Haunted Marietta: The Kennesaw House

Marietta, Georgia, like most Southern towns, has its share of ghost stories, many of which I documented in my book, Haunted Marietta. But of all the alleged haunted places in Marietta, perhaps the most fascinating is the Kennesaw House. Located next to the railroad tracks and adjacent to the Marietta Welcome Center, the very location of the house makes it easy to picture bygone times. History is in the very air, and it does not seem unlikely that shades from the past would linger there and all around the square.

Now the home of the Marietta Museum of History, The Kennesaw House was originally built in the 1840’s as a cotton warehouse, but was then turned into a restaurant, to serve the passengers from the railroad depot next door. In 1855, the Fletchers bought the building and turned it into an inn. Its location right next to the railroad made it a natural home for Union soldiers and spies during the War Between the States, especially since Mr. Fletcher was an alleged Union sympathizer.

It was from the Kennesaw House, then known as the Fletcher House, that James Andrews and his group of spies plotted their attempt to steal the train, the General, which became the basis for such films as “The Great Locomotive Chase” in later years. In 1864, the hotel was taken over by the Union army, and Sherman briefly used it as his headquarters.

Most of the ghostly activity that has been widely reported in the Kennesaw House seems to stem from the use of the building as a makeshift hospital and morgue during the war. Television documentaries from PBS, CNN, and The History Channel have told the story of visitors who descended to the basement in the elevator, only to be greeted by the gruesome site of a crowded hospital room, men screaming in agony, blood everywhere, as weary surgeons operated and removed limbs with little or no anesthesia. Other people have seen an apparition of what appears to be a Civil War-era surgeon, dressed in uniform, who apparently likes to ride the elevator.

Another ghostly figure that has been reportedly seen, especially by children, in the Kennesaw House, is a lady in an old-fashioned dress with pink trim. Some children have identified her as the lady in a portrait in the house, Mrs. Fletcher, the wife of the second original owner.

Some years ago, the paranormal investigation group to which I belong, Ghost Hounds, investigated the house and caught what appears to be a ghostly figure of a woman on film. Other people have caught anomalies in photos, as well. The museum director, Dan Cox, has also captured several ghostly images in photos taken from the security cameras at the museum.

Whether you encounter ghosts or not, Kennesaw House is a handsome building which houses an excellent museum that is well worth your visit. The museum is open from 10 AM until 4 PM Monday-Saturday. It is located just off Marietta Square next to the railroad tracks.

About Rhetta Akamatsu
Rhetta Akamatsu is a long-time resident of Marietta and the author of Haunted Marietta, which is available at local bookstores and online at Amazon and all other major bookstores. She also writes about the Atlanta area for examiner.com as the Atlanta Historic Places Examiner.


  1. Jermaine Robinson says

    I pass this place everyday and for some strange reason something always tell me to look to the right. And when i do i always see a woman standing in the window? Could this be someone from the civil war days?

  2. sully diaz says

    i always pass thu here and i always say look at the window but i never see any thing and @Jermaine Robinson mabe its just a museum lady i dnt no

  3. Ted H. Reed says

    In July of 2009 I took my daughter on a tour of the Kennesaw house while she was visiting from Arizona. While we were in a side room of the museum she told me the place was vibrating. She said she could feel it and suggested I take off my shoes. I removed the shoes and I could feel the vibration in the floor. There were no trains in the area at the time but I am certain I could feel vibrations in the floor. This happened at about 2:00 p.m. I can’t explain what I felt but it seemed very strange at the time.

  4. Jack turner says

    I dance for the little general cloggers and every time at the big shantey festival i see the curtains close during the dance but then I saw it open by it self

  5. terrell mclemore says

    I left marietta at age of 19 to enter the air force,but I have many memories of Marietta. At that time, Kennesaw house was more or less an extended stay facility. At that time you entered from the north, and yes , there was a steel bannister. At that time Senior class rings were pretty heavy and clinked as you went up and down the stairs. It was a pretty open area, so of course you heard echos. Congratulations to those who have restore the beautiful structure. If you see someone walking around, Just slightly bow, tip your hat. Who knows, it may be a relative.

    best wishes

    Terrell McLemore
    Green Ridge Missouri.

  6. Jim Wilson says

    we visited Mt. Kennesaw today and walked the trails. about halfway through the trails we noticed a Man Standing off into the woods he was wearing some tattered clothinghad a beard and something that reminded me of pictures I’ve seen from the Old South when I turn to get my wifes attention theperson disappeared and I thought for a moment I have been the only one to see it until my children said to my wife did you see the man waving at us from the woods.

    • Lynn says

      In the 1940’s my Aunt and her Uncle saw the ghost of a Civil War soldier walking down Burnt Hickory Road. They quickly vanished.

  7. Larry R. Hood says

    There are no ghosts at Kennesaw House or anywhere else in Marietta. Because people want so much to believe that ghost really exists, they falsely convince themselves that they see ghosts everywhere there has been a terrible tragedy. It’s just a figament of the human imagination. That’s all.

    • Jane Brotz says

      I wouldn’t be so sure. I’m very receptive of these things. They can speak to me and I speak to them. I have an old railroad engineer, that was murdered, that visits me at night. Of course this is in Fla. But, I have seen and heard and felt all kinds of unexplained phenomenons. Just saying. You have to believe to experience it.

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