- September 13, 2018 at 5:19 pm #12539
Orna Villa was once the home of Emory College president, Dr. Alexander Means.
Situated in downtown Oxford, it is the oldest house in the city.
Orna Villa’s fame is not derived from the majestic four columns or the heavy door locks of the 1790s which bear proof of its age, but rather from the persisting legend that the home is haunted.
Indeed, the home has seen many owners come and go in its long life, but the Means family is said to have remained.
Each subsequent resident has reported such occurrences as doors opening and slamming shut, the footsteps of a man on the back porch, four sturdily mounted lithographs falling off the wall simultaneously, and the steady and rhythmic motion of a rocking chair.
One thing the witnesses do not agree on is who the spirit of the ghost belongs to.
Dr. Means lived in the home with his family, including his two sons, Tobe and Olin. Dr. Means was a learned man who emphasized the importance of formal education; his work at the college kept him occupied during the day and so he was often seen late at night reading in his favorite rocking chair.
When he felt himself getting drowsy, Dr. Means would rock vigorously to keep awake, hence the idea that the spirit of Dr. Means is causing the rocking today.
Olin also thought that education took precedence and so he pursued a medical career. In the middle of his life, Olin felt that he was called to be a Methodist minister; this interfered with his medical career and in making his decision, he often paced the front porch.
His brother, Tobe, was adamant against formal education and argued with his father that the money that had been set aside for school should instead be used to send him to study abroad in an informal setting.
Tobe also took to pacing the front porch and his fits of rage often sent wall hangings flying and doors slamming.
Both Tobe and Olin have been named as possible spirits along with their father.
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