While most folks only think about ghosts and haunted houses around Halloween, there are several tours in Marietta operating year-round. Rich with history, many Civil War battles were waged there and several of the buildings on the Marietta Square played integral roles in housing soldiers as well as ammunition. Additionally, the town has three cemeteries and some say there are more dead residents than living. Whether or not you believe that the dead walk amongst us, The Historic Marietta Trolley Company has created a fun way to learn about one of Georgia’s most historic (and possibly haunted) towns.
The “Scary-etta” trolley tour is a 90-minute ride that travels in and around the Square and into two of the city’s cemeteries. During the Civil War, the Square was once crowded with military encampments and structures that housed both the wounded and the dead making for a lot of lost souls. A “spirited” costumed storyteller regales visitors with tales of hauntings all around the Square, but especially at the Kennesaw House which now houses the Marietta Museum of History.
“Originally built as a cotton warehouse in 1845, the four-story brick building became the Fletcher House Hotel in the 1850s and then a military hospital in 1863,” said Collin Cash of The Historic Marietta Trolley Co. “It was also the location where the Great Locomotive Chase was strategized.”
According to costumed guides, voices from the past have been heard, apparitions spotted, and images captured of the undead hanging around the museum. He also said that the third floor served as the surgical ward where hundreds of amputations were performed with the corpses stored in the fourth floor morgue.
If that isn’t creepy enough, the sundown ride through either the St. James Episcopal Cemetery or the Marietta National Cemetery might send some tingles down the spine. Pay close attention to the story of Mary Meinert in front of her unique headstone that “weeps tears of blood” on Friday the 13th and take in the tale of Marietta’s most infamous ghost, the “Lady in Black” whose story has been told to generations of the metro area’s children.
For those who like their ghost stories walking and with a pint of courage, check out the Ghosts of Marietta’s Haunted Pub Crawl or the Spirits and Spirits tour. There’s also a straight up walking tour with no alcohol served. These tours are also around 90-minutes and are mostly confined to a leisurely stroll around the flat Square. Led by lantern light, drink in the story of Shilling’s on the Square, which was reportedly once a hardware store, where a Confederate haunts the top of the staircase. If you get really lucky, the locals will jump in, too. Marietta resident Jay Hutto, said that on a recent visit to Johnnie McCracken’s Pub, owner Gary Leake informed he and his wife that the pub, which was once a firehouse, is haunted.
“We were just sitting there, drinking our Blood Marys at brunch, and he asked us if we believed in ghosts,” said Hutto. “We said yes and that is when he said he had one and launched into several stories, all of which we enjoyed.”
So, if the ghosts aren’t talking, the living will.
The Pub Crawl happens on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and starts on the Square. The Spirits and Spirits tour is offered on the third Wednesday of the month and meets at La Famiglia and includes one glass of wine.
Scary-etta Trolley Tour
8 p.m. April 6. $27.00, $14 kids 12 and under. The Historic Marietta Trolley Co., 131 Church Street, Marietta. 770-425-1006, http://www.mariettatrolley.com.
Haunted Walking Tour
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. $17, $12 kids 12 and under. 131 Church Street, Marietta. 770-425-1006. http://www.ghostsofmarietta.com, 770-425-1006.
Spirits and Spirits
7:30 p.m. April 18. $17. La Famiglia, 45 W. Park Square, Marietta. http://www.ghostsofmarietta.com, 770-425-1006.
Haunted Pub Walk
9 p.m. Apr 21. $17. 131 Church Street, Marietta. http://www.ghostsofmarietta.com, 770-425-1006.
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