Many U.S. citizens go about their lives blissfully unaware that strange phenomena has or is taking place somewhere in the state they call home. It’s easy to dismiss the claims, until you are involved in one yourself. The Halloween season usually brings out the spooky side in everyone, increasing viewership of paranormal TV shows and horror films. The time of year makes no difference to the genuine paranormal investigator. In fact, the sudden interest can lead to frustrating situations as amateurs rush out to get a thrill chasing ghosts in the dark and angering property owners who become less likely to comply when honest-to-goodness investigators request a chance to gather data.
There is still a certain magic about the Halloween season, and finding curiosity in the paranormal where it usually doesn’t exist is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an opportunity to encourage others to take real interest in the subject. We are approximately 50 days away from October 31st, 2013, so let’s take a moment each day to expand our knowledge of the paranormal and start to understand just how far its reach really extends. No matter what U.S. state you live in, there are reports of some unexplained event that continues to fascinate and confound.
Haunted Alabama: Sweetwater Mansion
Alabama’s Sweetwater Mansion can be found in the city of Florence. The beautiful plantation house was designed by General John Brahan who served in the Alabama Militia during the War of 1812. Named after the nearby creek, the residence was first occupied by post-Civil War governor Robert M. Patton who was son-in-law to General Brahan. The basement was used as a hospital and served as the first jail in Lauderdale County. The location’s history is long with heavy undertones of war, conflict and death.
Paranormal Activity at Sweetwater Mansion
Sweetwater Mansion has been the center of numerous unexplained accounts throughout the years, including physical contact and a room that tends to inexplicably lock women inside. Emmer Lettie Region, the last caretaker to stay at the property until she died in 2004, was so terrified by what she experienced that she would only live in two rooms. She witnessed the eerie image of a man in a casket with a noticeable hole in his head right in the parlor. It was later discovered that the wake for Billy Patton, son of Robert who was killed during the Battle of Shiloh, was held in the very same spot. Lettie even went so far as to nail a door shut in an effort to isolate herself from the phenomena occurring throughout rest of the house.
A mysterious area, deemed the “secret room,” was built with no door and a single small interior window. To the left of the window is evidence of what may be coffins. The family lost two sons in the Civil War, both of which are believed to be buried in the floor of the secret room.
Paranormal investigators have also captured photographs of strange anomalies, including the distinct shape of a Civil War soldier that appeared outdoors one evening on the property. The April 25th, 2011 episode of Paranormal State featured the mansion. While taping, investigators saw a door move by itself and heard footsteps, a board that suddenly slid across a floor and the sound of a body falling. They captured another incident which included a large portion of ceiling tile that appeared to fling itself across a room. Photographs of the incident later revealed images of what appeared to be a pair of child-like apparitions.
Sweetwater Mansion Today
Sweetwater Mansion is still standing and continues to serve as the scene for personal paranormal experiences. Those who manage the building have embraced its odd nature by offering private and group investigations which are organized through Ghost Hunters of Southern Territories (G.H.O.S.T.).
Note October 2020: At this time we can not find a link to the specific group mentioned as hosting the ghost hunts
Have you been to the Sweetwater Mansion (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.