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Local Halloween haunt: Huntsville’s historic Lowry House

HUNTSVILLE — Doors that open by themselves. Coat hangers flying off the rack. Shadowy silhouettes moving among the living. Voices calling when no one is there, and a sense of being followed.

Jane Tippett and her husband Louie are the owners of Huntsville’s historic Lowry House. She admits she does not really believe in ghosts but, “there are strange things that happen around here.”

256 Today has teamed up with Southern Ghost Girls Tours to bring you four of North Alabama’s most notorious and proven haunted places for the Halloween season. This is the fourth and last installment of the series.

(Haunted Alabama: Tennessee Valley Living footage contributed)

Built in 1850 and, at one time, a stop along the Underground Railroad, the story goes that Anne Lowry, a family member of the Lowry family who built the house, was shot dead on the front porch of the house. Some say she was waiting for her husband to return home from the Civil War, but others say she ran downstairs and out onto the porch to let General William T. Sherman’s troops, who were burning Huntsville to the ground around her, know it was a “safe house.”

Regardless of which story is the truth, she was killed in a hail of Union gunfire, despite her being a Union sympathizer.

Many, many people claim to still see her, and not just people who visit the house. Workmen have been known to ask about the woman in the upstairs window, and people just walking along the street have not only seen her but have been known to stop and talk to her.

Masked image in the window (Haunted Alabama: Tennessee Valley Living footage contributed)

An actress from a theatrical troupe doing “Fright Night” re-enactments at the house was sitting in the kitchen waiting for her entrance, when she saw a man, some call the “grumpy butler,” standing in the pantry staring at her.

The Tippetts have a picture taken of her shortly afterward and there is a bizarre ‘masklike’ image on her upper sleeve in the picture that no one could see outside of the camera.

And according to Cynthia Tippett Masucci, assistant director of Lowry House, one of the Ghost Girls’ images taken from outside the house, showed almost that exact masklike image standing in a window at the front of the house.

Southern Ghost Girl paranormal investigator Sherri Hankey said she was investigating upstairs in the secret room when, suddenly, clothes hangers started flying off the racks in a closet.

Southern Ghost Girls founder and paranormal investigator Lesley Ann Hyde welcomes guests to the Lowry House Ghost Tour (Southern Ghost Girls Tours contributed)

“The kitchen is a hotbed of paranormal activity in that house,” said Southern Ghost Girls Tour founder and paranormal investigator Lesley Ann Hyde. “I decided to set up our electromagnetic energy detectors around the kitchen and in the pantry to see if we could pick up anything. (Click here to read more about the equipment used in Southern Ghost Girls investigations.)

EMF detectors shine full red when spirits are in the room (Southern Ghost Girls Tours contributed)

“I did not see anything at first, but just as I turned my head, I saw the black outline of what looked like a shadow or silhouette walk past the doorway of the kitchen,” Hyde said. “It did not register with me at first, but I thought briefly, what did I just see? That was weird.

“When I returned to the living room, there were 25 witnesses standing there when someone shouted for me to ‘Stop!’

“It surprised me of course but everyone in the room could see what they said looked like a black shadow of a woman standing right next to me. Then, suddenly, the doorway to the room opened by itself.

“Everyone gasped out loud but that was followed by the front door to the house opening by itself and the black shadowy spirit was just gone as if it walked out the door.”

Another of the Southern Ghost Girls investigators, Tabitha (Tab) Wilson was also investigating the kitchen in search of the grumpy man apparition and had EMF detectors placed around the kitchen with the cupboard door open.

The spirit box and ghost box in action at Huntsville’s Lowry House (Southern Ghost Girls Tours contributed)

“All four of our detectors were going off all the way into the red constantly and I could feel a whirlwind of air rushing around my ankles, she said. “It was almost a playful atmosphere.

“I had a REM pod in the closet hoping to pick up the man but it was as if the EMF detectors would go off and then the REM pod and then the detectors and then again the REM pod – it was like the spirits were playing a game and I had this overwhelming feeling we were dealing with children.

“I was able to pick up that I was dealing with a child named Jack and his sister, whose name I could never get to come through, and I believe there may have been several more children, too.

“I could say, ‘Go back into the closet,’ and the REM pod would go off. Then I would say, ‘Come back out here in the kitchen, and the REM pod would stop but the EMFs would go off.

“Honestly, we got tickled at it,” Wilson said. “And we decided the grumpy butler man was not there but instead we got a bunch of children’s spirits.”

Then she brought out the spirit box that filters out white noise.

“I said, ‘Okay, one more time, come out of the cupboard and set off our meters here on the countertop,’ and clear as day, you could hear through the ghost box a little boy giggle and say, ‘Okay. I’m coming.’ And the meters started going crazy,” Wilson said.

Wilson said everyone was simply stunned.

Click here to read about the Weeping Widow at Decatur’s Old State Bank.

Click here to read about Florence’s haunted Sweetwater Mansion.

Click here to read about Athens’ McConnell Funeral Home haunting.

256 Today wishes everyone a Happy and safe Halloween and if you encounter any real haunts tonight, let us know at Kimberly@256Today.com.

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