Surrency, Georgia Ghosts

Note: Mr. Lindenstruth sounds interesting
 The Appling County Mystery
 Ghosts, Hobgoblins and Unseen Spirits to the Front- Crockery, Pottery, Glassware and Butcher knives, Ears of Corn, Smoothing irons and Books Jumping Around the Floor. – The Old Family Clock and Red Hot Brickbats -Five Hundred People on the Grounds- Full and Complete Particulars.\
  On Saturday Afternoon it will be remembered we published a brief paragraph stating that strange and supernatural manifestations had taken place at a house at No. 6, Macon and Brunswick Railroad.
  Passengers coming up on the train were greatly excited about it and represented the great excitement prevailed in that immediate neighborhood as induced as far distant asthe reports had reached. Determined to find out the exact facts in regard to the matter, we detailed a special reporter to the scene of operations and will now lay before our readers the
Full Particulars  as detailed to us by him.
    Taking the Brunswick train Saturday night, in the company of Mr. Mason and Mr. Campbell of Macon, who were going down for the same purpose, Our reporter Mr. Peter Lindenstruth, arrived at the point of destination alittle after 4, o’clock, Sunday Morning.
No. 6 Surrency
    Getting off the train they found no one in the place as yet up. but going to the house of Mr. A.P. Surrency, they were admitted to a vacant room the fire in which had nearly died out.
    We may as well remark here that the town, or Depot, of Surrency consists only of a station house, one or two places of business and the residence of the gentleman from which it takes its name. It is situated in Appling County about 126 miles from Macon and about 60 from Brunswick. Mr. Surrency is a gentleman well to do in the world and universally regarded as one of the most honorable citizens of the county, and it would seem that his house would be the last one ghosts would select in which to play mischief.
The First Brick
    Mr. Lindenstruth finding the fire nearly out went to the wood pile to get something to make it up. While returning he heard a heavy thud upon the floor of another room, as if something heavy had fallen. Thinking some member of the family had arisen, he paid no more attention to it. But subsequent events convinced him that was the first brick thrown by the ghosts or whatever agency is at work on the premises, as no member of the family had as yet got up.
What Mr. Surrency Says:
      Soon after daylight Mr. Surrency came into the room, and after giving his guests a hearty welcome, proceeded to tell from the beginning what had taken place up to that time.
      On Friday evening, a short while before dark, the family was greatly alarmed by sticks of wood flying into the house and falling about the floor from directions they could tell nothing about, and without any human agency they could see or find out. The wood would fall before being seen, and what made the mystery still more mysterious, the room into which the wood was falling had all its doors and windows closed. This was in the front room.
        Soon after dark they stopped falling and was succeeded by brickbats which fell at short intervals throughout the night in every room of the house. Mr. Surrency, his wife, two grown daughter, Mr. Roberts, a clerk, and a Baptist minister by the name of Blitch were present, and with the exception of the minister who got on his horse and left, they all remained awake the whole night. Notwithstanding the windows and doors were tightly closed and no opening left in any potion of the house, these brickbats continued to fall, but although sometimes missing not one struck any person.
Bottles and Glass take a Hand
            Soon after the bricks commenced falling, bottles, vases, and glassware generally commenced jumping from unusual place, falling and breaking. Mr. Surrency seeing the destruction going on directed a negro man to take four bottles containing kerosene oil out of the house and place them in the yard. No sooner than he set them down when one flew back, fell in the middle of the room, scattering the oil in every direction. The whole family saw this. It seemed to come down from the ceiling overhead, and indeed everything else falling did so perpendicular- that is to say came down from above.
       These strange antics continued with scarcely one minutes, interruption until daylight Saturday morning, when the ceased, leaving the house nearly bankrupt in crockery and glassware and a large quantity of brickbats and billets of wood around the floor.
      That afternoon, or on Saturday, 19th, they commenced again pretty much in the same matter of doing about what had taken place the night previously. The family, which had now been joined by many neighbors, watched every nook and corner of the house, to detect and if possible to unravel the mystery. But so quickly would pitchers, tumblers, books and a=other articles jump from their positions and dash to the floor the eye could not follow, and broken fragments were the first things seen, except in open instance, and that was a pan of water and some books; they were seen to start.
      Chairs, shoes and clothing, were tumbled about the house, as if the hand of a veritable witch or unseen devil was present. But the greatest mystery and most inexplicable incident of this day was the escape of a lot of ordinary clothes hooks from a locked bureau drawer remaining tightly closed, as usual. Nothing else of special note occurred to-day. All got quiet at 8 1/2 o’clock Saturday night.
 The Operations Of Sunday
   As stated above our special reporter arrived before daybreak and heard the story of Mr. Surrency as above related. So soon as he got through with it he stepped up to the
 Old Family Clock
and was about relating ho rapidly the hands had traveled around the dial when the ghosts were about, on the previous day. All eyes were turned to it and much to their astonishment the hands commenced running around at a rate of about five hours a minute. It was a 30 hour weight clock, and after seeing it run at this rate for a short time while our reporter, who was a watchmaker by profession employed at the store of Mr. J.H. Otto on Fourth Street, determined to at least solve this mystery as it was directly in his line. He stopped the clock, carefully examined the machinery and found it not only in perfect order but nothing whatsoever unusual inside or out. He could not for the life of him see the slightest thing wrong about it.
The Magnet Theory
   It has been suggested that their may be a large magnet about or under the house, but magnets do not attract wooden substances and besides, while the clock was running at this rapid rate, Mr. Lindenstruth had his watch in his pocket, which kept on in its usual way and was not in the least affected. He set the clock right, when it continues to keep correct time up till the time he left.
A Red Hot Brickbat
   Nothing else unusual occurred until 17 minutes before 12 o’clock, when the performances re-opened by a pair of scissors jumping from the table on to the floor. At that time Mr. Lindenstruth was sitting in a chair when, without the slightest premonition a large brickbat fell with great force right beside him breaking in two. He immediately picked up a piece of it and handed it to Mason and both found t hot. Then taking up the other piece he tried two r three times to break it by throwing it on the floor, but failed. He then laid this second half on the sill of the window in the room intending to bring it home. Resuming his seat near the front stoop, he was again startled by the piece he had placed on the window falling at his feet and once more breaking into two pieces. He did not pick it up again.
  At 12 o’clock, a smoothing iron jumped from the fire place about six feet itno the room. It was replaced and again jumped out. He noticed that the iron was hot but this may have been heated by the fire.
A Shower of Corn
    At about this time dinner was announced, when the family and many guests walked out to the table. Soon after being seated an ear of corn, appeared from the ceiling overhead, fell between Mr. James Campbell, of Macon and Mrs. Surrency; striking the floor with great force it broke in tow, scattering the grains all around the room. Later in the day another ear of corn fell in another room, striking near Mrs Burns, a northern lady, who at the time had an infant in her arms.
   Soon after this whilst Mr. D.M. McGaulley, Allen Walls, Robert R. Presstall,C.C. Eason. John M. Walls, J.W. Roberts and Daniel Carter of that neighborhood, and Campbell. Lindenstruth and Mason were standing in the front room, a chamber glass was smashed into fifty pieces in the centre of the room. They were at the time intently watching everything visible in the room, but none saw this until after the vessel was broken.
 The Excitement – Extra Trains
  So rapidly had the news spread and so great was the excitement, the Macon and Brunswick Railroad dispatched an extra train on Sunday. It arrived at Surrency about three o’clock in the afternoon, with seventy five people on board.
  But the ghosts, spirits, or whatever else the might be called, did not choose to give them any manifestations, and the train left in about an hour, taking most of them back. A few remained, however, determined to see into the matter. There were at least three or four hundred persons on the grounds during Sunday, and up to the time our reporter left fully five hundred had visited the place.
Other signs and Wonders
    While all these things were going on in the house, the kitchen department was by no means idle. butcher knives, pots, skillets and crockery ware were falling around loose to the terror and horror of the cook.
      Another mysterious thing  occurred on the first or second day. Little piles of sugar totally unlike anything of the kind then used by the family were found upon the floors of he residence. In some of these a few pins and a steel pen were found. There were various other incidents or this totally incomprehensible mystery related to and seen by our reporter, but enough had already been given.
What is it
        No one who has as yet visited the place can give any rational theory as to the agency which produces these strange sights. Mr. Surrency is a plain, old fashioned Georgia gentleman and is greatly annoyed and disgusted wit the whole proceedings. he promptly refused compensation from any of the two or three hundred persons who had eaten at his table. If they are produced by magnets, they must be of a different kind from any ever known.
      We must leave the question to someone else for solution.
      At this point our Macon party left people were coming in from all directions, and we presume the excitement continue to-day unabated.
1. Union and Recorder, Oct. 30, 1872 — page 1

The Fraid of New Hope Church



STORIES of THE WAR How a Modest country church became famous

The FRAID of NEW HOPE CHURCH How which made a soldier mad – queer breastworks on both sides- an interesting batch of stories for Sunday reading. For the Constitution

A little over twenty years ago there stood by the roadside, In Paulding County, a modest country church – a plain framed structure, wherein country people went on Sunday, to hear the gospel of peace proclaimed. Across the road was a quit graveyard where the rude forefathers of the hamlet slept. One day a great transformation came. Joe Johnston’s batteries were planted in the graveyard and New Hope Church was torn down and put into confederate breastworks. And Sherman came over the craggy paths with glittering bayonets and brassy cannons reflecting the rays of the sun; with banners waving thick almost as the leaves of summer time and thousands upon thousands of troops marching to martial music. And the quiet graveyard shook with the reverberation of cannon and the ground round about was dyed with blood until the out of the way spot was fit to be famous and historians could write of the great battle of New Hope Church, Today the new church stands on the spot, a handsome building than the old the graveyard is as quiet as it was before Johnston batteries disturbed its repose, and day by day the wrinkles made by war are growing fainter and fainter.

The Fraid of New Hope Church

Have you heard of the “Fraid” of New Hope Church? The night was dark as the troops of Hardee’s corps, four abreast, and stretching for a mile marched along the highway from one part of the memorable battlefield to another. It was ten 0’clock, The stillness was broken only by the tramp of innumerable feet and the rattle of canteens against bayonets. Suddenly the air ten feet overhead, burst the crashing and clashing of a cavalry battle. In midair was the sound of rushing chargers, the cling of saber meeting saber, the roar, the din, everything save the shouts and groans. It was a veritable battle of spirits fought in the darkness just above the confederate column, and quick as a flash terror seized Hardee’s men. The great line parted in wild confusion, the soldiers dashed into the woods, pursued by visions of Death on the Pale Horse, until weak from fright many of them sank to the ground. The horror of those brief seconds! It was not the crash of shells and the rattle of musketry as men met men in daylight, but the unseen battle of spirits in the air! It was clash as ghost met ghost. No wonder faces blanched and knees smote each other as ears heard what eyes could not see. After a time the noise died away, the officers rallied the men and the march was resumed. The soldiers called it “The fraid of New Hope Church,” and speak of it to this day as one of the most awful experiences of the war. It is thought the “fraid” was caused by some unusual commotion somewhere along the line, and the cavalry battle was the echo of clashing scabbards. Curious Breastworks “M Quad,” whose “Field, Fleet and Fort” is one of the most interesting war books ever written, tells an interesting story of a strange breastwork. It is of how the Confederate General McCulloch in 1863 attacked the federals at Willikens bend. Six hundred mules were secured and each soldier advanced behind a mule, thus sheltered by a living breastwork. As soon as the mules came under fire they reared, plunged and kicked so that they were a source of danger instead of safety. The mules were a failure as breastworks. The federals thought the mule business was a very good joke on the confederates, but here is one to match it. At New Hope Church some military genius conceived the idea of breaking the confederate line by driving a big herd of beeves against it. One night about ten o’clock, when it was very dark, the beeves were massed and the federals who were to follow got ready to move. The confederates ” caught on” as the Arabs say, and opening their line, allowed the beeves to pass through and then closing devoted themselves to holding the federals in check. In that the were entirely successful. The confederates enjoyed the federal beef and were willing to take more at the same price.

Which Made Him Mad.

During the New Hope Campaign a Confederate soldier was captured by several federals, and as the confederate had been fighting furiously, he was not in the best of humor. He chafed to think he was a prisoner, and chancing to ask several questions was invariably met with the monosyllable “which,” and would have to repent his questions. The federal habit of saying “which” every time the confederate made a remark nettled the prisoner until in a fit of exasperation, he exclaimed: ” Look here! I don’t mind being a prisoner, but I’ll be —-! if I intend to be taken away by any —-! —-!! Yankee —-!—-!—-! who every time I say something, says “which!””which!” With all his strength, the prisoner knocked the “which” man over end, and breaking into a run, escaped before the federals could recover from their surprise.

The Tree of Death on New Hope Battlefield was a tree upon which the soldiers nailed the inscription “Tree of Death,” Seven federals were killed behind the tree by confederate sharpshooters. The tree was in advance of the federal line and was about three hundred yards from the confederate works. It was used by federal skirmishers who would stand behind it and load and then step out and fire. Confederate sharpshooters went along the confederate line for nearly a mile in each direction and then being so far from the side of the tree they could see behind it, by a cross firing made it dangerous to stand behind the tree as to stand in front of it. Seven federals were killed behind the tree, and it became known as the Tree of death.

Hell Hole at New Hope Church


1. STORIES OF THE WAR.: HOW A MODEST COUNTRY CHURCH BECAME FAMOUS. The The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945); Jan 2, 1887; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945) Page 16


3. The “Hell Hole” – Battlefield of New Hope Church, from Barnard’s Photographic Views of the Sherman Campaign 

4. Original Caption: Battlefield, New Hope Church, Ga., 1864, showing Confederate entrenchments.
U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 111-B-535
From:: Series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes, (Record Group 111)
Photographer: Brady, Mathew, 1823 (ca.) – 1896 Coverage Dates: ca. 1860 – ca. 1865
Subjects: American Civil War, 1861-1865 Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.)
Persistent URL:
Repository: Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001. For information about ordering reproductions of photographs held by the Still Picture Unit, Reproductions may be ordered via an independent vendor. NARA maintains a list of vendors
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted
Use Restrictions: Unrestricted




Captain Delano of the schooner Eagle, arrived here on Saturday from Turtle River, has furnished us with the following particulars the truth of which he declares himself willing, with his whole crew to make affidavit. On Monday, 22nd Instant at 10 o’clock A. M. when about one mile ins side St. Simon’s Bar, endeavoring to beat out observed at a distance of three hundred yards, a large object resembling an Alligator, occasionally moving along the same course with the vessel, and at time lying nearly motionless upon the service. Captain Delano finding himself like to approach very close to this strange visitor, charged a musket with a ball, and tacked so as to run within 20 to 25 yards of him. – at a moment when he was lying perfectly still , and apparently unconcerned, Captain Delano took deliberate aim at the back of his head, the only part then exposed, and fired, the ball evidently taking effect– instantly, to no small astonishment and apprehension of the crew, the monster aroused himself, and made directly for the vessel, contracting his body, and giving two or three tremendous sweeps with his tail as he passed, the first striking the stern and producing a shock which was very sensibly felt by all that were on board. On seeing his approach, the Captain jumped on his deck load full of cotton, and some of his crew was not less prompt in consulting their safety. The all had a fair opportunity to observe their enemy, both before and after the shot, and concur in describing him as upwards of 70 feet in length; his body as large, or larger, than a 60 gallon cask; of a grey color, shaped like an eel – without any visible fins, and apparently covered in scales – the back full of “joints” or “bunches.” The head and mouth resembled those of an Alligator, the former about 10 feet long, and as large as a hogshead! A smaller one of like appearance was observed at a greater distance, which vanished on the firing of the shot, but both were afterwards seen together, passing the North breaker, where they finally disappeared.

What we learn is is never shoot a sea serpent.


2. Southern Recorder, Apr. 03, 1830 — page 3