|Consolation Church in Butler County, Ala.|
The first I ever heard about Consolation Church in Butler County was in a great book that came out last year called “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” by David Higdon and Brett Talley. Shortly thereafter, I put a trip to this supposedly haunted location on my “bucket list” and officially scratched it off the list on Saturday.
Consolation Church is located east of Georgiana and McKenzie on Oakey Streak Road, which is off Butler County Road 59, near the Butler-Covington County line. According to “Haunted Alabama Black Belt” and The Greenville Advocate newspaper there are a wide variety of unusual stories about this old church and cemetery, which has been described as a “paranormal magnet.”
The most common story about the location involves a banshee, who supposedly can be heard wailing and crying. Others say the banshee can be heard screaming and whimpering. Those who claim to have seen her say she looks like an old woman, while others say that she looks like a young, beautiful girl. Legend has it that if you’re standing inside the church and hear the banshee, it means that someone inside the church will die soon.
Another story about the location involves red-eyed “hellhounds” that are said to walk the grounds of the old cemetery, which contains graves that date way back into the early 1800s. Some claimed to have seen red eyes in the tree line at various spots around the church, especially near the cemetery, and others say that they have heard the “demon howls” of these ghostly hounds.
Another common ghost story about the location involves a small boy with a ball, who is sometimes heard laughing in and around the church. Often accompanied by the sudden rush of cold air, this boy will supposedly roll his ball to you. The story goes that if you pick up the ball and roll it back to the boy, you'll die soon thereafter.
Some visitors have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a small girl skipping down the short road to the church from Oakey Streak Road. Supposedly, if you watch the girl long enough, you’ll see her disappear just before she reaches the church. Like the boy, the girls doesn’t say a word, but occasionally you can hear her laugh.
Another common tale about this location involves a black 1964 Ford pickup and its ghostly driver. This truck is said to appear out of nowhere if you linger too long at the church on a night when there’s a full moon. Supposedly, this truck will chase you and if it catches you, it’ll cause your vehicle to crash, killing everyone inside.
Also, a number of Civil War veterans are buried in the Consolation Church cemetery, and some visitors have claimed to have heard the sounds of phantom horsemen in the area. Some say these restless souls continue to ride into battle long after the end of the war.
If you go to the church today, you’ll also notice an old-timey outhouse behind the church building. Supposedly, if you enter the outhouse, the door will shut behind you and you'll become locked inside. You’ll remain trapped there until someone on the outside lets you out.
I paid a visit to this old church on Saturday morning and spent about 30 minutes there, just looking around. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary or supernatural, but I can say that the place does have an unusual vibe to it. It’s hard to verbalize why, but the Consolation Church property reminded me a lot of the Bladon Springs Cemetery in Choctaw, which is also supposedly haunted.
If you decide to visit the Consolation Church on your own, be forewarned. It is a very remote part of Butler County and is somewhat difficult to find. It’s also located off a dirt road that’s unmarked and that has seen better days. Also, if you do visit this place, remember that it’s a church and cemetery, so please be respectful of your surroundings.
In the end, how many of you have ever been to Consolation Church in Butler County? What did you think about it? Did you experience anything unusual there? Let us know in the comments section below.