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 History Center, 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 10am until 4pm Tuesday through 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 as the Atlanta Historic Places Examiner.


  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

      • I’m certain the old railroad engineer speaks to you and you answer him. This happens because you believe so firmly it’s real, but its only real to you. It’s an event that you and only you have created in your own mind. Someone standing next to you when this old engineer appears to you would not see him or hear him. Try hard to ignore him when he appears. If you try hard enough you’ll see he’ll disappear. This is only a creation of your mind.

    • actually, two friends of mine, musicians loading their gear L8 @ night, who knew nothing of the “ghost” stories saw a woman standing in the window of the kennesaw house. it was the usual, “did you see that?” question. i informed them of the story as i have taken the “haunted” marietta tour, on halloween, of course.

      • Yes sir I do. And that’s Almighty God Yahweh and his son Jesus Christ. I believe we humans have spirits. However, I don’t believe that after death when our spirits are released from our physical bodies they roam the earth communicating with those still in the physical world. The soul or spirit if you prefer goes back to God who gave it.

  8. I am a descendant of one of the union soldiers of the Andrews raiders (one of the first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor) and I visited the Kennesaw House museum.
    The floors are the original wood floors there and I walked through looking at all of the relics and very interesting things there.
    They have a room set aside there that portrays the bedroom that Andrews slept in and a manikin that looks like him standing there looking out the window.
    I myself did not feel any kind of presence there but this does not mean I don’t believe in spirits.
    The floors caught my attention though, walking over them as they creaked and I could not help but think my great ancestor walked there.
    By the way Sargent; Samuel Slavens was hanged 3 times by the rebs I have documents to prove it, although I would have taken the side of the south in the War of Aggression by the north, I feel the men on both sides of the war fought bravely for their beliefs. I honor them for that it changed our nation.
    It is a very interesting museum and recommend visiting there.
    Even if you don’t see an apparition there the trip is well worth the money and it takes a good while to go through all the interesting things there.
    I know I will visit there again ..

  9. Yay or Nay I don’t know if they exist or not. I’m not going to say that people that have “seen ghosts” haven’t seen them at all but I will say, I work in Marietta and have NEVER seen any.
    Now, the old Atlanta Air Port, I have seen what I think is a ghost there and I have a photo to prove that.

  10. I worked in the Kennesaw house from 2000 – 2003 and I had several incidents that left me with chills and hearing strange stuff. I am not really a believer of ghosts but man…

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