Julian Ennis built the house on Baldwin Hill in 1901. Sometime in the first half of the twentieth century, people began telling ghost stories about the home. A poem written by Mrs. W. H. Coleman addresses the house’s haunted reputation. Using a maid as a narrator, Coleman highlighted some of the reported activity at the home. She mentioned that the porch swing moved back and forth. The ghost on Baldwin Hill also “shakes de winders” and “knocks right on de do.”
Lucy Gallman, the current owner of Baldwin Hill, moved into the house with her family in 1954. She was five years old at the time. She was nurtured on stories about the spooky house that she called home. The first tale she recalled hearing was about the previous tenants. Night after night, they heard a bouncing ball. A few seconds later, a spectral voice would say, “Robert Ennis is dead.” Robert Ennis was Julian’s nephew. Thinking that somebody was standing on the porch and talking through a window, the family sprinkled cornmeal on the porch, hoping to see foot- prints in the powder the next morning. That night, they heard the same creepy sounds: the bouncing ball and the ghostly voice saying, “Robert Ennis is dead.” However, when they looked out the front window, the cornmeal was completely undisturbed.
The haunted activity is not restricted to the main house. The little cottages down the hill may be haunted as well. In the late 1990s, a college student who was renting one of them threw open the door and ran up to the main house. When Lucy opened her door, she was greeted by the sight of her young tenant shaking uncontrollably. After she settled down, she told Lucy that she was in the kitchen washing dishes when a white figure floated across the floor and passed into another room. The girl was so terrified that she fled the house without even turning off the tap in the kitchen sink.
A female spirit roams the halls of Baldwin Hill, and it is very close to the Gallman family, especially Lucy’s husband, Ken. “This is actually the truth,” he said. “We were moving. I looked up for a second and my [late] mother-in-law was stand- ing in the door. It was not a glimpse but it was the clear image of her standing there inside the door. She wore a nightgown that was about forty-three thousand years old but it was comfy.” Later on, Ken saw the face of Lucy’s mother staring at him through a window.
Strong family ties may also be responsible for Lucy’s father’s return from the “other side.” One day, Lucy’s granddaughter saw the apparition of an elderly man inside the house. Her description of the old gentleman’s appearance matched that of Lucy’s father. “She said he had white hair,” Lucy noted. “Also, he was wearing a pale-colored suit.”
The ghost’s attachment to Lucy’s family could be behind another paranormal incident that occurred during her niece’s wedding. Lucy’s father was supposed to attend, but he passed away suddenly shortly before the wedding. Following the ceremony, Lucy and Ken were looking at the photographs taken of the family. On close examination, orbs could be seen hovering over the heads of the newlyweds. To this day, the niece’s husband has no intention of ever sleeping inside the man- sion.
Haunted Alabama written by Alan Brown – Copyright © 2021 by Alan Brown