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The hauntings of Atlanta 

The tales behind some of the city's most ghostly places

Page 5 of 6


The Place: Kennesaw House, 1 Depot St., Marietta. Built as a four-story cotton warehouse next to the railroad tracks in 1845, the brick building became the Fletcher House Hotel in the 1850s, a military hospital in 1863, and currently houses the Marietta Museum of History.

The Source: Greg Garrison, Ghosts of Marietta tour, Daniel Cox, Marietta Museum of History

The Story: At different points in 1863 and 1864, both the Confederate and Union armies commandeered the hotel as a hospital, with the third floor serving as the surgical ward. The surgical staff performed hundreds of amputations, some days leaving severed limbs in stacks outside the windows, with the corpses kept in the fourth floor morgue.

Considering the violent history, it's not a surprise that ghostly reports have permeated the property. Daniel O. Cox, founder and CEO of the museum, is skeptical about the existence of ghosts, saying, "Until I get slimed, I'm going to be a nonbeliever." He still claims to have had eerie experiences, like seeing a glowing, female-shaped figure on the lobby security camera, or glimpsing a 19th-century surgeon out of the corner of his eye. Ghosthunters have claimed that the building houses more than 700 spirits, with activity often involving the elevator.

The story that sticks most in the memory dates back to the 1880s, after the reopening of the Fletcher House Hotel. A young man seeking a bride came to stay at the Marietta hotel, and after checking in, rode the elevator to his room. When the lift arrived, the suitor didn't see the hallway of the hotel's third floor, but a dark vestibule dimly lit by a single lantern on the ceiling. In the pool of light lay an unconscious confederate soldier with a doctor, in blood-splattered clothes, standing over him with a saw. The doctor drew the saw back and forth at the soldier's wounded leg, and then stopped. He looked up at the suitor in the elevator, and then returned to his task.

The terrified young man immediately took the elevator down to the lobby, but when the staff returned to the third floor, the elevator only revealed the hotel's third-floor corridor. The suitor, however, fled to find another place to spend the night.

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