Assorted Ghost/Treasure Stories from Rural Georgia

The grave of psychic Mayhayley Lancaster, who told men about a treasure but knew that ghosts would protect it.

By Jim Miles

Ghost/Treasure Stories 1, Charlton County

According to the Savannah Morning News of March 8, 1891, an Irish immigrant machinist with the unlikely name of Thomas Thomas lived in Charlton County, at Race Pond, in the late 1800s.  There was a common belief, as reported in 1891, that he secreted his money at or near his old home, and had promised to return from death to keep possession of his wealth.

Soon after his death, residents of the village reported that at the same time each night mysterious lights suddenly appeared and were extinguished.  Residents who were “very much disturbed” by the phenomenon, were convinced that it was the spirit of Thomas Thomas returning to protect the earthly riches he could not take with him and some were “very religious as a consequence.”

Residents talked of forming a group to investigate, but there was no further report of whether they actually followed through.

Ghost/Treasure Stories 2, Lamar County

A Victorian house in Barnesville, has a mean, sloop female ghost in the past few years.  This angry spirit pushed a mother down a flight of stairs and tripped her children, causing them to fall to the floor.  The ghost was known to cook breakfast, drop ashtrays, and flush the commode while family members watched TV.

According to one tale, three women died in the house; another has a ghost protecting its wealth secreted in a hidden compartment in the house that no one could locate.

On a website dedicated to “Ancestors of Johnny & Angie Cook” is related a story titled, “Grand-daddy, The Fortune Teller, and The Ghost.”  When the writer was a boy visiting relatives in adjacent Carroll County, he heard that his grandfather, Willie Pyles, and his brother-in-law Sam Edison, visited Mayhayley to help locate a treasure thought to have been buried by Native American leader Chief William McIntosh.  Mayhayley “was able to tell them that the gold was buried in a certain place, under a certain tree with a certain unique limb,” but warned that “they still wouldn’t be able to recover the gold,” because, “something real scary would happen to frighten them away before they could get the gold dug up.”

The men were receptive to the supernatural advice of a sooth-sayer, but refused to believe in ghosts.  Following Mayhayley’s instructions, they located the correct spot and started digging.  Suddenly, when the hole was man deep, “the sky began to get darker and darker and the wind began to blow hard and harder.”  They tried not to be frightened by the phenomenon and kept digging, but the deeper the hole, “the darker it got and the harder the wind blew. “

The two men became scared, and when they heard “howling sounds and rattling of chains,” they abandoned their shovels and never returned to retrieve them.  Mayhayley knew that ghostly spirits would be involved in this affair.

Stories about ghost/treasure are far from uncommon.

Jim Milesufossavannah is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at

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