“Haunted” High School


Lilly Kirk, Staff Writer

Northgate High School is built on the site of a murder that took place in 1899, and carries a cemetery on the campus holding the grave of the causality. Several students and staff members of Northgate claim to have had a paranormal experience at the school that supposedly is connected to the tragedy that took place.

Samuel Wilkes, more commonly known as Sam Hose, was an African American born in 1875 in Marshall, Peach County. He later moved to Newnan, Coweta County in search for a job, and became a worker on a farm belonging to the Cranford family, where he stayed for a little over a year. On April 12, 1899, Hose confronted his employer, Alfred Cranford, about his pay. As the story goes, Cranford drew a gun and Hose killed him with an axe, raped Mrs. Cranford, and fled south. Ten days later, Hose was found near his home town and was placed on an Atlanta-bound train that was intercepted by an armed mob in Newnan where he was cut, burned, and lynched across the street of what is now known as Sprayberry’s Barbeque.

These so-called “hauntings” at Northgate include the smell of coffee and bacon throughout the building. Many believe the murder took place over the Cranford’s breakfast, which would explain the smell to some, but the novel What Virture There Is in Fire by Edwin T. Arnold states that it in fact took place in the evening. Arnold’s book covers the incident in depth through analysis of the newspapers from 1899.

All in all, the smell of coffee and bacon can be logically dismissed as students and staff walking by the cafeteria or teacher’s lounge, or simply a self-deception due to skipping breakfast. Northgate is not haunted by the lingering spirit of Alfred Cranford; we just so happen to be lucky enough to attend a school where urban legends are commonly used to shake the freshies and unsophisticated.