7 of the spookiest abandoned places in Georgia

December Milledgeville, GA: The Walker building on the campus of the Central State Hospital in Milledgeville was built in 1884, two years after the hospital officially opened in 1882. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Spooky season is in full swing, and did you know that the peach state is home to a number of eerie abandoned locations? From hospitals and college stadiums to old prisons and bridges, there are several unique spots that have been left to decay as shells of their former selves.

Read on if you dare... as we explore seven of the spookiest abandoned places throughout Georgia.

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Old Atlanta Prison Farm

From 1945 to 1995, this was a functioning correctional facility in Dekalb County; it has since been abandoned and is now covered in weeds and graffiti. It is surrounded by urban myths about intriguing conspiracy theories and is rumored to have ghosts everywhere around the prison farm. A fire in 2009 destroyed the majority of the structure’s contents. These days, it is covered with vibrant and colorful graffiti, making for a unique and eerie backdrop. The Atlanta Prison Farm continues to be one of the most popular abandoned spots in the state.

Location: Atlanta, GA - 1420 Key Rd. SE

Harville House

Despite the fact that it’s been abandoned for a long time, one of Statesboro’s most well-known buildings is the Harville House. The land was bought by Samuel Winkler Harville in 1862, and the house was built in 1894. This 14-room mansion is rumored to have some resident ghosts. Aside from urban legends, people have reported seeing blue light coming through windows and hot air being blown into their ears. It is now recognized as a landmark in Bulloch County. It is private property, and it is advised that you only take pictures from the road.

Location: Statesboro, GA - 1850 Harville Rd.

Central State Hospital

For one of the spookiest abandoned locations in Georgia, Central State Hospital in Milledgeville is another famous spot. When it first opened in 1842, the hospital was the largest psychiatric hospital in the world. Patients assisted in the running of the institution by helping to maintain the facility and take care of the property. Overcrowding developed over time, and by the 1960s, more than 12,000 patients lived in claustrophobic, brutal conditions. After the patient population significantly decreased throughout the following decades, the hospital permanently closed in 2010. The enormous campus was left abandoned with deteriorating interiors. These days, you can drive through the area to see the buildings from the outside and see them for yourself.

Location: Milledgeville, GA - 620 Broad St.

Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory

The Georgia Nuclear Aircraft Laboratory, also known as Air Force Plant 67, was a joint venture between the U.S. Air Force and the weapons manufacturer, Lockheed, and is hidden away in the vast pine forests of Dawsonville. The main goal was to construct a nuclear-powered aircraft, and the facility’s nuclear reactor was used to irradiate several prototypes in the 1950s to see whether they could resist the destructive powers of nuclear energy. Reports at the time stated that the unshielded reactor emitted enormous amounts of leftover radiation into the isolated forest, causing many of the trees to lose all of their leaves. The plant was shut down and mostly demolished in 1971 after years of unsuccessful attempts to construct a nuclear-powered aircraft. The only eerie relics of the former campus are a solitary building and some concrete foundations, and certain areas are still fenced off.

Location: Dawsonville, GA - 9V24+FC

Hancock County Hospital

Hancock County Hospital, known as the “Bad Debt Hospital” because of its long history of financial problems, was constructed in 1968 to serve the people of rural eastern Georgia. It was a county-run clinic that included 52 beds, an intensive care unit and an emergency room. The hospital also employed about 150 nurses, physicians and other staff. The hospital was shut down in 1974, shortly after it was opened, as a result of financial mismanagement and corruption in the county administration. The hospital reopened after several years without a decent medical facility to serve the area. However, the financial problems it had experienced quickly reappeared, and by the early 1990s, the hospital was $1 million in debt. Over the years, the staff was gradually laid off. Medicaid funding for the hospital was drastically reduced, which finally resulted in its permanent closure. Soon after it was closed, vandals broke into the abandoned facility and looted anything of value they could find, such as copper wiring to be sold as scrap. While residents of the region must now drive at least 90 minutes to the nearest hospital, the former Hancock County Hospital still stands abandoned. Fun fact: you can take a look inside through photographs reported by the Daily Mail.

Location: Sparta, GA - 453 Boland St.

Spook Bridge

There isn’t a more appropriate name for this abandoned bridge in Georgia. On the borderline between Brooks and Lowndes Counties, there is an open-spandrel arch bridge known as “Spook Bridge” that spans the Withlacoochee River. The deteriorating bridge hasn’t been used in years and is referred to as “the bridge to nowhere” as it’s situated on a section of the Old Quitman Highway that has long been closed. Numerous urban myths and tales center around Spook Bridge, where a number of murders and suicides are said to have occurred. Even though it is off-limits to visitors, trespassers have reported hearing odd noises or feeling an eerie presence. Fun fact: a feature film called “Spook Bridge” was released in 2017 that includes the actual Spook Bridge in the movie.

Location: Brooks County/Lowndes County, GA - 958-924 Old Quitman Hwy.

Alonzo Herndon Stadium

The 15,000-seat Alonzo Herndon Stadium, which played a prominent part in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is now a deteriorated site on the Morris Brown College campus. This two-sided stadium served as the venue for the Georgia Mustangs, the former WUSA women’s soccer team Atlanta Beat, as well as the field hockey games at the 1996 Summer Olympics. The stadium was also used as a filming location for the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.” Due to financial hardships, the university was unable to maintain the building, and once regular play on its field was discontinued. These days, the concrete bleachers are broken and falling apart, the interior hallways are defaced with graffiti and cluttered with litter and the field is overrun with weeds.

Location: Atlanta, GA - 631 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW

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