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Historic Hauntings in the Hollywood of the South®

Hollywood productions have flocked to Newton County, Georgia since the 1950’s to depict rural, small-town life in their various films and TV shows. Many of the productions that have filmed here in the original Hollywood of the South® transformed the area into a supernatural setting, with tellings of vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghostly ghouls. The popular locations used in many Hollywood film projects are gaining notoriety with fans coming to Covington/Newton County for on-location tours. But— did you know that the very sites used for these famous films are also quite notorious for their other-worldly visitors?

Historic Newton County Courthouse

historic hauntings

The stately courthouse that marks the square in Downtown Covington has a rich history that can be observed just by looking at the historic structure. The original courthouse building burned in 1883, along with other structures on the square. The replacement building was designed by Georgia architects Bruce & Morgan as a Second Empire style courthouse in 1884 and construction began right away. The building you see today is the same structure from 1884.

Many stories of phantom footsteps and voices have been told about the old administrative building. However, the most recent tales are those from the groups of visitors with Covington Ghost Tours, who say they can see a figure standing in the highest window at night.

Featured In: The Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night, The Vampire Diaries, Selma, Run Ronnie Run, Footloose (2011)

The Twelve Oaks

historic hauntings

The Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast is a popular inn in our community with luxury accommodations, so nice in fact, that some guests never leave. This grand piece of Southern architecture was erected in 1836, and was the largest antebellum home in our community for many years. A medium once visited this location and spoke of two spirits that reside within the home, with the first being “The Lady of the House.”

In 1864, the lady of the house is said to have died after the tragic loss of all her children, and continues to wander around the home in search for her loved ones. According to this medium, the lady of the house communicated to her that she knows the other spirit in the home is that of “The General.”

Present-day guests to the bed and breakfast have reported seeing figures at the foot of their bed, or hearing footsteps and voices throughout the night. Perhaps it was just the guest in the room next door, perhaps it was their imagination, or perhaps….it was these rumored antebellum apparitions.

Featured In: In the Heat of the Night, The Vampire Diaries, Vacation (2015), Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys, HBO’s Bessie, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

Belk Building

historic hauntings

This location on Monticello Street is home to a handful of square merchants, and has been used as a commercial space for many years. The exterior has been featured in local film and was also the site of our In the Heat of the Night Cast Reunion in 2015. Recently, the building was filmed in a current Georgia production starring two very famous lead actors, but we can’t tell you who just yet!

Years ago, this location was the site where a local church group met. Locals who were members of the church youth have reported spooky tales of odd occurrences in the building. Our local tour guides with the Covington Ghost Tours have also shared reports of historic hauntings in the building as well, with the infamous “Woman in Blue” who frequents the Shelvie Jean boutique.

Featured In: In the Heat of the Night, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors

Gaither Plantation

historic hauntings

This historic site has been a part of Newton County for over 150 years. Strange things have been reported at the plantation home, and a paranormal research team from Dublin, Georgia was even called in at one time to do a reading of this location.

The team confirmed that furniture and objects around the house appeared to move at-will, and also claimed to have communicated with Cecilia Gaither of the Gaither family. She was married to W.H. Gaither, who is buried on the property of the plantation. However, Cecilia was buried in town after she died, which may explain why her spirit remains at the Plantation today.

Featured In: Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius, The Vampire Diaries, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors

Porterdale Mill

historic hauntings

The Porterdale Mill at the Yellow River in Porterdale is a beautifully preserved piece of history with the distressed brick edifice overlooking river rapids. The site is now a location of urban-industrial loft apartments with a huge draw to prospective residents. However, many people who tour the facility looking for a home may not realize that they could acquire a couple of extra roommates.

The Mill was operational in Porterdale as early as 1899, producing twine for local Bibb Manufacturing. The entire town of Porterdale was centered on the mill and textile manufacturing. Like many textile mills of the era, the Porterdale Mill employed local children so they could fit inside the mechanisms of the machines and service broken parts. Unfortunately, this lead to the injury and death of many children who were millworkers in the early 1900’s.

You can truly feel the history of the mill once you take a step inside, with the gorgeous exposed brick, original tile flooring, and historic photographs of young workers at the machines. Sometimes you can even feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Residents of the mill loft apartments have shared stories of things falling off of shelves for no reason, and other odd happenings.  

Featured In: Prisoners, High Cotton

These stories are just a handful of the many historic hauntings we experience here in Covington/Newton County, or the Hollywood of the South®. To learn more about these spooky events, or to experience them firsthand, visit

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