Montgomery, Alabama’s Haunted Five

N.B. This article was edited and revised 18 May 2019.

Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery, appears to play second fiddle to Birmingham, the largest city in the state. But Montgomery has a complex history that has put it often at the forefront of many historical movements in the South. Starting as a frontier trading post, the city served as the first capital of the young Confederacy until the rebel government moved to Richmond, Virginia.

After the Civil War, the city became known for technological achievements in the form of an electric trolley system, and in 1910, a flying school opened by the Wright brothers. In the mid-20th century, the city’s sad racial history placed it at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement presenting us with a mighty lion in the form of a petite seamstress named Rosa Parks.

bird's eye view of Montgomery Alabama ghosts haunted Southern ghosts
1887 Bird’s Eye View of Montgomery by H. C. Davidson.

Paranormally speaking, the city has a fascinating panoply of spirits, many of which have been covered in two recent books: Faith Serafin’s Haunted Montgomery and Shawn Sellers and Jake Bell’s Montgomery: A City Haunted by History, both published in 2013.

Capital Towers Apartments
7 Clayton Street, private

On February 7, 1967, fire ravaged the swanky restaurant on the top floor of this building. Dale’s Penthouse restaurant was one of the most fashionable dining options at the time in Montgomery. As the fire broke out on this frigid February night, rapidly moving flames blocked the elevator and the stairwell, trapping and killing 26 patrons including several well-known politicians and local personalities. While some conspiracy theories exist as to the origin of the fire, the official explanation points to a lit pipe left in a coat pocket.

haunted Capital towers apartment building Montgomery Alabama Dale's Penthouse fire ghosts haunted Southern ghosts
The headline of the Montgomery Advertiser on 8 February 1967 report the fire at Dale’s Penthouse.
Capitol Towers Apartments Montgomery Alabama haunted
Capitol Towers Apartments in October of 2016. Photo by Lewis O. Powell IV, all rights reserved.

The building itself only received slight damage and the penthouse that once housed the restaurant is now a private residence. Former residents of the building have reported hearing screams of “help,” while residents in the penthouse have spotted misty, black forms. Shawn Sellers notes that passersby near the building have smelled smoke and heard screams coming from near the top floor.


Chris’s Hot Dogs
138 Dexter Avenue

While the hot dogs are legendary around these parts, the good food is not the only reason Montgomery citizens still flock to Chris’ Hot Dogs, it’s the atmosphere; an atmosphere still punctuated by spirits. Founded in 1917 as the Post Office Café, this restaurant has become an institution in its 98 years of business. For three decades, this café was a popular late night hotspot serving hot dogs and liquor and attracting the likes of country singer, Hank Williams.

Chris' Hot Dogs Montgomery Alabama ghosts haunted Southern ghosts
Chris’ Hot Dogs, 2016, photo by Lewis O. Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Shawn Sellers and his investigation team explored the restaurant and discovered that the staff has countless stories about employees still working their shifts from beyond the grave. Perhaps Hank Williams can be heard still singing under the green and white striped awning?


  • Cumuze, Greg. “My Immutable Heaven.” Chris’ Hot Dogs History. Accessed 26 May 2015.
  • Sellers, Shawn & Jake Bell. Montgomery: A City Haunted by History. Shawn Sellers, 2013.

Downtown Montgomery’s Lady in White

Dexter Avenue fountain Montgomery Alabama Lady in White ghosts haunted Southern ghosts
Montgomery’s main street, Dexter Avenue, from the fountain looking up towards the state capitol on Goat Hill, 2016. Photo by Lewis O. Powell IV, all rights reserved.

The identity of this mysterious woman is unknown, but her apparition is quite frightening. Seen throughout downtown Montgomery, the Lady in White is dressed entirely in white with long and dark hair and animal-like, ferocious teeth. In a 2013 article, Shawn Sellers is quoted as saying, “She’s actually the most reported ghost of anywhere in downtown Montgomery. She’s always seen outside. She’s never looking at anybody. She’s just always walking up the street, and people say they feel her before they see her. She’s just a creepy, creepy energy.”


  • Sellers, Shawn & Jake Bell. Montgomery: A City Haunted by History. Shawn Sellers, 2013.
  • Sutton, Amber. “Ghosts, curses and more: Take a walk on the supernatural side with Haunted Montgomery Tours.” 2 Oct 2013.

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum
919 Felder Street

In Fitzgerald’s classic novel of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan remarks on the birth of her daughter, “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” Some suspect that Fitzgerald’s Montgomery-born wife, Zelda, may have made a similar remark on the birth of their daughter. Zelda, whose zest for life strongly influenced her husband as well as legions of young women, lived her life as the epitome of the “foolish” Flapper.

Zelda and her husband lived in this house for a scant five months—October 1931 to February 1932—but during that time F. Scott Fitzgerald completed his novel, Tender is the Night, while Zelda outlined her one and only novel, Save Me the Waltz. The house was saved from demolition in 1986, and later opened as a museum to the literary couple. The upper floor of the house now has several private apartments, and residents there have reported hearing faint jazz music and disembodied footsteps. The museum’s director has reported that Zelda’s “foolish” spirit has remained active in the house and is believed to be the spirit responsible for flinging a painting from the wall while a staff member watched.


  • Curnutt, Kirk. “Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.” Encyclopedia of Alabama. 15 Mar 2007.
  • Herbert, Katherine. “Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum.” Encyclopedia of Alabama. 14 Aug 2014.
  • Sellers, Shawn & Jake Bell. Montgomery: A City Haunted by History. Shawn Sellers, 2013.
  • Serafin, Faith. Haunted Montgomery, Alabama. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2013.

Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
200 Coosa Street

Home to the Montgomery Biscuits, the city’s minor league baseball team, Riverwalk Stadium is located on the site of a former Civil War prisoner of war camp. During the war, this site was occupied by a cotton warehouse. After the Battle of Shiloh in April of 1862, Union prisoners were housed in the warehouse in reportedly deplorable conditions until they were moved to Tuscaloosa in December of that year. Faith Serafin notes that some 200 prisoners died while in captivity at this site.

Riverwalk Stadium Montgomery Alabama ghosts haunted Southern ghosts
The field at Riverwalk Stadium, 2008. Photo by markcbrennan, courtesy of Wikipedia.

According to Shawn Sellers, before groundbreaking took place for the ballpark, this site was occupied by a hotel. Maids would sometimes find rooms disturbed after they had cleaned them, while guests observed mysterious figures in their rooms. After the hotel closed, the building was occupied by offices where similar activity was reported. The stadium may host activity including shadow figures, the sounds of weeping and screaming, and the occasional apparition.


  • Sellers, Shawn & Jake Bell. Montgomery: A City Haunted by History. Shawn Sellers, 2013.
  • Serafin, Faith. Haunted Montgomery, Alabama. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2013.

Other Montgomery Hauntings

Several other Montgomery hauntings have been covered elsewhere in this blog. Coverage of Alabama’s State Capitol Building can be found in my “Southern Spirit Guide to Haunted Alabama.” Two locations at Huntingdon College have been covered: Houghton Memorial Library in my “Guide to the Haunted Libraries of the South –Alabama,” and Pratt Hall as the representative haunting for Montgomery County in my “Alabama Hauntings–County by County, Part VI.”

The Angels of Engel—Chattanooga, Tennessee

Engel Stadium
1130 East Third Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee

N.B. This article was revised 10 March 2019.

Despite its name—“engel” is German for “angel”—Engel Stadium was not likely built with the spiritual in mind. Though, according to a recent article from the Chattanooga-area news blog,, there may be spiritual activity here.

Following a career as a pitcher with the Washington Senators, Joe Engel worked as a promoter for the
Chattanooga Lookouts. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

In the context of baseball stadiums throughout the country, Engel Stadium could be considered hallowed ground. This stadium has heard the crack from the holy bats of baseball saints such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Satchel Paige, and Willie Mays. It bears the name of Washington Senators pitcher, Joe Engel. Engel served as a recruiter and promoter following his Senators career and took over the Chattanooga Lookouts after it was purchased by the Senators’ owner, Clark Griffith.

Engel immediately embarked on a plan to build one of the finest minor league ballparks in the country. Ground was broken for Engel Stadium in 1929 and the 12,000-seat park opened the next year. Engel’s zealous and raucous promotion of the park led to his being nicknamed “the Barnum of Baseball.” He would remain with the Lookouts for 34 years.

The stadium was used as a minor league stadium until 1999, when it was turned over to the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. In 2009 the Engel Foundation was formed to help preserve and restore the old park.

Recently, the park was investigated by Stones River Paranormal (SRP) out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a location known for a plethora of spiritual activity, mostly centered on the Stones River Battlefield. The team, in an effort to explore places in Chattanooga that may be haunted, approached the executive director of the Engel Foundation and was granted permission to explore the stadium for paranormal activity.

Engel Stadium, 2010. Photo by Andrew Jameson, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The group split up into various teams and they explored different sections of the park with a variety of investigative techniques. John McKinney, leader of the newly form Chattanooga branch of SRP, stated that the group found possible activity in a number of places throughout the park. “Definitely, the home locker was more active than I thought it would be at first,” he said. He continued by saying that “the entire right side was active” as well as the baseball diamond. While in the press box, the group believes it may have made contact with the spirit of Joe Engel himself.

The final results of the investigation will be revealed in a few weeks.

Perhaps the Engel has angels after all.