- Religion and Philosophy
Investigation: Lincoln Academy
The Research Behind Lincoln Academy:
After digging deeper and deeper into the mystery that is Lincoln Academy, I believe that I have finally and honestly delved far enough in to understand the many stories of what the “school” actually was.
In 1884, Miss Emily Prudden bought fifty acres of land from Dr. Francis Garrett in an are called All Healing Springs – more commonly known today as the Crowders Mountain / Gaston County area. The first building to be opened on the site was Prudden Hall, followed in 1888 by Lincoln Academy. The institute was a boarding school to educate poor and underprivileged African American girls, many of which graduated to become doctors, lawyers, and other professions. In 1955, Lincoln Academy was moved to Bessemer City where it became Lincoln High School and the original building at All Healing Springs was closed down.
Twenty years later, in the 1970’s, Kathleen Smiley was kidnapped and bound to a tree in the general vicinity of where the Lincoln Academy building once stood before being brutally murdered by two young men.
Today, all that remains of Lincoln Academy is the cemetery, located across the street and perhaps a hundred yards or so from the school, as well as the remains of the legendary building; copper pipes amid a mass of brick foundation overtaken by trees, grass, weeds, and flowers that may have been the basement area of the building. About two hundred yards from the school location, a local golf course was built and is still in operation.
Dozens of stories and experiences circulate about what sort of activity surrounds Lincoln Academy. We documented sightings of mists and unexplainable smoke and fog, disembodied automobiles, sounds of children crying and laughing, whispers and feelings of being touched and tapped. We also took note of photographs that were taken by various people of a disembodied head and face appearing in the remains of an abandoned shack near the cemetery.
Accounts of partying also originate from this location as well as rumors of satanic worshipping, animal sacrifices, and cult gatherings.
We have currently visited Lincoln Academy twice – both times during daylight hours. Neither visit has brought very much enlightenment towards paranormal activity, however. We took extensive photographs of the school area and well as the cemetery but we caught nothing out of the ordinary at either site. We are afraid that EVP could be contaminated at any time due to the golf course location as well as the small pond just through the woods below the cemetery that was home to a small group of vocal ducks. There was also a few homes located within sight of the cemetery that could interrupt EVP recordings if anything of loud sound were to be made from those locations, such as loud music, loud laughter, cars starting, horns honking, etc.
However, we do hope to plan a future, more extensive, investigation of Lincoln Academy.