Murder in a Mill Village
Haunted Manchester, Georgia
Manchester, Georgia is a quiet and small southern town much like any other. Established in 1909, in the Appalachian foothills, it was initially a railroad town but grew into a busy mill community. Today, the majority of this small town remains in much the same state it did in its infancy. The bustling Mill Village that once employed hundreds of workers is now silent but the occasional train still makes its way through Manchester. Residents in the old mill village are hospitable folks and enjoy the solitude and nature of the location, but even in solitude, lurks dark and malevolent forces.
While most of this community comes and goes without cause for concern, many are unaware of a brutal and hostile crime that took place here in 1977. The body of Francis Coe was discovered in her Manchester home on January 31 of that year. She had been a victim of a brutal rape and murder. According to documentation, her body was found in a nearly dismembered state. Crime scene reports stated that inside the home, blood was literally splattered all over the home, so much in fact, the area in the home where Francis’s body was found had been soaked right down to the floorboards and foundation of the house. This was by far, the worst crime scene Meriwether Sheriff’s deputies had ever encountered.
An arrest was made some time after the murder and Eddie Spraggins was indicted and sent to trial. Although he pled insanity, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. For many years after the murder, the house where Francis Coe lived was for sale or rent. Many people lived in the home but none stayed for more than a year. Families came and went and the “For Sale” sign resided longer than the actual tenants. People didn’t talk much about the murder but, the paranormal activity in the home was widely whispered and it fueled the rumor mill that the house was haunted.
About a year after the murder, the house was rented and the gentleman living there with his wife and young son started hearing strange noises almost immediately after moving in. The sounds of dragging, footsteps, banging and knocking could be heard day and night. The family was familiar with the murder but not superstitious enough to be bothered by any suggestion of paranormal activity. After six months of living there the family moved abruptly. According to neighbors, they basically packed up and left overnight.
Other rumors started to emerge over the years about the unusual activity of the home. They included the ghost of a walking corpse, so hideous and grotesque that the few that actually reported seeing it became physically ill. in 1982, a woman living in the home was rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack after seeing the manifestation. She made plans to move from the home while she was still being treated in the hospital. Upon her release, she rented an apartment in a nearby town and refused to go back, even to gather her belongings.
Later, attempts were made to update and renovate the home with the hopes that a new image would persuade would-be tenants to take advantage of cheap rent. However, a contractor who was helping appraise the home, said he had an experience that he would never forget. While under the crawl space of the house, looking over the stability of the foundation, he came upon the spot in the floor where Francis Coe’s body had been lying. That spot was still stained with blood and in the outline of a human figure. As he lay on the cold ground, under the house glaring at the blood stained floor boards, he started to feel as if he wasn’t alone. He quickly rolled over onto his belly and flashed his light around, calling out to see if anyone else was there but to his surprise, no one answered. He turned over again in the tiny crawl space and looked at the bloody imprint once more and to his amazement the stain began to move. A dark mass formed inside the stain and morphed into the face of a woman. He was so horrified that he scrambled out from underneath the house and left without even telling the appraiser what he had seen.
For many years after the home sat empty and eventually even neighboring homes would be abandoned due to the rumors. The home is still standing, but just barely, only a few blocks from the old mill. It’s not been lived in for many years and has all but disappeared under heavy vines of Kudzu and rapidly growing Mimosa trees. Nature seems to be slowly devouring the house like a snake digesting its prey. It’s speculation whether or not the old murder house has some how imprinted itself into the ground, much like the blood stained floorboards of the home, but those who believe know that the house is best left alone. Left to be forgotten and left to be forsaken, and left to the angry decaying spirits that resides in it.