Ghost of the Headless Horse - Albany, Georgia
Ghost of the Headless Horse - Albany, Georgia
|A Headless Horse in Albany, Georgia?
The Hudson Valley of New York may claim the ghost
of the Headless Horseman, but the Georgia city of
Albany has a bizarre claim of its own!
Headless Horse Ghost
Albany's Headless Horse is said to
haunt the banks of the beautiful Flint
River, which flows through the
The Flint River
The banks of the Flint River have
been converted to park areas.
People walk and bike the haunting
GHOST OF THE HEADLESS HORSE
Equine Terror in Georgia
|Copyright 2013 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: October 22, 2014
Georgia Ghosts & Monsters
Haunts of a Ghost Horse?
A Flint River fishing guide claimed to
regularly see the ghost of the
headless horse, which once even
tried to board his boat.
Bridge House in Albany
Now a visitor center, the Bridge
House is a great place to begin your
exploration of the Flint River at
Many Americans know the story of Sleepy
Hollow and its Headless Horseman, but few
know the tale of Albany and its Headless
Located on the Flint River in Southwest
Georgia, Albany is a thriving and diverse city.
Its riverfront has been turned into a major
destination with paths, overlooks, exhibits,
museums and the Flint RiverQuarium, a
beautiful aquarium that focuses on the Flint
More than 100 years ago, however, the big
attraction of the Albany riverfront was not an
aquarium, but the ghost of a headless horse!
The story first received media coverage on
July 9, 1888, when it was picked up by
newspapers across the South.
A newspaper correspondent was in Albany
for a fishing expedition from the Flint River up
Muckalee and Kinchafoonee Creeks. While
enjoying the overnight outing he came to
know Dink Melvin, a local fishing guide who
told a remarkable story of an equine ghost:
…THE GHOST that Dink describes so
eloquently is in the shape of a big white
horse without a head. The horse is perfect in
shape, except he has no head, and Dink
says that he has been seeing it for the last
five or six years. Its trysting place is along the
The boatman and guide was confident that
he was seeing a real ghost and offered it to
anyone with the nerve to go out with him at
...If he gets in his boat and rows across the
river the big white horse follows him to a
certain place and then disappears. It has
given him several bad frights, and one
Sunday evening, as he was returning from
the creeks above, the thing came right up to
his boat and seemed to be trying to put its
fore feet in it. Dink says that he has been
scared a good many times, but this was the
worst fright he ever had in his life.
The story was told while the fishing party was
camped on the bank of Muckalee Creek
during the first week of July 1888. Melvin's
audience was fascinated by it:
“I’d just like to see some man that had the grit
to shoot at that thing, but I wouldn’t care to be
close to him when he done it,” said Dink.
“Well, sir, you take me there and show it to
me, and I’ll shoot at it,” said the scribe.
“No sir, Boss, don’t you do it,” interrupted
Harrison Pettis, the scribe’s faithful boatman,
from the outer edge of the tent....
Pettis warned the reporter that he knew a
man who had shot at a ghost only to die
within three weeks. He warned the writer not
to shoot at the ghost, "for I don't want you to
The reporter persisted, however, and a
search for the ghost was planned, but the
guide - Melvin - had to cancel due to illness.
A second search was then planned, but had
not taken place at the time the story hit the
papers and no account of what happened
during it has yet been found. Perhaps future
research will reveal more about the reporter's
search for Albany's headless horse!
No explanation for why a horse would haunt
the Flint River at Albany has ever surfaced,
nor has any reason been found as to why it
would be headless.
The spirits or "ghosts" of animals are
common features in the American Indian
legends of Georgia. Other well-known folk
stories tell of ghost dogs, frogs and other
creatures. Perhaps the Albany story is a
holdover from such a tale?
The recent success of the FOX television
series "Sleepy Hollow" has made headless
horsemen much the rage, but so far as is
known the Headless Horse of Albany has
been silent for many years. No recent
accounts of appearances by him (or her)
could be found.
It is possible, of course, that he has shied
away from the lights and increased activity
along the riverfront and is haunting other,
The story of a headless horse or headless
mule is actually a part of Medieval culture that
drifted to the Americas. In Brazil, for example,
a specter in the form of a headless mule is
said to represent a woman who was cursed
by God for her great sins. Turned into the
form of a headless mule, she roams the
Whatever its origin, the Headless Horse is
one of Georgia's most unique ghost stories.
The Albany riverfront has experienced a
remarkable revitalization in recent decades. It
now features walkways, green space,
beautiful views of the river and more.
The Ray Charles Memorial features the
famed singer and songwriter in statue form
and the sounds of his songs drift out over the
riverbanks each time a visitor approaches.
The riverfront also is home to the restored
Bridge House, now a visitor center, the
Horace King Overlook, the Flint RiverQuarium
and museums of science and history.
The Flint River at Albany
The river flows across small rapids
formed by its rocky bottom as it
passes the city of Albany, Georgia.