Halloween is right around the corner. In between having fun, trick-or-treating, wearing costumes or partying, here are some ghost stories from around the area the Lake Norman area from some local people.
Kathy Jones, president of the Olde Huntersville Historical Society and paranormal enthusiast, had a few stories from around the area:
Holly Bend Plantation, 3701 Neck Road, Huntersville
According to Jones, the house was built between 1795-1800 and there have been several stories of paranormal activity from from its residents and others invited in.
Jones, who is a member of the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society (CAPS), along with other members of the group were invited not long ago to investigate the house.
A resident of the home at the time told them that his wife had left and would not come back to the house because she constantly heard children playing under the back porch on more than one occasion and that she had gone out the back porch and saw people hanging from the trees in the back yard. While they investigated, one of the members went to use the upstairs bathroom and while pulling up her clothes heard an elderly woman say, “Lawd, what kind of britches are them?” The investigator happened to be wearing thong underwear, Jones said in an email.
Just before nightfall during the investigation, one of the group members was standing in the back yard and looked off to her left where there was a large field. She then suddenly saw either a young man or teenager running through it wearing overalls, Jones said.
Information about Holly Bend can be found on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission website.
According to the website, Robert Davidson built the house on 420 acres, which his father, John Davidson gave him in 1795. The house was built in a bend of the Catawba River and is reputed to have been named for the holly trees which grow in abundance around the area.
Robert Davidson married Margaret Osborne on Jan. 1, 1801 and they lived in the house until they died and had 109 slaves. Robert Davidson died in 1853 while his wife died in 1864.
General William Lee Davidson and Hopewell Presbyterian Cemetery
General William Lee Davidson was a militia general in the Revolutionary War, who Davidson College is named after. He lived from 1746-1781. The legend is that Davidson rides through Hopewell Presbyterian Cemetery in Huntersville every year on Feb. 1, which is the anniversary of his death, Jones said.
Though she has been in the the cemetery many nights on this day to try to catch a glimpse of Davidson, she has yet to see him riding a horse through the cemetery. Despite this, once while out with fellow CAPS members, a sensitive (person who can sense spirits) in the group told her to take a picture in the direction of Davidson’s grave because she saw a woman standing there. She took the picture and afterwards noticed a visible mist in the photo, that they did not see when they were looking in the direction of the grave, Jones said.
Lee Killian, a lifelong Denver resident, has heard many ghost stories from around the Denver and other parts around the Lake Norman area his whole life.
Woman and railroad
Near the head of Lake Norman out of Statesville heading toward Catawba, there is a railroad with a ghost story, Killian said.
He is not certain of how long ago it happened, but in the area there is a really high railroad trestle. A man and a woman were reportedly killed while walking on the trestle years ago and now every once in a while, the woman’s ghost appears about 100 to 200 yards below the trestle. It is said she appears on the anniversary of when she and her husband were killed, which he believes was somewhere between 40 and 60 years ago, Killian said.
Connor’s 12 Oaks
The house, which is in Terrell, is said to be haunted by several different spirits.
Killian said he has heard stories about the house and once while meeting with the the caretaker of the home along with owners, she told them about how things in the house often seem to move around on their own. The day before they met with her she had their meeting area arranged in a certain way. When she came back to the next day everything was moved. There was no one else in the home and no way someone could have gotten in, Killian said.
Horse and Buggy Grassy Creek Road, Denver
The road is near Highway 16. It is a cut through that comes out at the Cross Country Campground on Highway 150, Killian said.
Somewhere between a quarter and a half after you turn off of Highway 16 onto the road, there used to be a big patch of woods off to the right and fields and an old cemetery off to the left.
He was told the story years by someone’s whose father reported a ghost sighting. The person said their father was riding a horse one night and came across someone driving what looked like a horse and buggy with two horses. The person appeared to be not only driving it in the woods, but through the trees instead of around them. The apparition reportedly crossed in front of the man, which spooked the horse he was riding, before going off into the woods to the right and disappearing, Killian said.
He is not certain who the apparition was, but knows the cemetery near there was really old with the last two people buried in it having died in the early 1900s and the cemetery mostly consisting of only old field rocks to mark the graves.
If you go up Highway 16 and turn right on Grassy Creek Road, there is an old house on the corner, just before you reach Denver.
The Elliott family were reportedly the last family to live there and he believes they still own it, Killian said.
A woman living at the house once told him that the back door had a big key to open a really old lock on it. The family would always hang the key on a nail inside the house after locking the door at night. Often when they woke up the next morning, the door would be unlocked and sometimes it would be standing open though no one had unlocked it.
A woman who lived across the street from the house once told him that a former family of the house, who had the last name Woods, moved out, but left a piano and other musical instruments behind until they were able to come back for them. People reportedly heard the piano playing at night every once in a while when the house was locked up and no one was there, he said.
Another story connected with the house is the story of a woman people have reported seeing right before nightfall wearing a pink dress.
No one knows who she is, but many have reported seeing her.
He remembers when he was a child that there was a girl about three or four years younger than him who he used to ride the school bus with. When the girl was about 12, her dress caught on fire and she burned to death after running out into the yard. No one is sure if that story is connected to the ghost in the pink dress people keep seeing. Many say it’s hard to tell how old the person in the pink dress is and it could be the ghost of the girl who died, he said.
Catawba Springs Hotel
The hotel no longer exists, but was near the Verdict Ridge area of Denver. At that time Denver didn’t exist. The hotel was named for the hot springs in the area, which people would go swimming in while staying in the hotel, which was on the local stagecoach road. One night a man in Salisbury started out on his horse down the stagecoach road and stopped at stage coach stops along the way to exchange horses, which prevented the horses from becoming too worn out, all the way until he reached the hotel. The man rented a room upstairs, murdered a man and fled back to Salisbury. People at the hotel found the man the next morning dead and covered with blood. He once saw a picture of the inside of the hotel with a big dark spot on the floor where the man was reportedly murdered. After the murder, the man reportedly haunted the hotel. The murderer was never known until years later when a man in Salisbury admitted to it on his death bed. The story and the hotel was actually written about in a book on the history of Lincoln County, Killian said.
According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Libraries website, the Catawba Springs Register from 1838-1854 is one of the items it houses in its collection.
Governor Burton ghost
When he was younger, he and his friends would often give rides to the local mail man who delivered mail in the Davidson and Denver area.
Everybody in the area knew the man, who had the nickname Munn. Killian had just finished high school and a lot of his friends had been drafted into the Korean War and he was the only person left to give Munn rides to places.
One night he was driving Munn home from a basketball game and went over what used to be the Beatties Ford Bridge (now under Lake Norman near Governor’s Island area). He turned right onto Burton’s Lane, which was named after a former governor who died. While driving on the road, he saw a man on the left riding a white horse in the field. This was in the middle of winter and seemed odd so he pointed it out to Munn. Munn looked and then looked again and said “Oh my God that’s Governor Burton’s ghost,” Killian said.
It may have been someone else, but Munn was convinced it was Burton’s ghost, he said.