Ghost hunt closes Georgia battlefield

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 12:56 PM
Last updated 7:02 PM
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FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. — Interest in the ghost of a Confederate soldier has become so great that the National Park Service is closing some roads into a north Georgia Civil War battlefield this Halloween.

Rangers say they hope that closing all of the secondary roads into Chickamauga Battlefield Wednesday night helps keep ghost hunters from wandering around.

Ghost hunters are drawn to the battlefield in search of “Old Green Eyes,” a ghost some say is the floating head of a soldier searching for his missing body,

“We get a lot of people who come out after hours ... looking for ghost-type stuff. It brings people out,” Chief Ranger Todd Roeder told The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Park rangers had to usher a group of ghost watchers away from the Wilder Monument a few nights ago, Roeder said.

The park tries to keep people out at night because of other concerns as well, including vandalism and the theft of artifacts, which has happened in the past, Roeder said.

Joe McKeel, a public works employee in nearby Chattanooga, Tenn., spent about seven years investigating paranormal phenomena. He’s not surprised by its popularity.

“It can become addictive,” McKeel said.

McKeel once determined that an Old Green Eyes “sighting” was actually a distant green stoplight that was visible while the red light wasn’t.

He said he understands the fascination some people have with ghost hunting.

“Do I wish it would go away? No. It’s not a hassle. It’s a local thing,” he said. “It’s a story that’s passed down from generation to generation.”

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