A spooky night in Cave
Spring, Ga. on Oct. 26
By Scott Wright
This year’s event will focus on the Cherokee Indian
aspects of the town’s frightening, fascinating history
CAVE SPRING, Ga. — If you don't mind driving about 25 minutes east on Highway 411 this Halloween season, you'll find an evening's worth of fascinating stories being told about the spookiest aspects of Cave Spring Ga.'s history on Oct. 26.
Established four years before Cherokee County, Alabama was incorporated, the quaint little town in west Georgia has been allowing interested visitors to experience haunted tales and ghostly stories from the past 181 years since 2011.
“This is our third year for the Cave Screams Ghost Tours,” said Executive Director Christy Davis. “What we do is we have some stories of ghosts here in Cave Spring.”
Organized by Davis in her role as a member of the Cave Spring Downtown Development Authority (DDA), funds raised from the ticket fees ($5 for adults, $3 for children) will be used to continue enhancements of the town's historic buildings and landmarks.
“The reason I started this is we have this town that has been around since 1832, and these buildings have seen so much history,” she said while sitting in a covered gazebo in the center of the town square. “And there are so many documented ghost stories in each of these buildings.”
Just across the square, Davis said, residents of one building have reported hearing phantom steps climbing the stairs through the years. Other tales involve ghosts that have done everything from materialize out of thin air to speak out the name of whoever walks near the space they occupy.
“At Fannin Hall, just over the bridge, we've had several paranormal teams come in and take pictures, all kinds of fascinating stuff,” she said.
Davis said the draw of connecting the town's mysterious spirits with the spirit of the Halloween season made perfect sense.
“I'm a history person, so that combination along with getting the history of Cave Spring in there, too, was the perfect dovetail,” she said.
The one-night event has increased in size each year, Davis said. This year, she expects to draw around 500 people during the estimated three-hour time frame for the tours.
“We don't have an all-day event, so we begin the tours at 6:30 p.m. [Eastern Time],” she said. “We used to have one tour dedicated to kids' groups, but there is so much interest that kids come all night.”
Davis said visitors should gather at the welcome center, located behind the general store at the corner of U.S. Highway 411 and Old Cedartown Road.
“When we get twenty to twenty-five people, a guide will take them through, and the walking tours last about an hour and a half,” Davis said.
Seven story tellers will make up the tour, which snakes through downtown and then into Rolater Park just on the other side of the creek that splits Cave Spring. The cave in the park, which typically is not open to the public after dark, will also be part of the tour this year.
“The Southern Paranormal Investigators are doing an investigation of the cave,” Davis said. “They are a really great ghost-hunting team. They are not hysterical. They always seek to debunk the story first, and they will be here that night telling what they found inside the cave.”
In conjunction with the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears, many aspects of the events on Oct. 26 will have a Cherokee Indian theme.
“We're going to lean towards that focus and our stories are going to have something to do with the town's Cherokee connection,” she said. “Fortunately, an awful lot of the stories we have here are Cherokee stories.”
Davis didn't want to give away too much about what guests will experience on Oct. 26. But she did offer a few tidbits from one Native American tale involving a disagreeable old Cherokee called Chief Rattling Gourd who once visited Cave Spring.
“He was a powerful, awful guy,” Davis said. After he caught his wife cheating on him, the story goes, he bit off her nose.
“She developed an infection and died,” Davis said. “But her ghost keeps coming back to town. People have seen her walking around.”
To learn more about the event search for Cave Screams Ghost Tours on Facebook.