“The first eight-sided building in Kentucky”
In 1847, Andrew Jackson Caldwell laid out the foundation for his new family home. With a desire for distinction, his home would not be a simple structure with four walls like so many others, but an eight sided edifice unique to the region. Completed in 1859, it would soon become a landmark in the south-central Kentucky area. Built for his growing family and as a headquarters for the plantation, it was occupied by the Caldwell family even after Andrew's death in 1866. His widow, Harriet, lived in the Octagon Hall until selling the house in 1918 to Doctor Miles Williams, an osteopath from Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Williams moved from Nashville and made the Octagon Hall his residence until his death in 1954. At that time, the Octagon Hall was made rental property by his heirs. The Octagon Hall remained rental property until The Octagon Hall Foundation was formed and obtained the building in 2001. Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the only eight-sided house in Kentucky, The Octagon Hall Foundation is furthering the efforts to save the past for the future. The historic Octagon Hall is rumored to be haunted. In the 1860s it is said that a young girl burned to death in the basement kitchen, and local stories tell that during a 2003 Halloween ghost tour, the fireplace kettle, which hangs from a moveable arm but is too heavy to move easily, swung out into the room. Also, during a Civil War reenactment when some actors stayed the night in the house, they heard footsteps and opening and closing doors throughout the night. Next morning they found an body-shaped imprint in a featherbed in an upstairs bedroom, although no one had slept there. A few days later, a woman was alone cleaning and saw that the feather bed looked as if someone had been lying in it, so she fluffed it up. When she returned shortly after, the imprint was in the bed again. She had not heard about the imprint made earlier. Other phenomena experienced here include the unexplained scent in the parlor of flowers which quickly turns to decayed meat; this happened on December 15, 2003. Folks speculate that this is because it was the anniversary of original owner Andrew Jackson Caldwell’s death, and his body was displayed in the parlor (common practice at the time). Ghost hunters here have collected several examples of electronic voice phenomena as well as other communications.
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