Haunts & Hollows

The Rock Oven of Altamaha Swamp

The Rock Oven of Altamaha Swamp from Haunts & Hollows: Georgia Backroads

The Rock Oven of Altamaha Swamp: an excerpt from Haunts & Hollows: Georgia Backroads.

Some haunted places in Georgia date from a time long before European settlers arrived. If you travel down the Altamaha River, just a few miles from the Edwin Hatch Power Plant, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a limestone cliff set just above a small lagoon. This ridge was once home to a secretive tribe of Native Americans known only as the “Tama” by neighboring tribes.

Virtually nothing is now known of this group. Early Spanish missionary expeditions do make reference to a reclusive people who lived along the Altamaha’s shores, but no direct contact was ever recorded.

Rock Oven received its name due to the charred interior of the largest cave’s mouth. Archeologists suggest this is the result of camp and cooking fires tended by the Tama several centuries ago. These researchers and amateur sleuths have found dozens of remnants of the tribe, including arrow heads, pottery, and hand-made tools. To date, however, no full-scale excavation of the site has been undertaken.

Even in these superficial archeological studies, the exact location has been redacted to protect the sanctity of the site. Some locals, though, do know the opening to the Altamaha Rock Oven cave system.

Modern visitors, who typically arrive by foot or kayak, have reported a number of unusual encounters, including dancing shadows and green lights that move through the swamp. While voices and traditional music often accompany the shades, women’s screams and babies’ cries are only heard at night.

Today it remains one of the most remote and protected paranormal sites in the state.

Haunts & Hollows: Georgia Backroads

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