As with any “haunted location,” there are often rumors that are simply untrue. Tales that have been told for decades or even centuries that get twisted until it’s a complete fabrication. This is why it’s a good idea to study and bring historical facts to light. That’s exactly what I do with every location before writing anything about it. In most cases, I have found that truth is far more interesting than fiction.
While doing research into Middle Georgia, I spent a lot of time in the history of Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon. All areas in our region are important, but this beautiful mysterious cemetery could have its own page dedicated to itself.
There is a topic that keeps popping up again and again about a specific area and people buried there. In this case, we’ll be discussing the “vampire” of Rose Hill Cemetery.
For some unknown reason, myths have been stating that Joseph Bond Sr, buried underneath a beautiful white pillar with an angel on top, was a vampire. Rumors on the internet swirl about the angel and how it has a dagger in one hand, waiting for Bond to rise again.
The back of his tomb was also a popular spot for the Allman Brothers Band to hang out and even took a famous picture here. (That is a fact).
Of course, the vampire rumors are absolute nonsense. Nonetheless, they have attracted people from all over to visit his tomb. Unfortunately, it’s also caused his tomb to be vandalized, and parts of it destroyed. In fact, resting near the railroad tracks behind his family tomb are broken pieces of the monument itself. This is wholly unacceptable in any case.
*let it be noted that a tornado in the 1950s destroyed parts of Rose Hill and its monuments. Some damage to this monument has been attributed to it and to the vibration of the railroad tracks beneath it*
So, who was the man under the tomb? As mentioned earlier, his name was Joseph Bond Sr. He was a local cotton plantation owner. In fact, it’s been reported that in 1857, he set a world record with a single cotton sale. Although he definitely was not a vampire, his death was not natural.
In a sketch written in 1872 (13 years after his death) to the Macon Weekly Telegraph by one of his friends as a “Letter to the Editor,” it was stated that he owned Slaves in the “hundreds.” Records show that Bond had the reputation of treating slaves fairly.
In 1859, Bond fired an overseer for mistreating one of his slaves. That former overseer shot and killed Bond on his Southwest Georgia farm. He was 44 years old.
Neighboring his plot, separated by a staircase, is the tomb and monument to William B Johnston. He is responsible for building the (nicknamed) Hay House on Georgia Ave in Macon. Across the street from it, you’ll find Bond Street, named after Joseph Bond Sr. Also, the angel on top of the monument is holding a scroll, not a dagger. Always check the facts before running with a rumor! They were buddies!
There are, in fact, reports of ghostly figures hanging around these monuments, even in broad daylight. Some even report shadow figures. This is absolutely untrue and has never been officially verified or acknowledged by any authority over the cemetery. Never visit Rose Hill Cemetery at night without proper permission.
I really hope you enjoyed this case. There is a ton of information about Rose Hill Cemetery from a book titled “Rose Hill Rambles.” It’s a sure way to guide you through mind-blowing facts about Rose Hill. You can purchase it at the Visit Macon Office in downtown Macon. Visit https://www.maconga.org/ to learn more!
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