Georgia is full of spooky historical locations that can strike fear in both residents and visitors alike. What better way to celebrate Halloween this year by learning about some of them.
Central State Hospital
In 1832, Georgia lawmakers authorized a “State Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum,” which would later be known as Central State Hospital. It was built in 1942 in Milledgeville, the state capitol at the time. At its peak in the 1960’s, it housed nearly 12,000 patients, had some 200 buildings and occupied over 1,750 acres.
More than 25,000 patients were buried in graves throughout the massive hospital grounds. Though these graves were initially marked with a small metal stake emblazoned with a patient number, groundskeepers saw these stakes as a nuisance while mowing and pulled up nearly 10,000 of them in the 1960’s, tossing them into the nearby woods.
The Andersonville Prison was a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederates in the final year of the Civil War. Overcrowded to four times its capacity, it housed over 45,000 Union soldiers in deplorable conditions. Of those 45,000 nearly 13,00 died due to diarrhea, scurvy, dysentery, and deliberate war crimes against prisoners. The prison was liberated in May 1865.
Confederate Captain Henry Wirz commanded the prison and would later be executed for war crimes.
Old Candler Hospital Morgue Tunnel
Old Candler Hospital was the very first hospital in Georgia, opening in 1804. It is known to many citizens of Savannah as one of the most haunted places in town. During the Yellow Fever epidemic, those who contracted the disease in Savannah were sent to this hospital. Quickly filling to capacity, the hospital had to use a tunnel as a makeshift morgue to store the vast amount of people who succumbed to the disease.
Candler Hospital is also home to the Candler Oak, also referred to as “The Hanging Tree.” Savannahians have reported seeing ghostly apparitions hanging from the oak.