Spirits at Ma White's Plantation Home

My great grandparents, Newton. A. White and Fannie White moved into an old plantation home which three families had lived before them. Conflicting dates place it's origin from 1848 to 1864. They moved their family to the home in 1919. This was also a historical landmark.

During the war-between-the-states, some of Sherman's troop's camped across the road from the home when the first family lived there.This was the Barber family. The man of the household back then was also a Judge (Judge W.C.Barber). During the night, as the soldiers camped , Mr. Barber took his family and feather beds and moved to the cellar. A cannonball was shot through the front of the home and traversed the hallway and left a hole in the wall at the back of the house large enough for a man to crawl through. A baby was born in the cellar during this time. The house was spared and not burned.

The story behind Mr. Barber is that he was a very wealthy man coming from a large plantation in Mississippi. His father was a well known man in that area and his son, Judge Barber, aforementioned, sometimes bid his time going to a special tavern where he passed out cigars to all the fellows and bought them drinks. They said he never went without his cigars. As I am writing, you will know why I mentioned the cigars later in my story, because when he moved to Georgia we think Judge W. C. Barber and family and maybe one or two of the other families that lived there before my great grandparents are still lingering around the premises until this day.

He had a very large family, more than one wife, most of which died, and several children. As the years went by, two more families lived on the plantation, and then my great grandparents. My great grandfather died as a result of an accident falling from the running board of a truck. My great grandmother lived to be 95 and raised several children and a grandchild in this same home. My grandfather, one of their children, as well as five generations of my family, lived there.

In the early 1970's, my father purchased the home after my great grandmother White died. Everyone called her Ma White. Before my father bought the home, my grandfather rented it to a couple of families before the estate sale when my father purchased the home. Neither family stayed there very long. They told my grandfather they heard loud noises upstairs, like furniture was being thrown up against the walls. It scared them so they moved. Same story with the other family also. Later when my father was renovating the plantation home something happened as the men were working in side. One of them was up on a ladder and felt a hand press firmly against his shoulder. He turned around and nothing was there. He told the others, and it scared them so bad, they took off to town.

I think they were also afraid to be in the house when working. After all renovations, we moved into the home when I was 16 years old. The spirits must have liked us for we didn't have any harmful experiences there.

The first night we moved in, the doorbell kept ringing and no one would ever be out on the wrap around porch. Later my nephew was sleeping upstairs and said he saw an opossum looking at him through the bedroom window. Two glowing eyes, which he thought to be an opossum. Once our maid got locked in the upstairs closet. She stayed in there for a long time until my mother heard her. She said the door shut behind her and the old original latch fell and locked in place. Wonder who locked her in? No one else was upstairs with her. Another time my grandparents were spending the night with us and I awoke hearing footsteps walking down the wide heart of pine foyer floor. It was loud footsteps. I got out of bed. My heart was racing. I called out to my grandmother thinking she could have gotten up during the night to use the restroom. She also had these loud sounding bedroom shoes she used to wear. When anyone walked across those pine floors it sounded loud. So I figured, her being sort of a heavy set woman and those bedroom shoes, it was her. She never answered me when I called her name. The noise stopped. So I went back to bed hearing nothing else during the night.

The next morning I asked her if she was up during the night and she said,"no". So then I wondered," who was that person I heard"?

We heard our creaks and little noises and many mornings one of the many entrance doors to our home would be unlocked. This was near where my great grandmother's company usually entered during visiting when I was a child. Her bedroom was the congregating room, because she always had a fire burning in there in the winter time and she spent many times going out that same entrance to the huge wrap around porch to sit in the swing and look out across her bottom lands where the crops used to be planted. The barns and creeks could also be seen, which she enjoyed as she sat in her rocker. Sometimes I wondered if it was her leaving in and out this door or maybe one of the other families (?) who lived there before her family.

As years went by my parents sold the homeplace in the 1980's. A year later the house burned to the ground and it was found out that it was an act of arson. One person said when it burned it was if you could here screeches and crying as the flames were pouring from every window. Also a man claimed to see a person looking out the upstairs window. This we don't have proof of this, but heard he saw it. My parents were called to the scene around 3:00 a.m. and watched "Fountainhead" burn. My Ma White named her home this when she lived there. The owners were not at home when this burned.

I am a very sensitive person. When I arrived at the scene later that same morning the house was burned completely to the ground. I could feel the presence of many spirits. The stench of burned 150 year old oak trees, remains of charred foundation bricks, and some wood planks, filled the air. Smoke was billowing up to the sky as small patches of flames still were glowing near every corners where the house stood. It was if there was mourning and a tremendous amount of grieving during this brief eye catching moment. I felt it very strongly. I almost fell to my knees from shock and then I broke down myself. It was if someone had died. Like a family member. One who was loved , treasured, and precious to many hearts. History was destroyed! My home had left my life. Our home was one of the most favourite places to visit when I was a child. All walks of life came to visit my Ma White and Pa White. It was a place to go to get away from your worries, returning home with a warm heart and a mindful thought that brought a smile to your face from something that was said. It was a heaven to play and explore for all children in the community and for all Ma White's grandchildren and great grandchildren of many. "Why",I cried. I wept like I've never wept before.

I had felt the presence of spirits when we moved and I went out one last time to look all inside the empty home. I could feel the house like it was pleading for me not to leave her. It was so strong. I've never felt anything that strong before in my life. My mother and I didn't want to leave, but my father wanted to move to town, so we had no choice. This was my mother's side of the family who lived here. It would still be standing I think if they had never moved. The spirits liked us. They didn't want us to leave. And now I was weeping and sharing their grief as we all screamed inside,"no,no, no!" All my descendants living grieved for a long time and it seemed my immediate family grieved for years around the time of the fire anniversary.

I still get tears in my eyes when I tell this story. My father bought back the land where the house stood and the remaining acres. Then my sister purchased the land from him. The old slave quarters and smoke house as well as my great grandfather's sheep house still stood. They escaped the fire.

So you see, pieces of the old plantation are still there. After they built there home where "Fountainhead" once stood, strange things started happening. My nephew was the first to encounter a spirit. He was out on their large back screened end porch facing the woods where the cemetery still stands. There are about 150 individuals buried there, including several slaves, and one Civil War soldier that we know of. There are many children buried there. All of a sudden he called for his mother, my sister. She also encountered this. There was the strongest odour of some type of flowers. This was also in the dead of winter. It happened at night. They were both shocked and stunned. Then the flower smell went away. This happened around Christmas time. They went inside and were frightened. A few days later my sister smelled it again. This time it was in the house. This aroma usually took place in her bedroom and once in her bathroom, adjoining her bedroom. Then it didn't happen again. The next year around Christmas time the fresh aroma of flowers came back again. It always, so to speak, "appeared" to her and no one else. Then it left again. During the following year her younger son smelled tobacco in the smokehouse. He called his father out there and he smelled it also. Then again there was a strong smell as if someone was smoking a pipe. My nephew said one time it smelled like cherry tobacco from the pipe. Every year the flowers came back around Christmas time like clock work.

Tobacco was smelled again on occasions during the following seasons after Christmas. Once my sister was asleep and she was awakened by the smell of flowers standing over her. She said it was so strong you could just feel it go through your nostrils. The whole family had gotten use to it even though the others didn't smell it, but her. This time it was frightening, but no one ever appeared to her.

As time went by her step-son began living with them. My sister's younger children had all sort of battery operated cars and trucks upstairs they played with. One night her step son was sleeping in the room with the toys. He woke up hearing a noise and noticed something racing across the floor. He turned on the light and it was one of the boys trucks. He picked it up. The switch was not turned on. He ran downstairs and slept on the sofa and never slept in that room again.

The cars or trucks never did that again, but something really strange happened the next year around New Years. The flowers had started coming at this time now instead of around Christmas time. The aroma even filled my sister's car as she was coming back home from work one morning. She said it was all in the car. She said this time it was a peaceful feeling and it didn't scare her. Then it went away before she got home.

One cold winter night they were waiting for the flower's aroma to return. Instead her husband had an encounter with a small child. He's a heavy sleeper, but that night he woke hearing a small child upstairs calling a "kitty". Their son's were older then and sleeping upstairs at this time. They also did have several cats and kittens around the farmplace. He got up and stood beside the bed and heard the child saying," here kitty, here kitty". Then he went to the foot of the stairs and heard the same phrase. As he made his way up the staircase the child got quiet. He turned on the lights in both his son's rooms and nothing was there. They were both sound asleep. He then went back to bed, but made sure he didn't hear this child again first. The next morning he told my sister and she asked their sons if they heard anything the night before or did they dream about cats or kittens, thinking maybe they were talking in their sleep. They both said no. Of course we all know that sometimes we can't remember our dreams. But her husband said this was a very small child's voice and he knew it had to be a spirit.

The last encounter they have had was a couple of years ago, then nothing else has happened again. My sister smelled a match in the den. Like someone had just struck a match. She had just had my great, great, grandparents charcoal drawings framed and was showing them to her oldest son. These were pictures of my great Pa White's parents. We don't know if he smoked, but could have been old Judge W. C. Barber since he liked cigars so well. The tobacco they smelled before had been suspected to of come from him after I talked with a Barber descendant and found out about the cigars. Of course any old gentlemen spirit could have been smoking. She called to her younger sons and said," You better not be striking matches in this house"! They weren't in the house at the time. She discovered they were outside.

One night around this same time frame, the whole family was sitting around the table having their evening dinner. A large gust of freezing cold air came from the front door, (and it was closed), then the air swept across the center of the table between them all, and went out the back door entrance. The back door was also closed. They all looked at each other and said, "Did you feel that?" This time they all felt some presence at the same time. Ever since then, they've been waiting for some thing or some spirit to return, but as far as I know, has not.

I would like to say this. During these years I tried to go over and video the house when the spirit usually arrived and my sister always kept her Polaroid camera loaded with film, but we never got a photo of anything. I stayed in one room talking to air for around 45 minutes and no show. I did have some rosewood oil that I let my sister smell later. She had tried to pinpoint the aroma for years thinking it might be a rose but she said had a different smell. When I let her smell the rosewood, she said,"that was it!" I wish I could have smelled it, but it liked my sister who ever it was. Was "he" bringing her roses of some kind thinking she was someone else? Or was it a "she", maybe a child, looking for it's mother? Or was it someone who died in the old plantation home and some grieving loved one was bringing flowers to lay on the corpse in a particular room? There was a spirit child involved, because of the kitty. And we know a man must of had the tobacco. But who carried the flowers? Believe it or not! This is a true story.

copyright-- Typed November 3, 1999 .

Submitted by Georgia, USA