Gainesville Ghost Tours

Gainesville’s Got Spirt!

Welcome to Gainesville, Georgia, where history comes alive… and sometimes stays that way! Embark on a ghostly adventure with Blackstrap Rock Hall’s new ghost tours, where kids and adults alike can discover the spooky side of our charming town. Get ready for an evening of gasps and maybe a friendly ghost or two as we explore the haunted tales that make Gainesville unforgettable!


The Blackstrap Rock Hall Ghost tour is an amazing collaboration of heavy metal and history with the Longstreet Society, a historian group centered around the Civil War era! The mix of the crowd was wildly diverse and included heavy metal rockers, local university students and couples on dates! My date for the evening was my teen daughter, who at first was reluctant about going with me, but caved in for the chance of a frozen coffee beverage afterward…

Our adventure began at Blackstrap Rock Hall, with live music and incredible guitar riffs happening on stage! We waited until a gentleman dressed in vintage steampunk attire gathered everyone outside.

We began walking down towards the train station, now an Amtrack stop, led by our guides carrying old lanterns. It was a crisp night, the streets were dimly lit, and the tone was set! As we walked along, we were told stories about sightings of General James Longstreet greeting guests on the train platform, Agnes Galloway a spirit that haunts Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium, and the old cotton mills where children and spirits of workers past still remain to tease those that enter the building.

The stories were more interesting than scary and included history of the area and the tragedies that struck Gainesville, including the 5th deadliest tornado, a huge factory fire, and tragic deaths of workers in the old mill. I personally enjoyed the mix of ghost fables and actual history, and my daughter asked several times if “this really happened” and it was great that she was able to learn about some of the history of where we live and actually be in a spot where it occurred!

Our walk led us to the Piedmont Hotel, now a historic museum with artifacts from General James Longstreet. We were greeted by Richard Pilcher, who oversees the museum, and he welcomed us into the hotel. The floors creaked and the shiplap walls, artifacts, photos and furniture really gave the late 1800’s vibe. Richard shared stories of General Longstreet and I was intrigued to learn some interesting facts about Longstreet which included championing for women’s rights and women’s education and supporting and fighting for African-Americans rights, particularly supporting their rights to be part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Police Force. The most interesting was that Piedmont Hotel is suggested to be the birthplace of FRIED CHICKEN and that people from all over would come to the hotel to try his breaded creation. This leads back to the train station platform where it’s been said Longstreet can be seen in the fog waving guests to the Piedmont Hotel for some delicious friend chicken!

We departed the Piedmont Hotel, after a few minutes of exploring rooms where Woodrow Wilson’s children once played and hearing some other great stories, that you’ll have to find out for yourself. As we made our way back to Blackstrap, our guides and even people on the tour shared their personal ghostly experiences in Gainesville.

I’m not a big paranormal fan and I’m more of a skeptic, but the tour was definitely a great way to spend an hour doing something I normally wouldn’t do. I’d recommend this as a fun date night and age appropriate for teens if you want something cool to do with them. While at the Piedmont, be sure to listen out- you may hear some strange noises or objects rolling around- we did!


Want to share your story? Please contact Explore Gainesville Staff!

Lauren Shubert
Welcome Center Manager (770) 297-5477