May 26, 2024
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looking through a circle made by two trees with a string of shoes and the film set of Spectre in the background in Alabama

Ghost Towns in Alabama to Get Your Spook On

Let’s dive into these spooky ghost towns in Alabama, shall we?  For Halloween fans, when the leaves turn and there’s a cool breeze in the air, we can’t help but get excited. However, there’s more to the fun than just costume parties and carving pumpkins, right? There’s an enchanting allure in venturing into a ghost town – a realm suspended in time, brimming with untold stories waiting to resurface!

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Ghost Towns in Alabama

black and white photo of many arches and doorways one after the other in Alabama

This Halloween, I’m exploring our sweet home Alabama…a state steeped in history. Hopefully, you’re as stoked as I am about finding hidden gems in my home state. So, I’ve put together a list of the best ghost towns in Alabama for your spooky pleasure!

Ghost Town Scare Ratings
👻 Eerie-It’s all good.
👻👻 Thrilling-Ummm…
👻👻👻 Chilling-I’m outta here!

Old Cahawba (👻👻👻)

old rundown house in Cahaba Alabama with frayed boards and broken bricks against greenery and a blue sky

When you ask folks about famous ghost towns in Alabama, Cahaba, or Old Cahawba, often pops up first. It’s nestled in Dallas County, right in the heart of Alabama, and it has quite a story to tell.

From 1820-1826, Cahaba wore the crown as Alabama’s capital, making it a bustling place. With around 3,000 folks calling it home, they were all about cotton…and it was booming!

Unfortunately, things took a turn after the Civil War. Floods kept coming and railroads disappeared. Slowly but surely, people started leaving. This is how Cahaba became an Alabama ghost town.

During the Civil War, Cahaba Federal Prison held about 3,000 enslaved individuals. Even now, there’s a resting place for them though many of the graves don’t have markers.

old rundown school house in Cahaba Alabama with green trees surrounding it

You can still see old slave quarters, cemeteries, abandoned buildings, and crumbling houses that hold echoes of Cahaba’s tough past.

Whether you’re hiking along beautiful nature trails, picnicking with a stunning view of the Alabama River, casting a line for some fishing, or just birdwatching, Cahaba’s got a bit of everything. It’s actually prettiest in the fall season too!

So, while there’s a ghostly side to Cahaba, it’s also a place that wants you to enjoy its natural beauty and heritage. Since the fall is its prettiest season, it’s definitely worth a road trip!

  • Visit Cahaba

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: 9518 Cahaba Road, Orrville, Alabama 36767

Bellefonte (👻👻)

double nuclear reactors against trees and a hazy sky

Bellefonte, tucked away in Jackson County, came to life in 1821 with just 200 friendly faces calling it home. Nestled in the northeast of Alabama, this charming town had big dreams, especially with the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Station nearby, promising a bright future.

But as time rolled on, the county seat moved, and Bellefonte felt the pinch. Like many towns hit by the Civil War’s aftermath, it lost businesses and residents.

Still, in its heyday, Bellefonte was a place where some of Alabama’s top lawyers, doctors, and politicians hung their hats. Though, in less than four decades, it went from bustling to a quiet echo of its past.

Hey, it’s not all sad news! Today, Bellefonte’s story lives on thanks to the Jackson County Historical Association. They’re doing a stellar job preserving the historic Bellefonte Cemetery, a beautiful tribute to the town’s founders, perched atop this charming village.

When you step into Bellefonte, it’s like taking a stroll back in time. As you climb those forested stairs, you’ll discover the cherished cemetery where clusters of graves share whispers of days gone by.

  • Visit Bellefonte Cemetery

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: Bellefonte Cemetery, Scottsboro, Alabama 35769

Arcola (👻👻)

Next on my list of ghost towns in Alabama is Arcola, a town perched on the banks of the Black Warrior River, in what’s now Hale County. It had its beginnings in 1820, when French immigrants sought refuge in this remote Western corner.

At the time, this town was a bustling hub, all thanks to its strategic spot along the river—a vital route for trade and cotton commerce. However, with the arrival of American settlers and the crisscrossing railroads, the cotton trade dwindled, and Arcola’s once-thriving population slowly faded away.

What’s left of this town today feels like a scene from a chilling horror movie. Amongst those gnarled branches, one ominous presence stands out—the infamous Alfred Hatch Place, known locally as the ‘Half-House.’

This plantation was constructed in 1855 and once belonged to Alfred Hatch, a figure with a shadowy history. Hatch was notorious for enslaving over 200 people, leaving behind a sinister legacy that will send shivers down your spine.

  • Visit Arcola

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: Arcola, Alabama 36742

Blakeley (👻👻👻)

swamp lake with a wooden edge of a deck and a huge, old tree hanging out over the water

Down in Baldwin County, Southwest Alabama is a must-see for all you true enthusiasts of the eerie out there. Blakely, founded back in 1814, was once a thriving community surrounded by the beauty of nature. It’s not just one of Alabama’s oldest towns, it’s also where one of the last Civil War battles in the state played out.

Today, Blakely’s ghostly remains are kept alive in Blakely State Park. While exploring this place, you’ll stumble upon Baldwin County’s very first courthouse, a piece of history that’ll make your imagination run wild.

And just nearby, there’s the famous “hanging tree,” where folks met a pretty grim fate after hearings at the courthouse.

Venture further, and you’ll come across the “Hiding Tree,” a place where Confederate soldiers sought refuge during the brutal battle. The air here feels slightly unnerving, since it’s a stark reminder that people have perished on the very soil you’re standing on.

On a positive note, guess what? It’s a steal to get in with a mere $4 fee for adults, $2 for veterans, and $3 for the kiddos.

  • Visit Blakeley

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: 34745 Alabama State Highway 225, Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Battelle (👻👻👻)

Battelle, up in North Alabama, was once a bustling mining town community nestled in DeKalb County. But let me tell you, this place has a spine-tingling story to share, so brace yourself if you plan to visit.

First and foremost, I want to stress that visiting Battelle isn’t for the faint-hearted, and securing permission is an absolute must. The only road leading to the town is privately owned.

Even if you receive permission, the conditions of the roads and the hike aren’t conducive to safety and therefore not advisable.

However, for those intrepid souls who dare to explore further…there could be hidden treasures such as the remnants of coke ovens from a bygone era.

Now, Battelle isn’t just any old Alabama ghost town. Nope, it comes with a hair-raising ghost tale. 

Legend has it that a man working near the fiery furnaces met a truly terrifying end as he plunged into a vat of molten iron. They say you can still hear his screams echoing through the silence of Battelle to this very day…

  • Visit Batelle Historical Marker

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: On Winston Street at Sulphur Springs Road in Valley Head, Alabama 35989

Spectre (👻)

looking through a circle made by two trees with a string of shoes and the film set of Spectre in the background in Alabama

If the last ghost town gave you the creeps, don’t worry…Spectre is here to bring some fun and fantasy into the mix. Unlike the other ghost towns in Alabama, this one is a made-up town that’s just a stone’s throw away from Montgomery.

You’ll find it on Jackson Lake Island, snuggled in Elmore County in Central Alabama. And, it’s not just any island, it’s private and it packs a unique experience.

closer up photo of the shoes that are all tied up on a line and the "welcome to spectre" sign in Alabama

Remember the movie Big Fish? Well, Spectre is the whimsical town they created just for that film. As soon as you step in, you’ll spot the famous sight of shoes hanging between two poles, giving it a quirky vibe.

Here’s the best part. It only costs $3 to soak in all the enchantment and even try activities like fishing, kayaking, or camping. Spectre has six five (one lost in a fire in July 2023) adorable houses and a charming little church. Undeniably, the real stars here are the lovable goats that will melt your heart!

closeup of a brown goat munching on green grass on Jackson Lake in Alabama

Sure, the houses are just fronts; however, the moss-covered trees around them make for some seriously Instagram-worthy photos. More than just a cute and quirky spot, Spectre is a perfect blend of family-friendly fun with a delightful touch of spookiness!

  • Visit Spectre

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: Dirt road near Cypress Lane, Millbrook, Alabama 36054

Fort Morgan (👻👻👻)

aerial view of Fort Morgan in Alabama surrounded by sand and green and aqua waters

Fort Morgan isn’t your typical town. It’s more like a community down in Mobile County, in South Alabama. Originally built by the U.S. Army to fend off British attacks, it saw some action during the War of 1812.

old arches and doorways in red and orange brick with worn parts and green stuff growing on it

Now, most abandoned places keep their secrets hidden until the cover of night, but not Fort Morgan. Here, they say there’s an otherworldly presence that sticks around all day long and you can still hear echoes of burning fires and cannon blasts in the air.

The kicker? It’s rumored to be one of Alabama’s eeriest battle sites. So, if you’re up for a hair-raising adventure, this might be just the place for you!

  • Visit Fort Morgan

    for more information, pricing, hours of operation, and a full list of activities. GPS: Fort Morgan, Alabama 36542

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Pinterest graphic of white and black arches and doorways and the article title overlay
Pinterest graphic with an old church surrounded by green trees against a blue sky and the article's title overlay

This wraps up my virtual tour of ghost towns in Alabama. I’m bubbling with excitement to visit more of them in person this fall season. While some of these still remain on my personal Alabama Bucket ListI’m eagerly anticipating the thrill of uncovering their mysteries and embarking on adventures that promise to be unforgettable!

Which spooky spot from Alabama’s past would you explore first? Have you ventured into any of these ghost towns in Alabama? Share your eerie tales with me below!

Heather

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