Today, facts and stories from the Civil War are taught in history classes all across the nation.
But very few people know that certain battles during that bloody war have given birth to the strangest of hauntings.
Updated 9/26/2019 – The Battle of Marianna took place in Marianna, Florida.
The Innocent Soldier of the Battle of Marianna
Much like every battle during the Civil War, this fight was quite gruesome, and brother readily fought against brother for his beliefs.
The Battle took place in and around St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, located near the center of the city.
Many Confederate soldiers were killed in the battle.
Some soldiers died right on the steps of the church.
But what our history books do not report is the rumored death of a man who was trying to become a priest.
For Joseph, becoming a clergyman of St. Luke’s was his greatest desire.
He was so determined he would be ordained; he had sewn an outfit much like the traditional priest’s garb.
It’s been said that Joseph was at the church during the Battle of Marianna.
When he heard the commotion outside, he went out into the grounds to see what was going on.
Soldiers were everywhere, attacking anything that moved.
Nobody is sure whether it was a Union or Confederate soldier, but somebody saw Joseph walk around the church and mistook him for an enemy.
Supposedly, Joseph perished quickly, having never fulfilled his dream.
A Ghostly Encounter at St. Luke’s
For Linda, a Marianna resident, Joseph’s story had made a permanent impact on her life.
She is absolutely certain that she has encountered his ghost at St. Luke’s.
“I had only just started learning about the church,” she said.
“I had just gone through a divorce, and I flung myself into activities at the church to help me get through the whole situation.
“I enjoyed playing piano, and wanted to volunteer to play music during weekend services.
“I hadn’t played in a couple years and felt nervous about how I would perform,” Linda said with a small smile.
“The church was kind enough to let me come into the church to practice in between daily sermons.
“I was there one day, practicing alone.
“At first I thought it was my imagination, but it seemed that whenever I would complete a song, I could hear someone clapping nearby.
“But I knew I was the only one there at the time, so it was just…impossible.
“After I noticed it, it seemed to get louder and louder with each song.
“I had been facing the podium, and I finally got the nerve to turn to face the room,” she said, with a slight shiver.
“There, sitting in the farthest row was the strangest man I had ever seen.
“He was dressed like a priest, but I could see right through him to the pew he sat on!
“So I took a few steps closer.
“The man had the most unusual face—lumpy and severely deformed.
“His eyes were two different sizes, and his skull was very misshapen.
“Overall, I would have guessed that he wasn’t human…
“But when he looked at me, I saw human emotion through his eyes.
“I opened my mouth to speak, but he disappeared into the bench he sat at.
“After that, I learned of Joseph’s role in the Battle of Marianna.”
“Since then, many people have seen a dead priest walk around St. Luke’s.”
4362 Lafayette St
Marianna, FL 32446