SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Many people in Sylacauga know The Isabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts Center has previously reported paranormal activity. If anyone is searching for a local haunted place to visit, the Comer Museum is the place to go.
SylacaugaNews.com went to the museum and spoke to director Donna Rentfrow and assistant director Linda Pearson about the paranormal activity experienced in the museum. Linda said she has never had an experience with any spirits in the museum, but Donna has sensed several in her 17 years working there.
One thing a few people have experienced is the Mourning Dress upstairs. The spirit attached to the dress is from a woman who lost a child. People have walked by the dress and have been brought to tears instantly. Rentfrow said she has felt her arm being softly pinched after her mother passed away. “I feel like the spirit felt my pain from my mother’s passing, and reached out to me,” she explained.
Other incidents consist of a lady being physically pushed into another person by a spirit near the elevator. No one near the incident could see anything there. People have also been kicked in the shins by a spirit in the basement during one of the tours. An investigator from S.C.A.Re. told the spirit that it had to be nice to people or it could not stay, and when asked if it would behave, the spirit responded “maybe”. Some people have become so frightened by a spirit touching them, they left without saying goodbye to anyone.
The only negative spirit anyone has experienced at the museum has been a black cloud. The cloud appeared, bumped into a guest, and floated upstairs. The people present at the time followed the cloud upstairs and felt negative energy.
Perhaps the most famous spirit visitors come specifically to the museum for is the doll with a cigarette, Harriet. The spirit in the doll made itself known before the museum started hosting the tours when she spoke to a woman in the basement during the museum’s monthly receptions.
The woman claimed to be shaken to the point of passing out around the doll. Harriet was very vocal towards other people visiting, and they felt she was unhappy downstairs. Rentfrow brought her upstairs, and she seems to be much happier in her new home where she receivers more attention. “She has pulled a few funny pranks on us since we moved her from the basement, and people hold her so she seems happier up here,” Rentfrow said. Henry Welch originally donated the doll to the museum, and later committed suicide, but Donna does not feel like it is his spirit in Harriet; there is an indication that spirit is a female. When asked what brand of cigarette she smokes, Harriet replied with Pallmall. One investigator made a comment around Harriet about him not liking dolls, and the comment upset her. The investigator took her outside to smoke to make it up to her.
“There are all these things that happen and you can’t explain them. What else would it be? So I definitely believe.” said Rentfrow.
The museum has hosted three paranormal tours before, put on by Spirit Communications and Research of Alabama, S.C.A.Re. Many people on these tours claimed to have felt spirit activity. This year’s tour is still in the works, but we are hoping for it to be set up soon.
Jennifer Keith for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.