Paranormal Investigation: Marsh House - Lafayette, Georgia

Ghost hunters want to know if LaFayette, Georgia’s Marsh House is haunted.

Ghost & History of Southeastern Tennessee Inc., a non-profit organization, took a team of investigators for a hunt of possible ghosts Saturday night at the Marsh House in LaFayette and its cemetery.

Prior to the hunt, lead investigator Rick Howard said investigators would go through the entire mansion thoroughly with infrared cameras and audio equipment to see if they can pick up any anomalies.

“From that point, whatever we pick up, we analyze to see if it is something that naturally occurred, unnaturally occurred and can we explain it in anyway, and then what is left is what we are interested in,” Howard said.

The investigators contacted Marsh House co-coordinator Mary Smitherman to conduct the experiment at the Marsh House.

The 11 on-site investigators began the hunt Saturday at 9pm and planned to carefully search for paranormal phenomenon until 2am Sunday.

According to the ghost investigators, results of the hunt could take a week to compile. They will be available on the group’s Website at To see the results, once they are ready, click on the “Investigations” link in the navigation bar on the left and look for the Marsh House link.

Marsh House History

The Marsh House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Spencer Marsh built the two-story House in 1836. Marsh was one of the most influential figures in LaFayette and Walker County.

Marsh moved to LaFayette in the early 1830s from North Carolina, with his wife Ruth and their children.

Marsh spent time in politics as a judge and for a short time was a senator.

He brought the Cotton Mill to Northwest Georgia and it is still in operation in Trion.

The Marsh House was placed in the throws of the Civil War during the Battle of LaFayette on June 24, 1864. During the war, the Marsh family retreated south to Cassville, Ga., while the home was occupied by the Union troops.

According to Marsh House historian Janice Fortune, the house was occupied by Union troops and horses were ridden through the downstairs hall and some of the floor boards were soaked in blood and bullets were shot through the walls.

When the Marsh’s returned to their home, after the war, they found their house stripped of its furnishings.

“I have no factual knowledge of who died in the Marsh House itself, but there are quite a few who possibly and even probably did,” Fortune said. “The first was Emily Elizabeth Marsh, daughter of Spencer and Ruth Marsh, who built the house. She was the fourth child of the Marsh’s and their second daughter. She was born on December 24, 1833 in North Carolina before they came to LaFayette and she died on November 23, 1847 just shy of her 14th birthday.

“Her younger brother James Franklin, the Marsh’s sixth child, and third son also died quite young. He was born on August 2, 1839, in LaFayette and died February 15, 1855, at the age of 15 and a half. We do not know what caused their deaths, but it is likely they died at home.

“The next member of the family to die was Spencer Marsh himself. He died on November 30, 1875, at the age of 76. He had been ill for some time, so it is probable that he also died at home, and his wife, Ruth Marsh, died on March 26, 1881 at age 82.”

Follow the results of the investigation at Ghost & History of Southeastern Tennessee Inc


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