ROCKY HILL CASTLE

(Rocky Hill)

US Route 72 Alternative (Joe Wheeler Hwy) Near County Road 585, courtland, al

Status: Former Residence; Completely Demolished; New House on Property

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Alex Bush, Photographer - Historic American Buildings Survey,Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS [or HAER or HALS].


History

This grand plantation was built by James Saunders, a lawyer, who tore down the existing home on the site to build his dream home. Construction was begun in 1858 but was halted (with the mansion nearly completed) when the American Civil War broke out.

During the war the home was used a hospital for Confederate soldiers and many of the soldiers who died are buried in the Saunders family cemetery (Rocky Hill Cemetery) which lies nearby.

Mr Saunders completed his plantation after the war ended and then passed away in 1896. The last member of the Saunders family to own the property abruptly abandoned it in the 1920′s; it is rumored that they fled from paranormal activity.

After that the land was farmed; but no one else lived in the house, and it fell into disrepair.

In 1961 the owners stripped everything out of the home of value and had the buildings demolished as they had degraded to a condition impossible to be used as a residence.

For a number of years the ruins of the property could be found on the site of the house; they gained quite the reputation for the paranormal.

There is now no sign of Rocky Hill and a modern house stands on the property.

 

Paranormal Activity

The first ghost to appear was that of the architect who built the house. The Saunders has refused to pay his large bill and shortly after his death his apparition appeared in the basement, and he began pounding on the foundation – the pounding continued until the house was torn down.

Apparently, death is not a cure for anger at having been cheated.

The architect’s apparition is still occasionally seen on the property.

The apparitions of Confederate soldiers have been seen on the grounds since the end of the Civil War. They are still reported wandering the grounds.

The “Lady In Blue” still haunts the ruins; she is a southern belle from times lost in the mists who is said to be looking for her lost lover and first appeared on the staircase to the wine cellar when the house still stood.

There is also the apparition of a very aggressive male figure whose encounter with the last Mrs Saunders in a bedroom is said to have been what caused the family to flee in the 20′s.

The apparitions of slaves who are said to have been tortured to death are also reported.

Other Reported Activity: phantom footsteps; disembodied voices; light anomalies; mysterious mists; feelings of unease and of being watched and unexplained knocks and bangs.