This Ghost Town In Georgia Will Give You The Creeps

Georgia is a state with a rich and turbulent history, from the colonial era to the Civil War to the modern day. But not all of its past is preserved in museums and monuments. Some of it lies forgotten and abandoned in the form of ghost towns, where the only residents are the spirits of those who once lived there. These ghost towns are not only fascinating relics of a bygone era, but also eerie reminders of the fragility of human civilization and the mysteries of the paranormal. In this article, we will explore one of the most haunting ghost towns in Georgia: Dungeness.

What is Dungeness?

Dungeness is the name of a former mansion and estate on Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost of Georgia’s barrier islands. The island is known for its natural beauty and wildlife, including wild horses, sea turtles, and rare birds. It is also a National Seashore and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

But Cumberland Island has a darker side as well. It was once the home of several wealthy and influential families, who built lavish mansions and plantations on the island. The most famous of these was Dungeness, built by Revolutionary War hero and patriot James Oglethorpe in 1736. The original Dungeness was a modest hunting lodge, but it was later expanded and renovated by several owners, including Nathanael Greene, a general in the Continental Army, and his widow, Catherine.

The most notable owner of Dungeness was Thomas Carnegie, the brother of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Thomas Carnegie and his wife, Lucy, bought the estate in 1881 and transformed it into a grand and luxurious mansion, complete with gardens, pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and a 40-room castle. The Carnegies hosted many famous guests at Dungeness, including presidents, celebrities, and royalty. They also owned most of the island and employed hundreds of workers and servants.

However, the glory days of Dungeness did not last long. Thomas Carnegie died in 1886, leaving Lucy to manage the estate and raise their nine children. Lucy continued to live at Dungeness until her death in 1916, but the mansion gradually fell into disrepair and decay. The last Carnegie to live at Dungeness was Margaret, who left the island in 1925. In 1959, a fire broke out at the mansion, destroying most of it and leaving only a charred and crumbling ruin. The cause of the fire was never determined, but some suspect it was arson.

Why is Dungeness haunted?

Dungeness may be a ghost town, but it is not a deserted one. Many believe that the spirits of its former owners and residents still haunt the ruins and the surrounding land. Some of the ghosts that have been reported at Dungeness include:

Lucy Carnegie: The matriarch of the Carnegie family is said to be the most active and benevolent spirit at Dungeness. She is often seen in her white dress, walking around the gardens or the beach, smiling and waving at visitors. Some say she is still looking after the island and its wildlife, while others say she is waiting for her husband and children to join her.

Thomas Carnegie: The husband of Lucy Carnegie is also said to linger at Dungeness, but he is less friendly and more restless than his wife. He is often seen in his black suit, pacing around the ruins or the cemetery, where he is buried. Some say he is angry about the fire that destroyed his mansion, while others say he is unhappy about the way his family treated the island and its people.

The Dungeness Children: The nine children of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie are also believed to haunt Dungeness, especially the ones who died young or tragically. The most famous of these is George Lauder Carnegie, who died at the age of seven after being bitten by a rattlesnake. He is often heard crying or laughing in the woods or the ruins, and sometimes leaves behind snake skins or toys. Another child, Nancy Carnegie, who died at the age of 13 after falling from a horse, is also seen riding or running around the island, sometimes accompanied by a ghostly horse.

The Dungeness Workers: The hundreds of workers and servants who worked for the Carnegies at Dungeness are also said to haunt the estate, especially the ones who were mistreated or exploited by the family. They are often heard moaning, groaning, or whispering in the ruins or the fields, and sometimes appear as shadowy figures or orbs of light. Some of them are also said to be angry or vengeful, and may try to scare or harm visitors who trespass on their territory.

How can you visit Dungeness?

If you are brave enough to visit Dungeness and experience its haunting history, you will need to plan ahead and follow some rules. The island is only accessible by ferry, which runs from St. Marys, Georgia, and requires a reservation. The ferry operates from March to November, and the tickets cost $30 for adults and $18 for children. You will also need to pay a $10 entrance fee to the National Park Service, which manages the island.

Once you are on the island, you will need to walk or bike to Dungeness, which is about four miles from the ferry dock. You can rent a bike from the ferry or bring your own. You will also need to bring your own food, water, and supplies, as there are no shops or services on the island. You can only visit Dungeness during the day, as the island closes at dusk and overnight camping is not allowed. You will also need to respect the wildlife and the environment, and stay on the designated trails and roads.

You can explore the ruins of Dungeness and the nearby cemetery, but you are not allowed to enter or touch any of the structures, as they are unsafe and fragile. You are also not allowed to take any souvenirs or artifacts from the site, as they are protected by law. You can take photos and videos, but you should be careful and respectful, as you may capture more than you bargained for. You should also be prepared to encounter some of the ghosts of Dungeness, who may not be happy to see you.


Dungeness is one of the most haunting and fascinating ghost towns in Georgia, and a unique destination for history buffs and thrill seekers alike. It offers a glimpse into the past of a once-grand and prosperous estate, and the lives and deaths of the people who lived there. It also offers a chance to experience the paranormal, and the mysteries and mysteries of the spirit world. If you are looking for a creepy and captivating adventure, Dungeness is the place to go. But be warned: you may not leave the same way you came.

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