By Noelle Barrett – Staff Contributor
Did you know that GGC is in the middle of “Ghost Town”? Lawrenceville has a history of many ghosts. Terrifying and tragic ghosts live (or not) right around the corner in the Lawrenceville town square. Every October the Aurora Theatre puts on The Lawrenceville Ghost Tour to make sure these ghosts stories are heard by the public! It was a chilly 7:30 pm when everyone departed from the Aurora Theatre. The group began by walking behind the theatre to the Lawrenceville Welcome Center, a place that normally seems cheery and bright, but on this night was dark and eerie. The darkness may be attributed to the evening hour, but the eerie feeling everyone got? None of them knew why.
After learning about the old Lawrenceville mayor, Jule Oakes, and how his daughter donated money to have his house turned into the welcome center, the group continued down the street and around Lawrenceville square to hear about the local ghosts and see the places they allegedly haunt. Several of the local shops and eateries have a history of ghosts. The tour guide stopped in front of Dominick’s, a little Italian restaurant on the corner of Perry Street and Lawrenceville Highway. Before it was renovated into a restaurant, Dominick’s was an old inn. One day an older man came in so incredibly ill that the innkeeper thought he was drunk. The poor man couldn’t even speak properly. Once the innkeeper realized his mistake he called a local doctor and let the man rest in one of his rooms on the top floor. The doctor told the worried innkeeper that the ill man wouldn’t make it through the night and to just keep him comfortable until he passed away. The innkeeper stayed by the man’s bedside until he died but when he went through the man’s belongings in hopes of identifying him, all he could find was a small silver rattle.
Everyone in the group looked around nervously as the guide continued with her tale. After being buried in an unmarked grave, the man’s ghost told the innkeeper the name of a lady. The innkeeper wrote to and sent the silver rattle to the name he was told and then received a letter from the man’s sister thanking him for sending the gift that her brother was bringing for her newborn son. Everyone on the tour was stunned silent and the tour guide set off again, this time headed to the local bar, McCray’s. The group walked through the bar passing several families and couples enjoying their meals.
The tour continued passed the strange glances from those dining, and eventually was lead out the bar’s back. There, the guide told a story of a town drunk who would always howl about seeing the ghost of a little girl. The manager of McCray’s said that one night while she was closing up, someone came from behind her, put their hand on her shoulder, and pushed her all the way to the floor but when she looked back, no one was there. The manager called in a paranormal investigation team that found both the little girl that the town drunk kept mentioning and also an older man that was keeping the little girl captive as a ghost. The guide told the group that the paranormal investigation team helped the little girl pass over to the ‘other side’ but that the man’s ghost still resides at McCray’s.
The group was then led to what used to be the old Lawrenceville jail house where she says the most serious story happened. There was a slave owner who went to his slave, Elleck’s living quarters one night drunk and angry and chased Elleck up a ladder with a sword in his hand. The master fell off the ladder and impaled himself. Elleck went to the local police and told them how his master had died, but they didn’t believe him and they locked him up for murder. After several days of chipping away at his jail cell’s wall, Elleck was chained to the floor by his wrists and ankles. While he was chained to the floor he sang to keep himself distracted. After three days, Elleck was hung but to this day people still hear him singing and every now and again people will hear what sounds like someone chipping away at a wall.
The Lawrenceville Ghost Tour tells additional tales of a man who was shot multiple times but never injured, real skeletons dancing in the alleyways, a double suicide that wasn’t and many more ghost stories that make up part of the history of Lawrenceville! Who knew we were going to college in such a spooky town…