted list is Huntingdon College. The college was originally an all-female college, founded in Tuskegee in 1854 as the Tuskegee Female College. It was here the story of the Red Lady began. One night on the upper floor of the residence hall, an eerie red glow appeared under the doors lining the hall. Upon opening their doors, young women were met by the spirit of a woman glowing in a red gown. Blanked-faced, she paced the hallway all night, only to disappear when the sun rose. The Red Lady was not seen at the campus again. This is not where her story ends however. Years later, in Montgomery, a woman named Margaret (sometimes called Martha) enrolled in Huntingdon College upon her late father’s request. Margaret did not fit in well. She was not only a Northerner in a Southern college, she was reclusive, and had an odd affinity for the color red. Everything she owned was red. Her fourth-floor dorm room was covered in that one color. Margaret went through numerous roommates during her time in the dorms, each time her roommate would request to transfer rooms. Upon the dorm president requesting a transfer, Margaret became bitter and swore to the retreating girl she would regret her actions.

After this event Margaret began strange behaviors. After lights-out, she would get out of bed, pace the halls, and let herself into all the rooms on the hall. She would never speak a word, only staring blank-faced before proceeding to the next room. While she did not glow, Margaret always wore her signature red.

One day Margaret did not show up for class. The dorm president, the felt she should check on her former-roommate. Upon walking the hall and opening the final door, she saw Margaret, this time dawning a different red. Her own blood. Margaret slit her wrists and bled to death.

The Red Lady as she is now known still walked the halls of Pratt. While still a residence hall, girls would cower at the site of her crimson apparition. It was said if you bullied another student or were mean-spirited, the lights would unexplainably go out, a chill would fill the room, or creaking noises would fill the room without reason. This activity would escalate on the anniversary of her death. Today, Pratt holds the Department of Education and Psychology. Some say with the changes, the Red Lady left. Others still claim to see her.

 

Huntingdon also has another ghost with a colorful name: the Ghost of the Green. This is the unseen spirit of another troubled student. A young man is said to have shot himself on the green after rejecting his girlfriend. While no one has seen his ghost, students say they occasionally feel a tugging at their clothes, or someone blowing in their ears as they walk along this part of campus.

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From Montgomery to Mobile. Spring Hill College has multiple tales of haunted dormitories, but there is also another well known ghost. A former math professor, Father Mueller, can be seen near his old office. It is also said Father Mueller appears to students who need assistance with seemingly impossible math questions. One boy spoke of a kind priest with a long, grey beard that knocked at his door to welcome him to the university. He then assisted him in his homework. The description of the priest matched no one living; only the late Father Mueller.

 


Montevallo has its fair share of ghosts. A man on an eternal search for his son, and a Confederate soldier with a vow to uphold. These are Amanda Herman’s writings on the spirits at the University of Montevallo.

The house of the late Edmund King, a businessman who had a lavish love affair with his own money, sits prominently on the campus of Montevallo, smack in the middle of the state of Alabama. It is said that he can be seen with his lantern in the top story of the house, with the green flashing orbs most active during storms. He peeks out at passersby from behind the curtains, and does not shy away when he is aware he’s been spotted. The graves of his wife and son are not far from the front porch, which gives an even eerier feel to the whole haunting experience. It has been said that he never forgave those present when his son died, being accidentally shot by his own brother. Edmund King spent many days out at his son’s grave, seemingly spending more time with his in death than in life. After Edmund died and the lights began to manifest in his bedroom, they are also seen coming out of the house and taking the same path to the tiny graveyard that King walked every day. The shadowy figure is seen carrying his lantern out in hopes of joining his son. He’s still searching. 

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Edmund King is said to have loved his money so wholeheartedly, that he dares not give it away upon his death. Days before he passed away, legend holds that King buried his money under a peach tree, safe and secure for all eternity. These days, there is no peach tree in front of the King house, but there is still a pay phone. This would not seem out of the ordinary years ago, but most everyone of campus will have a cell phone on them at all times, so the antique booth sticks out like a sore thumb. And even more strangely, it rings. Someone is calling this pay phone on a regular basis, and students report that they pick up to help the obviously confused caller, yet they are answered with silence. Not a dial tone, not a busy signal, not even creepy breathing, the sure sign of a prank call. There is no sound at all.

 

The legend of Reynolds Hall on the campus of Montevallo is attributed to its namesake. Captain Reynolds was a soldier for the Confederacy before he was named president of the college. The Hall was first used as a wartime hospital. Union soldiers were searching for Reynolds when he was assigned to protect the building, but left his post to assist in a nearby battle. He returned to find a heart wrenching massacre—everyone that he left behind in that hospital was dead, ambushed by the Union. He vowed to never leave that building exposed again, and has held his promise in death. Reynolds is reported shutting doors and windows behind students leaving them carelessly open, lest Union soldiers come sneaking in when their backs are turned. He also moves his own picture away from the front room where it hangs, knowing that he is wanted by his enemies, that they may see his photo and come in looking for him again.

 

These are only a few of the many apparitions walking the halls. Stay tuned for Part Two of our Private College edition of School Spirits. 

Know-It-All on Alabama #1

Amanda Herman

I am a sucker for a good collection of fun facts, so I'm introducing my new "Know-It-All" series: random collections of fascinating factoids and trivia-worthy tidbits. Some collections may be themed, if I'm feeling fancy, but most will be "huh, good to know" goodies.

Learn up, know-it-alls!

 

The word “Alabama” could be derived from two Choctaw words, “Alba” meaning plants or vegetation, and “Amo” meaning to clear or gather. Alabama: the clearers of the thicket.

 

Alabama’s state insect is the Monarch Butterfly.

 

The first rocket to successfully place man on the moon, Saturn V launching Apollo 11, was constructed by Alabamians.

 

In Montgomery in 1902, Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performed the Western Hemisphere’s very first open heart surgery when he sutured a young boy after being stabbed in the heart.

 

 

Mobile, Alabama is named after the Mauvilla, the now mysteriously vanished Native American tribe.

 

The town of Prices, in Calhoun County, used to be known as the town of Savages. Both are local family names. Prices just comes off better to passersby. 

 

The meteorite that fell in 1954 on Sylacauga, Alabama and bruised Ann Hodges is the only meteorite known throughout history to have struck a person.

 

 

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A chemistry professor once introduced squirrels to the once squirrel-free University of Montevallo ecosystem, and they have since become an epidemic.

 

During the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut issued his famous command, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

 

The founder of Mobile, Alabama and most other major cities along the Gulf Coast, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, was tattooed in a full suit of serpents by the Mauvilla Native Americans to gain their respect and trade partnership.

Alabama Oddities Weekly Rundown Monday February 15th - Sunday February 21st

Amanda Herman

We here at Serpents of Bienville have a lot of different projects currently running.  One project that we are particularly excited about is the Alabama Oddities pieces that Amanda is writing for our social media sites.  She is doing daily updates, bringing you a new story every morning, of something strange and odd from our Southern home.  Not everyone has social media, so we will be doing weekly rundown's of her stories, which we will be publishing every Sunday.  We hope you guys enjoy, and remember to follow us on our social media sites to get daily Alabama Oddities stories.  With the opening of the new Serpents of Bienville Art Gallery we have been a little behind on the rundowns so here's one a day or two late. So enjoy!

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Monday February 15th - Small Pox Saved the Town

At the time of the Civil War, a physician named Dr. Charles Edwin Reese was running a flourishing practice in the town on Lowndesboro outside of Montgomery. People on the town caught word that General Wilson would be leading his troops straight through town on the way to Montgomery. Afraid of the destruction war leaves in its wake, and Selma having fallen to similar mistreatment, Dr. Reese devised a way to protect his town. A man had come into his office with a nasty rash, and Dr. Reese took that sick man to the outskirts of town to meet General Wilson and his men. Dr. Reese explained that Lowndesboro was momentarily plagued by Small Pox, and if the general was concerned about his troops' health, it would be best to just go around town, and not bother coming into town for any reason. General Wilson took Dr. Reese's advice, the man's short lived rash healed, and Lowndesboro stood another day. 


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Tuesday February 16th - Mooney’s Ruination 

Hubert Mooney knew that swamp from Bibb County all the way to the Cahaba River. His family was devastated when, in 1896, Hubert walked into those woods, and never came out again. From that day, the swamp would become known as Ruination Swamp. Many speculated as to how a man that grew up in and traveled that swamp almost daily could get lost in its density, and no one heard of him again, until the night the Ragland children found themselves lost in that same swamp, with sundown approaching too quickly. The children lived nearby and played among the murky trees quite often. This day, the just lost track of time. The seven children held on to the plow lines they brought with them so that none of them would get separated from the group, seeing as they could barely make out their own hand in front of their face. A white light shown straight ahead, and the eldest brother, leading the pack, figured it must be their father coming in search for them. He found their trail home following the white lantern signal straight out of the swamp, but when he pulled the rest of his siblings from out of the woods, the light disappeared. They ran as fast as they could to catch up with their father, but when they made it through the kitchen's screen door, dad exclaimed, "Ten more minutes and I was coming to find you kids!"

 

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Wednesday February 17th - Edmund King

The house of the late Edmund King, a businessman who had a lavish love affair with his own money, sits prominently on the campus of Montevallo, smack in the middle of the state of Alabama. It is said that he can be seen with his lantern in the top story of the house, with the green flashing orbs most active during storms. He peeks out at passersby from behind the curtains, and does not shy away when he is aware he’s been spotted. The graves of his wife and son are not far from the front porch, which gives an even eerier feel to the whole haunting experience. It has been said that he never forgave those present when his son died, being accidentally shot by his own brother. Edmund King spent many days out at his son’s grave, seemingly spending more time with his in death than in life. After Edmund died and the lights began to manifest in his bedroom, they are also seen coming out of the house and taking the same path to the tiny graveyard that King walked every day. The shadowy figure is seen carrying his lantern out in hopes of joining his son. He’s still searching. 

 

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Thursday February 18th - Eliza’s on Fire

The steamboat named Eliza Battle burst into flames while traveling the Tombigbee in 1858. The hellacious scene of the burning steamer was devastating for those present at the time of the event, and is rumored to still be seen as a warning to those that wish to travel that same route. As with most fires around the mid 1800’s, cotton bales engulfed in flames on board this side paddle luxury steamer and the wooden ship burned quickly, never making it back to port in Mobile. Nowadays, “The Phantom Steamboat of the Tombigbee,” as written in 13 Ghosts by Kathryn Tucker Windham, when the fiery mist of the Eliza Battle is seen floating down river, locals and river men say it is a very serious omen, and become incredibly cautious, or even cease travel, to avoid disaster and heed its warning.

 

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Friday February 19th - Armadillos are Sci-Fi Gold

Armadillos have been around for over 150 million years, but the first recorded appearance of them in Alabama wasn't until the 1940's. It is suspected they ended up here due to a transport mishap from Texas to Florida. These mammals are the only animals in the works that create exact clones of themselves. It's science fiction gold. The egg splits into two, and those eggs split, creating four exact replicas of the same egg. These babies are ready to be birthed after three months' incubation, but if conditions aren't fit for delivery (cold weather, lack of food and resources), the mother can hold delay birth for up to three years. When the clone babies are finally born, their eyes are open and can walk within the hour. Also, armadillos are found as frequent roadkill due to their reaction when startled. They tend to jump vertically, up to four feet, when startled, projecting them into the underside of your car.

 

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Saturday February 20th - Mornings at Jackson Oak

The Bell Rose Tattoo namesake was also used by the D'Olive (pronounced Dough-leave) family, and if you wander upon their founder cemetery hidden among the trails near Jackson Oak, it will give you chills. Get out on this beautiful day and explore your home.

 

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Sunday February 21st - Pleasure Bay

The Hurricane of 1916 was devastating to the Eastern Shore. The Pleasure Bay gave locals and tourists excursions and adventures between the docks of Fort Morgan, Blakeley, and Palmetto Beach. After being thrashed about in Mobile Bay during this disastrous storm, the Pleasure Bay was salvaged from this state of wreckage, and continued its joyous tours once more, only to be destroyed by a careless fire in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain.