With the state’s dark history during the Civil War, Trail of Tears, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, it’s no wonder that some of the most haunted places in Georgia include haunted hospitals, hotels, lakes, and more.
Historic cities like Savannah and Atlanta are home to many of GA’s most haunted places, including famous locations like the Ellis Hotel and The Olde Pink House.
Many of these haunted places in GA are still open to visitors today, whether as operational hotels or restaurants.
They’re often included on local ghost tours, and offer a chance to learn a bit about Georgia state history while having a bit of spooky fun.
Read on to learn the stories behind some of the most haunted places in America!
The Most Haunted Places in Georgia Guide
- Lake Lanier
- St. Simon’s Lighthouse
- Ellis Hotel
- Windsor Hotel
- Moon River Brewing Company (City Hotel)
- Oakland Cemetery
- Masquerade Nightclub
- Old Candler Hospital
- Marshall Place Hotel
- The Olde Pink House
1. Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier, a 37,066-acre reservoir north of Atlanta, is known for being one of the deadliest lakes in the United States.
More than 200 people have died on the lake since the 1990s, and more than 700 have died there since the lake’s creation in 1956.
This haunted lake in Georgia is located between Sugar Hill and White Sulfur Springs, on top of a town that was formerly known as Oscarville.
Oscarville was a prosperous, predominately black community that experienced a horrific amount of lynching, riots, and other racially motivated violence in the early 20th century.
Oscarville was eventually flooded to create Lake Sydney Lanier, which still covers the remains of the town.
Locals claim that souls from the town’s cemeteries still haunt the lake, causing some of the mysterious drownings and boating accidents that happen there today.
There have also been numerous alleged supernatural sightings near Browns Bridge.
2. St. Simons Lighthouse
The lighthouse is one of many haunted places near Savannah, Georgia: It’s located about an hour south of the city.
One night in 1880, lighthouse keeper Frederick Osborne and his assistant, John Stephens, were said to have gotten into a disagreement about one of their wives.
The argument turned deadly when Stephens shot Osborne, killing him instantly.
Stephens was later acquitted of the murder, but the ghost of Frederick Osborne is said to haunt the St. Simons lighthouse to this day.
Employees have reported hearing ghostly footsteps on the stairs, and tales of lighthouse maintenance being mysteriously completed while they slept.
3. Ellis Hotel
The Ellis Hotel, the location of the deadliest hotel fire in the U.S., ranks as one of the most haunted hotels in Atlanta.
The hotel’s guests have reported hearing screams, smelling smoke, and seeing haunting apparitions in the windows.
Originally known as the Winecoff Hotel, the business was opened by Fleming Winecoff and Grace Smith Winecoff in 1913. The Winecoff hotel fire in 1946 killed 119 occupants, including the 76-year-old owners.
The high death toll was likely the result of inadequate fire safety protocols, such as a lack of sprinklers and fire exits.
Visitors in the years since have regularly claimed to have heard a fire alarm going off in the early hours of the morning, at the precise time the 1946 fire first started.
Want to experience this haunted place in Georgia for yourself? Check rates for the Ellis Hotel on Booking.com!
READ MORE: The 25 Best Day Trips From Atlanta GA
4. Windsor Hotel
Built back in 1892, the Victorian-style Windsor Hotel is a haunted hotel located in the small town of Americus GA.
The story holds that a young girl and her mother, who was the original housekeeper, died in the hotel after being thrown down an elevator shaft. Their ghosts are said to haunt the hotel to this day.
This haunted hotel in Georgia is still open, but it’s now called the Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel.
Hotel guests have reported hearing bone-chilling screams in the hallways at all hours of the night.
The screams sound like those of a young girl and end quickly, as if she had reached the bottom of the elevator shaft.
If you want to visit one of Georgia’s most haunted places, check rates for the Windsor Hotel on Booking.com!
5. Moon River Brewing Company
Formerly known as the City Hotel, the building was used as a hospital during the Civil War and the Yellow Fever epidemic.
The hotel was also the location of a deadly shooting in 1832, when James Stark (a known drunk and frequent troublemaker) was shot by Dr. Phillip Minus.
Some locals say that Stark continues to be a nuisance nearly 200 years after death, haunting the guests and employees of Moon River.
The Savannah building has been featured on popular paranormal TV shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Breweries in Georgia
6. Oakland Cemetery
The Oakland Cemetery is a famous haunted location in Atlanta GA: It’s the oldest and largest burial ground in the city.
Founded in 1850, the cemetery is the final resting place of over 70,000 people, at least 3,000 of which are Confederate soldiers who died in bloody battle.
Some visitors have reported soldiers hanging from trees, or wandering the cemetery, calling out their names in a roll call.
From Confederate soldiers to victims of Yellow Fever, many people who have experienced traumatic deaths have been laid to rest in this Atlanta burial ground.
The haunted cemetery is one of the most haunted places in Atlanta, if not one of the scariest places in Georgia.
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours are a popular autumn tradition in Atlanta. They offer historical tours of Oakland Cemetery after dark on two weekends in late October, just a Georgia’s fall colors begin to peak.
7. Masquerade Nightclub
The former Masquerade Nightclub location on North Avenue is an old, haunted building that dates back to the 1890s.
The building was originally known as DuPre Excelsior Mill, then a pizzeria, before being turned into the Masquerade, one of our favorite haunted places in Atlanta, Georgia.
Many people have reported paranormal activity at the now-closed nightclub, which was once one of the most popular places in the city to see live concerts and music festivals.
Local legend suggests a woman died in an accident at the club, and you can still hear her screams when you’re standing inside the building at night. Others have reported cold spots appearing randomly throughout the club.
Though no one knows where he comes from, some visitors have even seen the apparition of a tall black man hanging around the historic building.
8. Old Candler Hospital
The Old Candler Hospital in the Savannah Historic District is arguably the most famous haunted hospital in Georgia.
It was built in 1804, making it the first hospital in Savannah and the second oldest operating hospital in the U.S.
Obviously many people have died in the Old Candler Hospital. But never more than during the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1820 and 1854, during which more than 1,700 locals succumbed to the disease.
Bodies of dead patients piled up in the underground morgue tunnel, where they waited to be taken to Forsyth Park.
The 300-year-old Candler Oak outside the hospital, which was commonly known as Savannah’s “hanging tree,” also has an extremely dark history.
Many Savannah locals have reported seeing ghostly apparitions hanging from the tree at night, or haunting the windows and underground tunnels of the hospital.
9. Marshall House
Built by Mary Marshall in 1851, the Marshall House is another one of the famous haunted hotels in Georgia.
Guests have reported hearing strange crashing sounds and smelling rotting flesh in the haunted hotel.
The Savannah hotel is one of many buildings in Georgia that were used as a hospital during the Civil War and Yellow Fever epidemics.
During renovations in the 1990s, workers found human remains that were believed to be the amputated limbs of Civil War soldiers.
Aside from the chilling sounds and smells, guests have also been plagued by spirits trying to turn their doorknobs from the outside. The 2nd and 4th floors are particularly notorious for paranormal activity.
If you want to experience the phenomena for yourself, check out the rates for the Marshall House on Booking.com.
READ MORE: The 15 Coolest Covered Bridges in Georgia
10. The Olde Pink House
The Olde Pink House, one of the most famous locations in Savannah, is known for being haunted by the ghost of its original owner.
James Habersham Jr., who built the home in 1789, died under suspicious circumstances.
The official cause of death was listed as “declining health,” but many believe that Habersham committed suicide after discovering his wife’s infidelity.
Even after the house was turned into one of the city’s most popular restaurants, he continued to haunt the building.
Employees of the haunted restaurant in Savannah report seeing tables and chairs that have been inexplicably straightened, or candles lit when no one was in the room.
They’d leave a room, only to return moments later to find the restaurant completely clean and organized. Sounds like a ghost who wants a share of the tips! -by Amy Lewis; featured image of Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta GA via Canva