Georgia Civil War ghost story about the mysterious “Green Eyes” creature that roams the haunted Chickamauga Battlefield each night.

Old Green Eyes – Our Story

Listen to storyteller John Gentile narrate “Old Green Eyes”

Have you ever heard someone use the expression, “My life flashed before my eyes”? People use it so much it’s become a cliche’. But such a thing really happened to me. Although it wasn’t my life that I saw.

When I was a young man growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I was dating a girl named Melissa. She lived just over the state line in the small town of Lafayette, Georgia. When this incident happened, I’d only been seeing her for a couple of months, so I was still trying to impress her as best I could. So you can imagine my anxiety one Friday night – the night of a big date I’d been planning for days – when my car broke down right after I’d gotten off work. I kicked the tires so hard I almost broke my foot!

Well, I frantically located my big brother and coaxed him into letting me borrow his old beat up truck. Sure, it wasn’t the fancy chariot Melissa was expecting me to show up in. But all I cared about was finding four wheels that could take me straight to Lafayette – via Chickamauga Battlefield.

Spooky road through Chickamauga Battlefield, Georgia, haunted site of Old Green Eyes sightings

Now if you’ve never heard of Chickamauga – think of it as the Gettysburg of Georgia, but bigger. Chickamauga is actually an Indian word meaning “River of Death.” And it lived up to its name during the Civil War when a bloody battle was fought there. The Yankees were trying to capture Chattanooga, which was a major rail center at the time. The Rebels drove them back, but not before nearly 40,000 soldiers died.

Of course, the history behind the battlefield wasn’t important to me that night. What was important was getting to Melissa’s house, and I was already over an hour late. So I knew the quickest way to get there was the two-lane road that cut straight through the heart of the battlefield.

As I gunned my brother’s truck over the state line, a hard rain that had been falling all day was tapering off. But it left behind a thick and eerie mist that crept through the open battlefield like ghostly fingers. The park had closed for the night, and there were no cars in sight. The road was almost impossible to see. But I had used this park as a short cut a million times before, and knew it like the back of my hand.

As I was driving down the main road, I noticed the faint headlights of a car approaching in the distance. For a split second, I wondered if this was someone just like me, late for an important date with a Georgia beauty. I could only hope he saw me in the swirling mist between us.

But as the car drew closer, I noticed it was unlike any vehicle I had seen before. The headlights appeared to be a strange greenish color. I knew a thing or two about cars, but I’d never seen headlights like that. Maybe they helped the driver see in bad weather conditions, I thought.

The car drew closer and closer, and those green lights were burning at a wattage I’d never seen from any headlight. And they seemed to bounce up and down, and weave from side to side, as if the car was riding on springs. I politely tapped my horn, hoping the driver could see me in front of him.

But as the mystery car got closer and closer, the driver appeared to swerve further into my lane. This time I laid on the horn – what’s wrong with this guy, I thought, is he drunk? Then I saw something that really shook me. There were no beams shooting out of those green lights – they looked like two floating orbs, powered by some other source. They even looked like…eyes.

I frantically blared my horn again as the green lights drew near. And just before we passed each other, the driver suddenly swerved into my lane! I reacted quickly, spinning the wheel the opposite way. My truck flew off the road and onto the battlefield grounds, swallowed by darkness. I slammed into a tree, and the world turned black.

Snodgrass House, Thomas Headquarters with Cannons, Chickamauga Battlefield, Georgia

When I came to a few moments later, the battlefield was silent, save the hissing sound coming from the crushed hood of the truck. My headlights were smashed, and the only light was from the bright stars above. I felt the large bump on my head and groaned.

It was then I saw the green lights again, sitting silently in the darkness, observing me. I watched as the lights floated closer and closer toward my vehicle. In the silence, I could hear no car engine sputtering toward me. It couldn’t be a car that I had seen. But what was it?

Suddenly the lights disappeared. I began to tremble with fear for the first time. “Who’s out there?” I called out, but no one answered. Then I heard a rustling sound against my car, peered out the window, and in the darkness could just make out a large shadowy figure circling me. I thought it was a large man, for it shuffled about on two legs. But as my eyes adjusted, I could see that it’s hair was long, right down to the waist. And it made a horrible moaning sound, the saddest sound I’d ever heard.

Just like that, the figure disappeared, and the night was quiet again. “Is anyone out there?” I yelled, but there was still no answer. After a long pause, I slowly reached for the door handle with shaking fingers.

Then something pounced onto the hood of my truck. I looked out the cracked windshield, and what I saw was no man. It was a beast, with long dirty hair and huge, mangled jaws from which two long, sharp fangs jutted out. And it had two burning green eyes, fueled by some otherworldy evil I couldn’t begin to comprehend.

Soldier figure on Georgia Monument, Chickamauga Battlefield, Georgia

I tried to scream but found myself mute, hypnotized by those green eyes. And as the creature and I stared at each other in silence, the battlefield began to transform around us. The darkness gave way to a strange green glow. There was no road, no cars and no monuments. Instead, I was surrounded by smoke, fire, scorched grass and the charred remains of warfare. The sickening stench of burning flesh filled my nostrils. At my feet were piles of bodies in blue and grey unforms, drenched equally in blood. Some were missing arms, others legs. There were heads without bodies, their eyes shut tightly as if afraid of their ultimate fate. And everywhere were the low and agonizing moans of pain and death, filling the skies along with the black smoke in a hellish symphony.

Suddenly, a curtain of darkness fell down on the battlefield. I could hear a car horn behind me. The creature leapt off my hood and disappeared into the night. It was then I realized I was back in the wrecked truck. A couple of rangers ran down the hillside to my aid. “Are you alright?” they asked.

“Did you see that animal that attacked me?” I asked them breathlessly. “The one with the green eyes?”

The two rangers looked at me strangely. “That’s a serious bump you got on your head, son,” they answered. “You must be seein’ things.”

“But something jumped on my truck,” I yelped. “I saw it!”

But the rangers never found evidence of any creature. Even when daylight broke, and my truck was towed away, not a single animal print could be found. And I soon gave up my argument about the creature, fearing that people would think I was crazy.

Believe it or not, in later years I ended up becoming a park ranger myself at Chickamauga Battlefield. The area was no longer just a shortcut between Chattanooga and Lafayette. To me it was hollowed ground, from which I could point out every military maneuver, every act of bravery, and every tragic defeat.

But as time passed, other folks insisted that they, too, had spotted the mysterious “Green Eyes” while driving through the park at night. And they would ask me what I saw that fateful night as a teenage boy. You know what I told them? I would say that what I encountered that night was no monster, but the shadow of death that creeps around every town, alleyway and battlefield where men go to war – and will keep doing so as a reminder of our tragic mistakes.

-THE END-

Ol' Green Eyes Georgia Ghost
Sketch of Old Green Eyes of Chickamauga Battlefield by Luke Weaver, Evans, GA

Where Did “Old Green Eyes” Come From?

If Georgia has its own Civil War Bigfoot, it may very well be “Old Green Eyes” of Chickamauga, a legendary creature that, according to numerous ghost hunters and tourists through the years, still haunts the massive national park at Chickamauga Battlefield. Green Eyes isn’t the only apparition roaming the grounds of Chickamauga, but he certainly is the most famous.

Civil War battlefields are some of the most haunted places on earth. With so much death, destruction and sorrow in one area, it’s no surprise that restless spirits still wander the land. Chickamauga Battlefield, in northwestern Georgia close to the Tennessee state line, was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, second only to Gettysburg according to historians.

The Civil War was approaching its end in 1863 when Union troops captured Chattanooga, Tennessee with their eyes set on Atlanta to the South. General Willaim Rosencrans was the Union commander who led the charge into Georgia in September of that year. But he met violent opposition along Chickamauga Creek from Confederate troops led by General Braxton Bragg and General James Longstreet. The two day battle ended with the Confederate army pushing the Union army back to Tennessee. 37,000 soldiers on both sides were killed.

View from Snodgrass Hill, Old Green Eyes hauntings, Chickamauga Battlefield, Georgia
View from Snodgrass Hill, site of Old Green Eyes and other hauntings, Chickamaua Battlefield, Georgia

The Battle of Chickamauga was a much needed morale boost for the Confederate army. But of course, their victory would be short lived as Union General William T. Sherman eventually took the reins of the Union army and drove south to Atlanta, ending the war.

Years later, numerous people encountered strange goings-on at the old battlefield grounds. Some would hear the sounds of gunshots at night, or of soldiers marching, moaning and crying. This would not be a surprise, as the battlefield is believed to be filled with makeshift graves containing Union soliders. After the battle, many Union corpses were left lying in the field for weeks, only to be buried in unmarked graves.

One famous ghost who is said to wander the battlefield is the “lady in white” who is searching for her husband. But Green Eyes is the best known apparition, and has appeared in two different forms. Some believe Green Eyes is a soldier whose head was blown off during the battle, and now wanders Chickamauga looking for his body.

The second version of the story – and the one we used here – is that Green Eyes is a strange, otherworldly creature, half-man and half-beast. Old Green Eyes wanders Chickamauga Battlefield on two legs and has long, stringy hair down to his waist. But he also has glowing green eyes and huge jaws with two sharp fangs sticking out. It is believed that this version of Green Eyes comes from a Native American legend from long before the Civil War. There were some reports of Green Eyes wandering among the dead at Snodgrass Hill shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga.

Story Credits

Written and Directed by Craig Dominey

Told by John Gentile

Sound Design by Henry Howard

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. Joshua Clum

    A couple of friends and I have a podcast named Grey Castle. “Ol Green eyes” is a great story and it would be awesome if we could share your content/audio? We make no financial gain from it. All accolades for the site/author/Narrator/etc as always will be posted in our show notes. Hope to hear from you soon! Thank you for your time

  2. Joe

    I find it interesting that he says the creature’s mournful cry is ‘the saddest thing he’s ever heard’. I thought he would say ‘most terrifying’ or something along those lines, but he describes it as ‘sad’.
    Sounds to me like a Banshee. in irish folklore the banshee (bean sidhe?) are long haired, female spirits who bemoan tragedy. They don’t mean any harm but they can be terrifying to witness.
    They can be harbingers of doom if you see one, but in this case I think the ‘doom’ being mourned is the battle of Chickamauga, not some future doom. Having said that, I don’t know how willing to test that theory I’d be. I’m the type of person who’d like to see something paranormal just to get some affirmation about the hereafter but this story sounds terrifying.

  3. Aleksi Mustakallio

    I finaly found guys with exp of that thing. Saw it at age 10-12 (now 27) when sleeping in the same room with my stepsister and her female friend. We woke up at the same time at night and looked at the window. After that a pair of glowing green eyes smacked the window looking inside and started to slither down the window. Been thinking about it ever since but now i know where to look for that bastard. Anyone keen for stepping to grave prematurely?

  4. Jack

    I heard somewhere that the story behind green eyes was that during that battle a soldier was blown to smithereens until nothing was left but his green eyes and to this day his green eyes still are floating around looking for his body

  5. Paula Norris

    I don’t know how much of your story is true……BUT! In 1969 a group of friends and myself went out to Chickamauga Battlefield in search of “Green Eyes”! It was the Fall of the year. Not only did we see the horrible “Green Eyes, but every blinker in our station wagon started blinking green. The inside of the station wagon became very cold and we could not get the doors open!!!! After about twenty minutes the “eyes” disappeared and all four doors opened on the car!! I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT NIGHT!!! That was FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO!!!

  6. John

    I grew up in Chickamauga, and spent a lot of time in the battlefield. I’ve seen and heard some strange things there on rainy foggy nights. It gets real spooky in there.

  7. Mike Lannom

    Awesome story! It is riveting at every turn. I’ve never witnessed anything quite like that. All of my experiences are physical in nature like breaking a leg and ending up in a trauma unit with dead people all around. It was really weird and then there was the drugs. Hospitals are strange places and its no wonder they are often haunted I mean just look at the suffering, fear, and death than occurs there. Like when my mom died I remember how she would say just before she died how her mother had come to take her home. She died three days later.
    Again very good story not sure if it’s true, but it sounds good.

  8. Cool idea, but it was about as scary as a sneezing kitten o—–o

  9. alajah

    THIS WAS A AWSOME STORY I HOPE THERE WILL BE MORE??????????

  10. OMG this story had me on the edge of my seat.
    This story made ever thing feel real and it convinced me that green eyes are true.
    OMG now I want to go to the battlefield and see if I can see the “GREEN EYES” are real.

  11. bob

    i have saw things in the park and when i told someone they said you are crazy

  12. KAKU

    Hmm,,,
    A good tale about a fantastic beast, and more importantly with a good moral.
    But, I have a question for Craig,
    “Is it real??”

  13. Brent thanks for sharing your experiences with hearing those cannons and gunshots. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  14. Savannah

    IM CRYING THAT WAS SO SCARY!!????

  15. Gregory

    this was awesome thanks to who ever made this story

  16. Brent

    I live just outside of the battlefield and have for a few years now.
    There are sounds of gun shots and cannons some times at night and in the day. Sometimes yes its during times when their doing reenactments, and up till then they may be practicing so you can discount those. but there are other times when you hear these that it cannot be someone reenacting.
    I have been to wilder tower many times and personally feel it is a place of peace and very beautiful, though a long climb up.
    As to old green eyes, all I can say is that there does seem to be a spirit of the battlefield, I don’t think its hostile or anything but sometimes when I am sitting outside smoking and looking off my porch off into the battlefield. I could see why people might feel it is haunted. At night the place can feel a bit creepy.
    I should say though that I have never seen any ghosts out here, or any green glowing eyes.

  17. Sky family

    We love your site and all of your great stories told by amazing story tellers! Our family loves Gonna Getcha Woods. We listen to the audio stories from Virginia in our back yard. It’s out favorite thing to do around the fire!

    Thank you!!! Keep it up!!!

  18. tasha

    i have been to that place so many times at night and saw so many different things i have saw the girl jumping off the tower and i have seen many soilders even the women who looks for her husband! it is one freaky place but thats where i grew up and wouldnt change it

  19. justin

    Great story I really did get a little scared!

  20. jim daniels

    you guys never seen any thing you just think you did

  21. randy blevins

    i was just wondering has anybody ever exsperienced the woman in white holding a lit candle walking up the tower and then jumping off and just before she hits the groud she dissapperas plz let me know my email is popcornplaya869@yahoo.com

  22. Jeff

    Anybody ever record (audio or video) ANYTHING out there??? My brother and his family go there a lot (in the day) to ride their bikes….. Hmmmm….Gots to talk to my Bro ’bout this. Maybe he’s game…

  23. mimi

    i love this story

  24. hobo lary

    i dont care for the ending the story lost me in the middle over all it is a 4 out of 10 not good

  25. hobo lary

    THIS ROCKS

  26. cant tell you

    wow!

  27. kewl pearson

    it was spooky and cool

  28. GLENN

    that story is AWESOME!I LOVED IT

  29. Lori R.

    I live in a subdivision in Fort Oglethorpe in fact the rear entrance/ exit actually comes out right in the Chickamauga Battlefield. Ever since the first day I moved there (about 4 years ago) I have heard random gun shots and Cannons being fired. Granted they do hold reinactments, however that is not where it’s coming from, simply put I hear these shots a lot more frequently than they hold the reinactments.
    …I was telling a friend of mine about this experience once and he told me he had had an errie experience once too. He delivers fuel to convenient stores at night and on this particular night he was at a store in Chickamauga dropping gas when he heard what sounded like horses coming down the road. Since it was so late at night he was intrigued by who might be out riding horses at that time of night. He walked around to where he could see the road, still hearing the hooves pounding on the pavement drawing closer and closer and finally fade away but he never saw the first horse, car, truck nothing coming down that road. Spooky!!

  30. Ronell

    i enjoyed this story

  31. Tnpitgal

    Ever hear the music and then the Bugles at Stone’s River?

  32. shonda

    I love that you can tell what was seen. My uncle and a friend also seen something there but my uncle will just say” I dont know what I saw” and I think if it is that scary then I believe this story

  33. Alycia

    a nice story but why is ‘Green Eyes’ doing this?

    is it trying to say;
    “Tread not on the path where lies the dead, thus you shall walk upon the path of the dead thyself” ????

  34. E.A.P

    I was born and raised in La Fayette. I’ve grown up hearing these stories my whole life. Many ghosts of soldiers from that battle walk that battlefield. Don’t be surprised to see one should you go out there at night =)

  35. M.G.G

    Amy i may have fainted but if i was with my crush and he was my boyfriend (sigh…)that would be something else XD

  36. Amy

    Wow! The rangers would have found me dead of complete terror. How could anybody go through that and still be able to talk about it?

  37. Beth

    I actually live in Dade County maybe 20-30 mins away from the battlefield. I have heard the stories for as long as I can remember, but never really believed them till one night i was with my boyfriend and had a similar exprience..

  38. Michelle

    This one was a bit difficult to picture in my head, but definantly creepy nontheless.

  39. Lori

    MAKE LOVE NOT WAR!!!