A Haunting at Cedarhurst Mansion
A beautiful city that sits nestled down in a valley is Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville too many is better known as the Rocket City. Within her mountain walls is a military community, Redstone Arsenal. Huntsville is also home to companies such as NASA and Boeing.
There is something else about Huntsville. This quiet little city is said to be the most haunted city in the state of Alabama. One of the many haunting legends in Huntsville would be that of the haunting of Sally Carter at the Cedarhurst Mansion.
The History of Cedarhurst Mansion
Cedarhurst Mansion was built in 1823 by Stephen Ewing for his wife, Mary Ewing. The mansion was a two-story brick home, with walls that were fifteen-inches thick. The family plot was also located on the property of Cedarhurst.
The Ewing estate had several owners throughout the years, until the early 1980s when developers purchased the property, and built town-homes. The mansion was then converted into a clubhouse called Cedarhurst Club. The Cedarhurst Club today, serves as a clubhouse for the gated community of town-homes. The family plots where Mrs. Ewing, her three children and her sister, Sally Carter were laid to rest, were moved to Maple Hill Cemetery, the oldest and largest cemetery in the state of Alabama, to undisclosed locations.
The Legend of Sally Carter
As a child growing up in Huntsville, I remember being told about the ghost of Sally Carter. I remember being told that Sally Carter was killed violently while sitting on the porch of Cedarhurst. Some have said that an unknown assailant struck her in the head with an ax. Sally was found by her sister, Mrs. Ewing. The ax that was used to kill her, was found stuck in a tree, not far from her home.
The legend goes on to say that when someone would remove the ax, it would somehow reappear in the same tree that it was found in. Another story of how Sally died said, as Sally sat in a rocker on the front porch, a man came up behind her and strangled her, breaking her pearl necklace. It is said that anytime a woman would visit the mansion, if she had a necklace on, the necklace would break with no explanation.
In all reality, Sally Carter died due to a fatal illness, while visiting her sister, Mrs. Ewing. She passed away on November 28, 1837, three weeks before her 16th birthday.
Accounts from People That Claim to Have Seen Sally Carter’s Ghost
Claims of seeing Sally Carter go back as far as 1919. The first person to have witnessed seeing her, was a 17 year-old boy that was from Dothan, Alabama. When he arrived at Cedarhurst, he slept outside of Sally’s bedroom. A storm began to brew as he was sleeping. The next morning he began to tell his family about the odd dream that he had the night before. He stated that a young girl, Sally, had visited him in a dream. He went on to tell his family that Sally asked him to prop up her headstone. He also told his family that he was going to go to Sally’s grave. When he arrived at her grave site, he stopped. As he stood there looking, he could not believe what he was seeing. Sally’s headstone had, in fact, fallen over during the previous night’s storm.
After having the odd dream the night before, followed by the discovery that her headstone had been tipped over, the young boy left Huntsville and went back to Dothan, never to return to Huntsville again. Others who have visited Cedarhurst, reported hearing footsteps going up and down the hallway. Doors were said to open and close, without any explanation. There were also reports of covers being snatched off of the bed and light switches that would be tripped.
Sally Carter Will Always be Around
From 1919 until present, Sally Carter has been sighted at the clubhouse, which was the mansion originally. She has also been sighted many times at Maple Hill Cemetery, which is her final resting place. Sally’s bedroom, which is in the clubhouse and part of the original mansion, has been preserved. Upon entering her room, you step back in time and some believe that you can still feel her presence.