GC’s haunted houses spook faculty

Lilia Starnes | Staff Writer | Oct. 30, 2019

Students may think that the Humber-White and Harrison houses are just two more historical houses in Milledgeville and nothing more, when in reality the neighboring houses are haunted by two prominent ghosts. 

One of the Lindrum sisters.
Courtesy of Bob Wilson

Just before the Civil War, the Lindrum sisters made their way from upstate New York all the way down to Milledgeville. It is unknown the reasoning behind the northerners move to the south, but once the war ended the skilled dressmakers opened up their very own dress shop. 

In that period their niece, Nancy, followed in their footsteps and moved down south to Milledgeville. In the short time frame of when she moved, she also was engaged to Sanford. 

After Nancy and Sanford got married, they had their first and last child, Katie. In the small town of Milledgeville, Katie was well known and well-liked as a young child. 

When Katie was around two her mother, Nancy, passed away from a lethal illness. Her widow Sanford remarried and had a son with his new wife, but then there was little Katie. 

Katie Sanford
Courtesy of Bob Wilson

“Precocious and bright, Katie was a mini socialite and even acted in plays at the age of four,” said Bob Wilson, campus historian. “Her great aunts, the Lindrum sisters, were very fond of her and took a great interest in her.” 

Like her mother, Katie also died at a young age. When she was only five-years-old, she passed away from the croup in her great aunts’ house, the Humber-White house. Struck by sadness, the Lindrum sisters could not deal with the loss of Katie and ended up selling their house a few years later. 

With the Lindrum sisters back in New York, Katie still remained in Milledgeville. 

“The administrative assistant of the Harrison House began to notice odd little things,” said Wilson. “In the corner of her office, she would notice five little pennies that would get rearranged on the floor like something a child would do.” 

The bordering house, the Harrison House also has a similar grim past, this time dating in 1979. Local resident, Mary Virginia Harison grew up and attended Georgia State College for Women while living in Milledgeville. 

“She was bright and clever but you didn’t cross her,” said Wilson. 

Mary Virginia Harison
Courtsey of Bob Wilson

Once Mary Virginia graduated in 1946, she found herself in Washington, D.C. working for the intelligence office. After a failed marriage, she moved back to Georgia and quickly re-married a man from Vidalia, GA. 

“He was stable enough and could handle her moods,” said Wilson. 

The happy marriage soon went awry when her husband passed away. 

After the loss of her husband, Mary Virginia moved back to Milledgeville and returned to her childhood home with her aging mother. 

One day her mother had some guests over, and while they were there, she tried to get rid of a small handgun she would use for killing snakes. With no new home for the small pistol, Mary Virginia thoughtlessly took the gun and ran to the back of the house and down the stairs to the large Magnolia tree that still stands behind the Harrison House. In a single motion, Mary Virginia took the gun and shot herself. 

As time passed and life around Milledgeville continued, Mary Virginia and little Katie also continued. Stories have been told of sightings of a young girl with ringlet curls and Victorian style dress. 

“I would probably cry, pray and cry,” said Kendall Award, a junior psychology major. “Then [I would]go to church to make sure the demon isn’t inside me.”

On the other hand, some would prefer it never happened at all and assume they fabricated the appearance.

“If I were to ever run into one visually I would probably just assume that I made it up in my head, but I’m not sure what I would do specifically,” said Marissa Augello, sophomore art major.

Wilson, who can’t confirm whether his experience was related to paranormal activity, had a strange encounter one evening while he was working in the Harrison House. When unloading some boxes in his office, all three doors to the room slammed in unison. 

Bang, Bang, Bang.

“I was a little unnerved,” said Wilson. “I introduced myself and said my name and that I was a teacher in the history department and that I was only going to be there for a year and that I am very quiet.” 

After Wilson’s polite introduction, he was not disturbed for the rest of the year until it came time for his departure. 

A year later, Wilson was taking his books off the bookshelves and packing up his boxes. While Wilson was resting for a moment at his desk, a waft of nice perfume came into the air. 

“I walked into the hallway and it was gone and I walked back into my room and it came back,” said Wilson. “Number one I had the sense that she was saying goodbye to me and number two that she liked me”