For more than 130 years, the Josephine Hotel has stood watch over the town of Union Springs. Oh, what mysteries it has seen: the grand masquerade balls that were held there, the exquisite dinners hosting the wealthy and well-to-do from all over the region…and the spirits that still haunt its halls.
Built in 1880, the hotel was constructed by Dr. Joseph Fleming. He named the hotel after his beloved wife, Josephine. Its thirty-two rooms were considered some of the finest in Alabama. The hotel was a center of commerce in Union Springs, with merchants often coming within its doors to sell their wares. The saloon on the bottom floor was always lively, and if you wanted to see the most important people in Alabama, the Josephine was a fine place to do it.
But like all things, the heyday of the Josephine came and went. The grand hotel passed from one owner to another, and soon it fell into disrepair. Only now is it in the process of being restored to its former glory. And yet, it seems for some that the party still goes on.
Walk through the Josephine, and you will never walk alone. The smells of pipes and cigars seem to float up from the saloon below. The fine old piano on the first floor occasionally plays on its own, and whispers float down the hallways. Noises echo through the upper floors. It is said by many that the third-floor rooms hold special significance—that spirits watch from darkened corners. Few nights go by without otherworldly interruption.
For now, we can only speculate. The work of bringing the Josephine to a state where it can host the living—as well as the dead—goes on. But when opening day comes, oh what a party it will be.
Haunted Alabama Black Belt written by David Higdon and Brett Talley – Copyright © 2013 by David Higdon and Brett Talley – All rights reserved