If you go to visit Olde Rope Mill Park, you will likely encounter a crowd. It is hard to get a parking spot, so plan ahead for your visit and be patient while trying to get a space. It is a popular place for peaceful walks along the ruins of the rope mill, bikers taking on the multiple biking trails, and families hanging out at picnic tables or swings along the stream. The bridge over the water is very popular for photo ops, especially for couples and teens dressed up for school events – such as homecoming. Watch out for the bikers, they have the right of way and will push through the crowds.
There are many ruins that dot the paths along the park. There are multiple historical markers that give information about each segment of the ruins, plus warnings for people to take care around them, since they are unstable and potentially dangerous. Especially after dark. Kids under 12 should have supervision, etc. The park officially closes at 11 pm nightly.
Before this area became a park, it was heavily utilized by many locals for swimming and fishing all along the river. The area around the new mall was previously called Noonday Hill, and some families that worked in the mill still lived in the area after the mill closed down. There was a story of one such family that had the actual clock that previously was used in the mill’s main office. Some of the ruins are hard to reach now, such as the ruined housing for mill workers. Also, there is a waterfall that used to be accessible by a road that no longer exists. Hause Shoals are what the locals used to call it.
With lack of early record keeping, there is no accurate number of deaths at this mill location. However, there have been reports, especially at night, of screams or unexplained noises around the mill ruins. Also, there have been reports of ghostly apparitions along the trails. At most mills, there are typically unfortunate stories of death or other tragedies. Drownings in waterways or around water wheels, or people being crushed in grist mill stones, are fairly common, especially since there was no real safety protocols in place as there are today. Are the screams echoes from the past, trying to get our attention? Maybe trying to warn hikers after dark to stay away from the dangers of the trails? There are definitely areas where it would be easy to fall into a pit or step into a hole and break an ankle.
If you have stories you would like to share of your ghostly adventures at Olde Rope Mill Park, we would like to hear from you!