Henry Wells Face [Pickens County Courthouse]

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Comments (6)

Foxx Trotter on October 23, 2007

If you look closely at the lower right pane of this window, you'll notice the image of a face in it. The pane has been replaced a couple of times, but the face keeps reappearing. Washing the pane doesn't remove it. Below is information from a historic marker located at the Pickens County Courthouse (built 1877) in Carrollton, Alabama...

Pickens County, named for General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina, was established December 19, 1820. First county site was Pickensville. On March 5, 1830, the governor awarded 80 acres of land at Carrollton for the County Site. The first courthouse at Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865, by troops of Union General John T. Croxton. A freedman, Henry Wells, was accused of burning the second on November 16, 1876. He was arrested in January, 1878, and held in the garret of this building. Legend holds that as Wells peered out of the North window at a mob gathering below, lightning struck nearby, indelibly etching his image on the pane.

Henry Wells (1805-1878) died in jail after he was put on trial and confessed to the charges. This image is said to only be visible on the exterior side. The Pickens County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. More information about the courthouse and the image can be found here on Wikipedia...


Rom@nce on October 24, 2007

ok...that is freaky...thx for the history of that

Brandon_Belew on November 2, 2007

Creepy! Nice image and 'ghost story' for Halloween =)

Foxx Trotter on November 2, 2007

Thanks. :0)

bamaengineer on February 23, 2009

That particular window pane has never been replaced. the other three have but not that one

MarkAlex on October 29, 2010

After a little digging, it seems that the window pane with the "face" was installed after Wells died, and certainly after his imprisonment there. Fun story, but people see what they want to see.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 23, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Foxx Trotter
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot A620
    • Taken on 2007/10/23 16:27:48
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 29.20mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash