The city of Helen and the surrounding area is extremely rich in history, but did you know that some say that the spirits of the past are still hanging around? Although we've never heard of any hauntings at our cabin rentals (that's a relief!), the region is still a lot of fun for those who are interested in the paranormal.
Regardless of whether you are just interested in learning about the former inhabitants of northern Georgia or are hoping for an up-close and personal encounter, you're sure to find the adventure you are seeking when you stay in Helen. In this post we will explore several ways in which you can connect with the spirits of the Helen area.
Burial Mound of Sautee and Nacoochee
As legend has it, the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley (located just a stone's throw away from the cabins in Helen) was once home to warring Indian tribes; the Chickasaw and the Cherokee. In Romeo and Juliet fashion, a young Chickasaw brave named Sautee fell in love with the Cherokee princess, Nacoochee. The forbidden romance forced the young lovers to flee to a nearby mountain cavern where, after being pursued by braves from the Cherokee tribe, Nacoochee's father ordered Sautee to be thrown from the cliff. Devastated, young Nacoochee jumped off of the cliff and died with him. It is believed that the two are buried in a mound which can be visited at the Unicoi Turnpike (junction of highways 75 & 17).
Intersection Grave of Princess Trahlyta
A short drive from the Helen, in the city of Dahlonega, you might be surprised to find a pile of stones in the middle of a traffic intersection which covers the grave of Cherokee Princess Trahlyta. According to legend, her tribe knew the location of the magic springs of eternal youth from the Witch of Cedar Mountain. When Trahlyta rejected a young suitor named Wahsega, he kidnapped her, took her far away, and she lost her youth and beauty. On her deathbed, Wahsega promised to bury her near her home by the magic springs.
A tradition arose wherein the Indians (and today, visitors of the area) would drop stones on her grave for good fortune. To receive a bit of her spirit's luck, you can drop a stone at her grave in the intersection where US 19 and Highway 60 split (approximately 8 miles north of Dahlonega).
Ask anyone living in Cumming (about one hour west of the Helen cabins), about Booger Hill and they will have a story to tell you. It has been said that in the 1850s, there were two slaves who were accused of murdering a young girl. They were captured and hanged, by the KKK, in the woods, on what locals refer to as "Booger Hill".
Bettis-Tribble Gap Road runs right between the two large oaks where the slaves were rumored to have been hanged. This gravity hill mystery spot is spooky and fun, as if you line up your car with the two ominous trees, switch off your headlights, and put your car into neutral you will roll down the hill before making a complete stop and slowly begin to be pushed back up the hill while still in neutral. The belief is that the spirits of the slaves are trying to keep people out of the area and that if you put flour on the hood of your car, you will be able to see hand prints from the ghosts.
Be mindful that although the road does not receive much traffic, it is a public road and safety precautions should be taken. Your experience at Booger Hill will still be effective, even if you use your emergency flashers.
Mountain Spirits Ghost Tours
Located right on Main Street, Mountain Spirits Ghost tours is the only company near the Helen cabins which offers a spooky adventure to travelers. Those who embark on the tour will experience an hour of chills and thrills as you are taken past all of the spirit "hot spots" and told the history of the lost souls of northern Georgia. Remember that this tour might not be appropriate for the little ones who could become scared by the ghost stories.
Roswell Ghost Tours
If you're planning a day trip down to the Atlanta area, be sure to visit Roswell Ghost Tours. The year-round, 2 1/2 walking tour encompasses the true tales of current paranormal phenomena that are regularly experienced by local residents, business owners, and even tour attendees.
The spirits are alive and kicking the areas surrounding Helen, and you can keep them going by learning their stories. Are you ready to experience the paranormal side of Georgia?