Macon is rich with historical homes and buildings as well as its interesting characters from the past. Along with all that history comes the occasional ghost or two. Here is our second installment of the Most Haunted Places in Macon.
The Douglass Theater
The Douglass Theatre, named for its founder Charles Henry Douglass, was an African-American entrepreneur who also was an established theatre developer well versed in the vaudeville and entertainment business. The theatre remained in operation until the 1970s. It was dormant for many years before being saved from demolition in the 1990s by a community group that became the non-profit "Friends of the Douglass Theatre." The theatre hosts many public and private events, parties as well as some occasional unexplained events. After the theatre's restoration in the 90's, theatre staff began noticing that the theatre lights would dim mysteriously. The theatre staff has also noted that film projectors and stage curtains will malfunction every now and then. These occurrences have been attributed to spirits in the old theatre.
Attorney Judge John Jones Gresham, the man for whom this house was built for, was a prominent Macon leader, two-time Macon mayor and the first president of the Bibb Manufacturing Company. In 1983, this home was turned into a beautiful bed and breakfast inn. Since the opening of the inn, innkeepers have noted mysterious sounds and ghostly apparitions throughout the stately home. A ghost, thought to be original owner John Gresham, has been seen in the Dogwood Room, and the ghost of a little girl as well as a third apparition, one of a tall blonde woman has been seen in other rooms throughout the inn.
The Townsend School of Music (Formerly Beall's 1860)
This massive Georgian home was built by Cotton mogul Nathan Beall in 1860 as a large, but simple Victorian residence and changed ownership many times after the War Between the States. The home was later acquired and renovated into the grand Georgian style you see today by confederate war hero and Macon civic leader Sam Dunlap in 1901 for his daughter Ilah and her husband. During WWII, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lasseter acquired the property and operated a tea room and boarding house. After the Beall house became a restaurant in 1993, the staff began noticing an uptick in paranormal activity. According to an excerpt in Brown's Haunted Georgia, "ice cubes would 'jump' out of glasses, glasses would fly off counters, books flew off shelves, and chandeliers flickered on and off. The most notable disturbance that has occurred in the home was when "The waiters were going about their business when all at once, all of the pipes began to shake. The noise became so loud that some waiters placed their hands over their ears."
Macon City Auditorium
For centuries, copper roofing has adorned the most celebrated architectural masterpieces in Europe and the US, outlasting most other roofing materials. While Macon’s City Auditorium is known as the largest copper covered dome in the world, its facade, built with Indiana limestone and its interior composed of Georgia marble, a form of limestone may explain the building's paranormal activity. Most ghost hunters associate paranormal activity with limestone and many believe this to be the cause of the residual paranormal activity that has been experienced within the walls of this magnificent structure. Staff members have recalled echos with the sounds of parties, performances and other gatherings. Music and the sound of muffled voices are sometimes heard in darkened spaces. One staff member reported to Ghosts of Macon author Mary Lee Irby that he and another person witnessed a “dark distinctive shadow or mist” drifting in the balcony of the auditorium. Other employees have smelled the pungent aroma of perfume in the stairwells as well as witnessing lights turning off and on in the lower sections of the building. While theories suggest that large amounts of limestone and granite can act as conductors for paranormal activity, do you think this is the case of the Macon City Auditorium's paranormal activity?
Hardeman - Meyer Building
Merchandise falling from secure displays, doors opening and closing at will and bells jingling mysteriously on their own are just a few of the unusual activities at the beautifully restored Lawrence Mayer Florist building downtown. Pharmacist G. Payne had built and owned the building in the 1840’s. Payne’s Apothecary filled most of the prescriptions for Macon’s residents who were under the care of the city’s local physicians. One prominent physician, Dr. Ambrose Baber wrote a prescription for one of his patients to be filled at Payne’s Apothecary. Pharmacist Payne received the prescription from Dr. Baber’s patient and detecting an error, refused to fill the compound. When Dr. Baber heard that the Pharmacist would imply that his prescription was in err, he became enraged and rushed to the pharmacy and confronted the pharmacist. After the prescription was discarded as a miscalculation, Dr. Baber went behind the counter and filled the prescription himself. The doctor then drank the compound himself to prove that there was no error. The doctor then made an effort to loosen his coat and vest, then fell dead to the floor.