Courtland, Alabama - "The Family Remains"

Two miles west of Courtland, Alabama, is the plantation of the Saunders Family. Mrs. Saunders was positive that it was haunted due to clanking of chains from the basement, relentless tapping in different rooms, and an overall sense of being watched. Finally she faced up to her fears and said, "Either speak up, or go away and leave me alone," she shouted to an empty room. A small voice answered her with, "Do not be doubting for I am truly here."

Later that same day she saw a woman in a billowing petitcoat from the old South standing at the bottom of the stair case. Thinking that it was a woman involved in the Courtland centennial celebration that had gotten into the mansion without knocking, she went to shake the woman's hand but she vanished. Mrs. Saunders knew then that it was the family ghost proving that she was "truly there."

Today all that remains of her home, Courtland's Rocky Hill Castle, is the hard-packed earth where the house stood and the faded outline of the foundation. The most distinct part of the castle was the Gothic tower.

It is rumored that it was used for illicit slave trading during the Civil War. There was supposedly a tunnel going from the Tennessee River to the basement of the mansion. Slaves were brought from ships on the river through the tunnel to the Saunderses' property, where they were put to work in the fields.

Mr. Saunders decendants lived in the castle till 1926 when the property was sold to two Courtland businessmen. It was only lived in periodically until the 1940s, years of neglect degraded the mansion from its earlier beauty.

An older black man stayed in a cabin near the mansion and would keep watch over it. Several times he said that he heard the piano playing by itself. At about the same time, another ghostly resident was heard from. The "lady in grey," a woman who reportedly lived in the mansion in the 1920s. She and her two children drowned when the bridge they were on collapsed. Their spirits have been seen many times on the road leading from the creek to Rocky Hill Castle, even after the mansion had fallen apart. All that remains today is a small pathway, a few bricks, and the ghosts of a southern lady, a mother and her children.