I heard some feedback on my last article and people loved the ghost story about our own campus, so I decided to keep that going with another haunted story, this time about Simms Cemetery.
Simms Cemetery is not only known in Athens to be haunted, but it may be the most haunted cemetery in the world. Similar to that of Wilson Hall, Simms Cemetery is in the center of a pentagram. The other points are also cemeteries but as stated in the last article, most activity happens in the center.
The story of Simms Cemetery begins with a man named John Simms. He loved capital punishment and was well known for sentencing people to death by hanging for the most common offenses. He was also a supporter of slaves and was known to treat freed slaves unjustly, as many of his victims were in fact freed slaves.
Residents of Athens believe that the ghost of John Simms still lurks in Simms Cemetery. Some have seen him carrying a sickle (a farming tool with a blade on the end) and chasing people trespassing on his land.
Another popular legend involves the Hanging Tree that is located in Simms Cemetery. This is supposedly where John Simms would hang his victims. The tree is still there and there are actually visible spots where you can see where the rope hung from. The tree has not been in use since the late 1890s but some people who visit the cemetery are said to have seen bodies hanging from the tree late at night.
The cemetery is private property, so in order to go visit it, you will need to ask for permission from the land-owner. Until next time, have a spooky day!