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The Ghost in Carrollton, Alabama

Updated on July 21, 2016

Carrollton Haunts

The Pickens County courthouse is located in Carrollton, Alabama and is the supposed location of the ghost of Henry Wells.
The Pickens County courthouse is located in Carrollton, Alabama and is the supposed location of the ghost of Henry Wells. | Source
The ghost image of Henry Wells in Carrollton, Alabama. The story of this ghost has brought thousands to this small Bama town.
The ghost image of Henry Wells in Carrollton, Alabama. The story of this ghost has brought thousands to this small Bama town. | Source
This picture shows you the outside of the court house where the ghost supposedly lives after  lightning etched his image on the upstairs window.
This picture shows you the outside of the court house where the ghost supposedly lives after lightning etched his image on the upstairs window. | Source
13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey is a book that features the Pickens County Alabama courthouse  ghost and 12 other ghost tales.
13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey is a book that features the Pickens County Alabama courthouse ghost and 12 other ghost tales. | Source

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The Courthouse Ghost Legend

Henry Wells was a former slave, who when written about, was said to have a bad temper. It has been said, that he usually carried a straight razor around with him routinely. You would not want to catch him on a bad day! As a slave you would not trust anyone. Mr. Wells would carry the blade for protection but, also knowing if he was caught with a weapon of any kind, he could be in deep trouble. He was accused of, however, what (would be terrible things in this time period), such as burning down the county's courthouse. In another sad and disheartening account, Wells was accused of raping a white woman. Keep in mind this is happening in the racially charged south in the late 1800s.

He was tried convicted and lynched in 1878, for burning down an Pickens County Courthouse. The other version of the story is that he was shot by the police while attempting to escape their custody. I can not imagine attending a lynching and just thinking that that it is okay. That is a twisted way of thinking.

Strangely enough, this is the second time the Courthouse has burned down in the same location. Both fires were under strange circumstances. While awaiting trial, he ran up into the third floor and shouted from the window as if they killed him. Little did he know he would haunt them for the rest of their lives. His face lives in the glass forever. It does not have to be any particular day, his face is supposedly visible, no matter rain or shine.

At that very precise moment, a bolt of lightning struck him and an image of his face is etched into the glass. To this day, you can see the face in the window. The window panes have been cleaned many times since then, and over the years and the image of his face is etched in the glass. Well, at least that is how the legend goes in the state of Alabama. No one has ever been able to prove anything different than what was said above.

There are once again some stories that say the panes have been replaced and cleaned and others say that all but, the face still remains. Mr. Wells, even up until his death, proclaimed his innocence. This ghost story is explained in the famous book called, Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, Phantom Army of the Civil War, Ghost Stories from the American South. Alabama has a big history with ghosts and the paranormal. This is a very famous Alabama Ghost Story. It makes a great read. It lets you realize how truly horrible slavery was at that particular time during our history.

Be sure and check out the you tube video of the ghost in the courthouse window in Carrolton, Alabama and judge for yourself. It's hard to tell for sure because although it looks like a blurry, ghostly person it could also be possibly doctored up.

I have lived in Alabama my entire life and I remember hearing about this story when I was seven or eight years old. Out of all the famous ghost stories of Alabama, this one is my favorite. Some of the townspeople say that Mr. Wells is innocent while others said he was guilty. One thing is for sure, that image in the third floor window sure is scary. To me the courthouse itself is scary, even without the ghost face in the window. It just looks old and spooky. Nobody knows for sure whether a ghost is really in the window or if it's just a hoax to attract tourists.

Skeptics would like to maintain that this is the story has been greatly exaggerated, mainly the part of the story about the ghost. They observe that with a chilling ghost story and actual ghost to see are a great idea to get the people to flock to the city which helps with tourism, and in turn, that brings in money.

If you have ever been to the courthouse in Carrollton, Alabama or have heard about this story please share your thoughts with me in the comments capsule located at the bottom of this article.

A Look at 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffery

There have been other ghost stories other than the ones listed below.. The thirteen on this list are the ones from the Folklore author, Kathryn Tucker Windham. Her book is entitled, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.

1. Death Lights and the Tower

2, The Dancing Ghost of Grancer Harrison

3. The Face in the Courthouse Window

4. The Return of the Ruined Banker

5. The Ghost of the Angry Architect

6. The Specter in the Maze at Cahaba

7. The Faithful Vigil at Carlisle Hall

8. The Phantom Steamboat of the Tombigbee

9. The Hole That Will not Stay Filled.

10. The Unquiet Ghost at Gaineswood

11. Mobile's Pipe-Smoking Captain

12. Huntingdon College's Red Lady

All the stories in this book are very spooky and I would recommend it for an easy read on ghosts and the paranormal. They are all based in Alabama and whether you believe them or not you must admit that they are spooky regardless.

Death place of Henry Wells

Ghost of Henry Wells

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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