Friday begins another weekend in Tuscaloosa that offers something for everyone! Halloween season is in full swing so opportunities to visit haunted places abound. Band of Brothers offers up good music and good beer, and Alabama soccer is in action as well. You will also have a chance to experience Disney’s Aladdin Jr, or go to an antique and classic car show!
Tuscaloosa is one of the most haunted cities in the state of Alabama. Locations rumored to be hotspots for paranormal activity include the Jemison-Van de Graff Mansion, Old Bryce Hospital, and Capitol Park. Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours will lead you on a journey of discovery through these haunted locations and more. This includes a tour of the infamous Drish House, known for its ghost that lights candles for her lost love at night. Tickets to this event are available for the 7:00 and 8:30 tours, but they are going fast! Check out our blog for more information about these haunted locations before you go.
The party will be rocking at Band of Brothers Brewings as they host the Frayed Knot Band on Friday night beginning at 7:00 p.m. This local group plays 70’s and 80’s music, but they have some new songs up their sleeve as well. They pair well with a Band of Brothers’ IPA or their “Monk on the Radio,” and what could better than good beer and good music? Band of Brothers is just one of Tuscaloosa’s three breweries that is turning the city into a beer destination, so this event is great for music-lovers and beer-lovers alike.
Downtown at the Bama Theatre, you will be able to see a play based on Disney’s Aladdin. Based on this iconic animated film with an Academy Award-winning score, Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is sure to send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, but also has showings on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m, so you have all weekend to enjoy this wonderful performance.
Start your Saturday off with an antique and classic car show at The Word Community Church. This show is free to the public and will feature many different old-school cars. Car registration is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and viewing begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. There will also be food and craft vendors and a raffle. All proceeds benefit the East Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl, so this event is good fun for a good cause.
The Alabama soccer team is in action on Sunday, October 8 against their arch-rival Auburn. The Tide are currently 8-4-1 on the season including a big win over #6 Florida State, so come out and cheer them on as they try to keep their momentum through the meat of their conference schedule. The Iron Bowl of soccer kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Alabama Soccer Complex with FREE admission to all.
We have a ton going on throughout the fall months and are excited about the upcoming holiday season. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!
Written by: Danny Owen
With autumn upon us and the arrival of October, temperatures will begin to fall as the foliage begins to transition. Classes at The University of Alabama are in full swing as well as the SEC football slate for the Crimson Tide. For most of us this time of year is filled with flannel, pumpkin spice and candy, however, others have an itch for the paranormal and haunting when Halloween rolls around.
If you are the type of person who loves scary movies, suspenseful interactions, and heart-pounding thrills we have an opportunity for you! The Friends of Drish are presenting Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours throughout the month of October. This 1.5-hour journey introduces you to 16 unique locations such as the Drish House, the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion and Capital Park. Provided below is an insight into a few of these locations and the haunting stories which make these places special, yet frightening.
Tuscaloosa’s Drish House on 17th street is considered one of the most haunted locations in the state of Alabama. It was built at the center of a 450-acre plantation in 1837 by Dr. John R. Drish. Rumors say Dr. Drish loved gambling and drinking, which contributed to his death in 1867 after falling from atop a stairwell. His wife, Sarah McKinney, became obsessed with her husband’s funeral, so much so that it became an extravagant event. She supposedly kept candles from the funeral hoping to eventually use them during her own. Her family searched for these candles following her death in 1884 but were able to find anything of the like. This is said to have angered Sarah so much that she has come back to haunt the house, even allegedly causing a fire in the third-story tower by lighting the candles. The Drish House has been featured in the short story “Death Lights in the Tower” in Kathryn Tucker Windham’s popular book of ghost stories, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.
According to opacity.us, “the history of the Jemison Center, often called ‘Old Bryce,’ seems to be mired in half-truths and speculation on the internet. The earliest information found dates back to when the land was a plantation, called Crab Orchard back in the 1820s, due to the many crab apple trees located on the property. It was owned by William Jemison, who then passed it down to his son, Robert Jemison Jr., a successful politician and businessman. Jemison was a major advocate for the establishment of a hospital for the insane in Alabama and is considered a major influence to select the area as the site for the first asylum in the state – the Alabama State Hospital for the Insane (Bryce Hospital). By the 1920s the asylum had become severely overcrowded, and satellite institutions were created nearby to relieve the pressure, such as the Alabama Home for Mental Defectives (later known as Partlow State School). A mid-19th-century structure was also erected on the property, called the S.D. Allen Intermediate Care Facility; it was used as a nursing home until it closed in 2003.” Visitors claim to feel intense changes in temperature as well as seeing and hearing abnormal things. Supposedly some people have even seen the tail of a doctor’s coat traveling through the halls.
Halloween generates a unique desire to be frightened and spooked as we see examples of this throughout the United States with haunted houses, ghost tours, cemetery tours, scary movies and costumes gaining mass attention in the month of October. If you enjoy any of these or merely have a love for history then we recommend you check out Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours! Going on one of these tours will assuredly have you on the edge of your seat and provoke a heart-pounding thrill in time for the arrival of Halloween. Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours will be happening every Friday night in the month of October with tour times of 7:00, 8:30, and 10:00 pm each night. Costs of tours are as followed: $25 for adults (13+), $20 for students/military, and $15 for kids (8-12). Children under 8 years of age are not permitted and it is required for children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult. To purchase tickets or if you have any questions visit http://www.hauntedtuscaloosatours.com/.
Kirsch, Tom. “Jemison Center: an Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital in Northport, AL.” Opacity, http://opacity.us/site245_jemison_center.htm. Accessed 25 September 2017.
Tilstra, Elisabeth. “Ghost Light in the Window: The Drish House Haunting.” The Lineup, https://the-line-up.com/drish-house-hauntings. Accessed 2 October 2017.
Written by Will Wyatt