Haunted Alabama

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

State steeped in haunting legends

By Kevin Taylor

Elizabeth Hollon was sitting in the Marbury High School library one fall afternoon in 1966 when she heard a shriek of horrific screams coming from nowhere.

She jumped out of her chair to find out where the screams were coming from. Word quickly spread that there had been an accident on the football field, and someone was horribly injured.

&#8220The cheerleaders were building a pyramid to have a picture made that day,” Hollon recalled. &#8220Some were sitting on (the crossbar) of the goalpost, and it broke.”

Sandy Vinson was one of the cheerleaders on the goalpost that day. She later died from the injuries sustained from the fall, Hollon said.

Now it is said that Vinson's ghost appears when a person stands on the 50 yard line after a game when her name is called.

&#8220I never participated in any of that, but that's the story around here,” Hollon said.

That's just one of a number of urban legends across the state that whether they are true or not, capture people's attention.

&#8220I've been here almost 20 years, and I've been at the football field after midnight and never seen anything like that,” said Nancy Hollon, who works at Marbury High. &#8220 I know the accident is true, but I don't know about the ghost story.”

In Demopolis, it's rumored that the ghost of Evelyn Carter haunts Gainsewood Plantation along with other ghosts.

But historic site director Matt Hartzell, who has been working there for nine years, said he's heard or seen nothing of the sort.

&#8220Most of the strange noises come from the heating and cooling system because it's so old, and the creaking in the house comes from the house shifting,” he said.

The urban legend notes that Carter was the sister of a housekeeper in the late 1800s. It also notes of the rush of skirts going down the main stairs from the birthing room. Some visitors have even said that they've felt a gentle push.

Some people can be easily scared by some urban legends, while others think these stories are just dumb.

Mike Whitman certainly is one who doesn't buy into the urban legend that has spread throughout the Notasulga community.

The story originates from an accident in 1997 when a young man fell asleep on his way home from a party and crashed into the Notasulga fire and police station. The buildings burned, and the man died.

It is rumored that strange noises can be heard, footsteps up stairs and even someone has been seen at the front door of the firehouse.

&#8220It's just ridiculous,” Whitman. &#8220There's nothing to that.”

While some are quick to dismiss the supernatural, Lucretica Hawkins is a believer.

Prestwood Bridge in Andalusia is rumored to be haunted. People have reported that if you stop your vehicle on the bridge and turn the lights off, someone will come to the car and bang on it.

But there is some confusion about the urban legend as to whether the haunting took place on the former bridge or the new one.

&#8220It was reconstructed a few years ago, but it was spooky even back then,” Hawkins said. &#8220But it must still be a hangout because there is graffiti all over it.”

Just a few miles down the road, Hawkins said another urban legend resides in the cemetery of Conecuh River Baptist Church.

The urban legend is that one of the gravestones glows at night.

&#8220I've never seen it, but I know people who have gone down there and said they have seen the gravestone glow.”