FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Fear and thrill continue to provide goosebumps and haunt Forsyth County residents.
Tragic deaths and disturbing occurrences in the county’s beloved Foster House restaurant add a touch of mystery to the Southern charm already ingrained in its historic hearth. Known by many local families for its late-night thrills and childhood scares is the Legend of Booger Mountain. And nearly every longtime Forsyth resident has a tale of its looming illusion (or actual occurrence) that causes cars to be “pushed” uphill by alleged “slave spirits.”
Cemeteries also adorn the long list of hauntings reported in Forsyth County; Concord Baptist and Cumming Historic Cemetery each share a little girl ghost, though the latter also hosts another apparition.
But perhaps the most unknown is the location where hundreds of Forsyth County children spend their days, Coal Mountain Elementary School.
The Foster House
The soft, content murmur of hungry customers provides the Foster House outside Cumming Square with a hospitable atmosphere.
The circulating sound of scraping forks and served platters brings life to the 125-year-old residency.
But other happenings have provided evidence that people much older than the Sunday brunch crowd are lurking around the creaking floorboards of this historically tragic building.
Patricia Hamby, one of the restaurant’s owners, said most happenings occur in the Gold Room, though they are dispersed throughout the house.
Hamby reports having smelled pipe smoke when the house was empty; as does her daughter Amanda Davis and Amanda’s husband Jeff, both of whom also work at the restaurant.
Denise Roffe, paranormal investigator out of Atlanta, said a fork levitated over the edge of the table and then fell to the floor, and an empty chair skidded over to the general vicinity of a dining couple one night.
Jeff and Amanda Davis have also witnessed a broom standing up on its own in the doorway of a room in the kitchen.
The two also heard what sounded like a music box playing, only to have the sound stop after their attempt to investigate.
Amanda Davis has herself heard a whooshing of wind by her in the hallway, as well as her name being whispered in the empty kitchen.
Martha McConnell reports hearing with her husband Jimmy McConnell the sound of a slamming book in the Gold Room when it was empty.
She also has heard accounts of people seeing pictures straighten themselves on the wall.
But the Foster House isn’t complaining.
“If the ghosts are here, and it sure seems they are at times,” Amanda Davis said, “then I believe they are happy with us being here in their house. We always try to respect the house and the memories of the past people who lived here. We want to keep the ghosts happy if they are here.”
Coal Mountain Elementary School
There supposedly was an old maid’s home where Coal Mountain now sits, and several sightings of an elderly woman in a long lace white dress have been reported crossing the corridors of the school.
A milkman and a former principal have reported on separate occasions an eerie feeling when no one was around.
Constant tapping noises, along with doors continuously opening and closing would also interrupt people at the school when they were alone.
Cumming Historic Cemetery
Roffe, the paranormal investigator, has heard many a tale of the apparitions spotted in Cumming Historic Cemetery.
“The stories I’ve heard about the apparitions in the cemetery usually center around a man,” she said.
Roffe describes this man as tall, wearing a dark suit and hat and sporting a long white beard and a Bible. He’s usually seen around the middle of the cemetery.
The man walks through the cemetery and disappears.
There have also been reports of apparitions of a little girl in a pink dress.
The paranormal investigator also points out that there are mainly graves marked only with a cross in an area of the cemetery that were relocated from other cemeteries during the construction of Lake Lanier.
Overhanging onto Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, two large oak trees mark the site of an alleged double hanging of two slaves accused of murdering a little girl in the 1850s.
Others say the area contains a slave burial ground.
Though no solid evidence exists, Booger Mountain is a local legend that sparks fear in everyone who tries a hand at its potential hauntings.
Thrill-seekers are instructed to align the right tire with a telephone pole that forms a 90 degree angle with Tribble Gap Road, past Dr. Dunn Road.
Put the car in neutral. Assuming no cars are approaching, and it’s nighttime (of course), the car will be pushed up the hill.
The local lore also suggests powdering your hood with baby powder or flour.
Handprints supposedly mark where the said slaves have touched your car to get it away.
Concord Baptist Church Cemetery
Amidst the remnants of eroded stone slabs that lie propped against air in the Concord Baptist Church Cemetery, a woman one day saw a little girl.
The girl was playing in the midst of the cemetery.
There sits the oldest of tombstones, the most chilling epitaphs.
The woman began heading toward the little girl, into the oldest section of the cemetery. She feared the child was alone and lost in such a large expanse of graves.
But as she approached, the little girl turned and looked at her.
Then the little one disappeared.