Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017
(News 12 at 6 O'Clock / NBC 26 News at 7)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – This isn’t a story a lot of reporters would touch because if you touch the pillar bad things happen, or so the legend goes.
But you can touch a sign explaining that legend. It is still standing along Broad Street even though the pillar has disappeared. Now, a traffic cone has taken its place.
“It’s kind of a haunted cone now, I don’t want to touch the cone, right?”
But, Barry White with the Convention and Visitors Bureau…
“This is as close as I’m getting.”
…hopes Augusta is getting closer to restoring a legend.
“It’s just a shame they haven’t put it back,” says neighbor Bill Prince.
Prince is missing his numinous neighbor, too.
It’s quieter on the corner this Halloween.
“…Climb up on top of it. I’ve seen them hug it. They’ve done just about everything they could to that post,” laughs Prince.
With no one tempting fate.
“…And take pictures with it. It’s weird.”
It’s also become somewhat of a ghost in its own ghost story.
After it fell last year, pictures of the pillar’s pieces became haunted with a face. Proof, people said, of its supernatural powers that became buried under months of social media posts.
That’s not all we’re unearthing tonight.
The Haunted Pillar has a not-so-final resting place parked next to city equipment, obviously pushed there with city equipment. I’m told Augusta employees didn’t want to touch it.
“Pretty much it all comes down to what’s in common is, if you touch the pillar you’re going to die,” said White.
Prince isn’t so sure. Years ago, he had a front row seat when someone took a sledgehammer to it.
“He’d hit it five or six, seven times and busted the cement off,” recalls Prince.
Prince says he called the police.
“…And they arrested him. Sent him to jail. And they brought me the sledgehammer,” laughs Prince, “and he didn’t die.”
But neither has the story, which is why the city saved it. It’s not marked or labeled, and it’s not common knowledge where it is.
The pieces aren’t all that we tracked down.
We started asking questions and learned the city now has finalized plans to put the pillar back up. Right now, leaders are gathering cost information. Then, the project will go before the Augusta Commission.
“It’s an unofficial, somewhat official kind of tourism destination or attraction for us here in Augusta.”
One that we’ve confirmed the city is working to raise from the dead.
This isn’t the first time someone’s knocked the pillar down. It fell in 1958, on a Friday the 13th no less. Its big accident was in 1935, where it was supposedly destroyed and rebuilt.
Some believe the curse ended then and there. I don’t know about you, but I’m not taking any chances.