Monday, October 20, 2014

Young ghost haunts Alabama city's chamber of commerce

A bright flash of light like a fireball shot down the front stairwell of the Whitfield-Duke-Searcy House five years ago. Three women working with the city of Opelika witnessed the light and remember the event vividly, but it is just one of the many stories people working in the house tell when asked about the ghost of the house.

Vivian Anthony, administrative assistant for the Opelika Chamber of Commerce; Cindy Pugh, sales manager for Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau; and Tipi Miller, director of Keep Opelika Beautiful; have all been working in the house for at least eight years.

“Everyone is excited about it, and everyone has a story,” Pugh said about the ghost in the house.

Built in 1895, by the John Whitfield family, the house has been repurposed several times. The Duke family, then the Searcy family, owned the house. In 1979, First Alabama Bank bought it for their Opelika office. Then, in 1988, the city of Opelika bought the house to serve as the city’s chamber of commerce.

Today the house has been refurbished, but it stays true to the original design.

The downstairs bedrooms, once for guests, have transformed into offices and meeting rooms. The dining room still has a table, but it is a long oval with enough seats for city meetings

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