The Dunning House – Thomasville

The Dunning House was built by George Dunning in 1897. He was an entrepreneur who once owned several businesses in Thomasville, including a livery stable and a theater. Linda Vice, the current owner, was told by people who knew the Dunning family that even though George was proud of his fine home, he did not really enjoy entertaining there. She said that the house passed into the Lowery family after one of the Dunnings’ daughters married one of “Granny” Lowery’s sons. “[The Lowerys’] son and daughter took possession of it and rented out the upstairs during World War II. After the war, it was used as a home for the mill [sawmill] managers. I moved into the house in 1975.” Linda felt that she belonged there after discovering that her great-great-grandfather was the contractor for the house.

Linda named her home “The Enchanted Cottage” after making the acquaintance of its first occupant. She sensed that she was not the only one in the house when doors that she had locked stood open the next morning. “Many times, I have found the doors open about three inches,” Linda told me. She has seen George, but only out of the corner of her eye: “George walks through the dining room to the living room. He peeks into the living room and then moves on.” Interestingly enough, George now seems to like company: “A number of people who have come to visit have glimpsed him. He is always dressed up. He was a very good-looking, tall man with black hair and roses in his cheeks.” George’s appearance made such an impression on her that when two of his grandsons came to visit, she immediately recognized them as members of the Dunning family. “One was tall and one was short. They both looked like George Dunning. Later, we had a Dunning family reunion at my house.”

George Dunning is not the only ghost in Linda’s home. “Mr. George had a number of children. One of them was a hydrocephalic child, and he was kept up- stairs. The guests who have seen him say that he is not as welcoming as Mr. George. He had a habit of coming into people’s rooms at night and looking at them in bed. When I had the upstairs renovated, he disappeared.”

The Enchanted Cottage’s third ghost is not a member of the Dunning family: “I have a friend from Mobile who is a psychic. She even works with the FBI on hard- to-solve cases. One day, while she was visiting me, she walked into the living room and saw a little old lady sitting in a chair, reading a Bible. I asked a couple of peo- ple about [the ghost], and they said it was probably Granny Lowery. She was a Holiness— Pentecostal. She was a small woman, and she wore her hair in a little top- knot.”

In the decades that Linda Vice has lived in the Dunning House, she has never re- ally been frightened of her resident ghost. To say that she has learned to live with her ghost would be an understatement: “So many people have seen George that it’s become kind of a joke when something weird happens—‘Well, there’s George again.’”



Haunted Alabama written by Alan Brown – Copyright © 2021 by Alan Brown