Wake Forest In Roads

Travel through time……

Cause you don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Lanneau-Newhouse House
Lanneau-Newhouse House - circa 1900

The Ghosts of North Main Street 

It’s October 2019 in the Town of Wake Forest, the leaves are beginning to change, and the cooler air is starting to settle into our area, just in time for Halloween. If you take a stroll down North Main Street in the Local Historic District, you can see that many of the homes are ready for the annual trick or treating event that has become a local tradition. On that night, you will see thousands of people roaming up and down the streets of the historic district. The local historic district is the oldest neighborhood in the Town of Wake Forest, with homes built as early as 1820; the looming branches hanging over the walking path, make the neighborhood the perfect setting for Halloween. If you stay past dark, you may even encounter one of the ghosts of North Main Street.

The earliest home on North Main Street was built around 1820 and owned by physician, Calvin Jones. It is said, that a figure in a heavy winter cape roams around the property. The people who have seen this figure say he appears to be wearing clothing from the Civil War era. He appears and then disappears into the brush without a trace. Another story comes from the John F. Lanneau House, was built around 1900, and owned Wake Forest mathematics professor, John F. Lanneau. This house served as a Confederate hospital during the time of the Civil War. A previous owner stated that he had often smelled a strong scent of perfume coming from the downstairs of the home. Upon investigation, he found two women sitting downstairs when they noticed him, they vanished into thin air.

Calvin Jones House - circa 1900
Calvin Jones House - circa 1900

Another story is told at the Robert Powell House, built around 1915, which sits at the edge of the Glen Royall Mill Village. A friendly ghost sits by the bedside of children to help them down the stairs if they wake in the middle of the night. It makes you wonder if one of her children fell down the stairs in the night. There are also tales from Glen Royall Mill Village residents hearing a ghost yelling as it wanders through the Mill Village.

These are some of the ghost stories of the local historic district, but the stories don’t end there. During the Civil War, there was a couple with the last name, Zeagals. The husband was drafted into the Confederate Army. The couple did not want to be separated so they got into a buggy and ran it off a rock (known as Zeagals rock) and into the river. This is off Bent Road in the Stony Hill area, west of Wake Forest.  It is said if you go to the location you can see orbs floating over the water.

Thanks to the Wake Forest Historical Association, and particularly board member Ryan Keith, who first presented these ghost stories at a museum forum in October 2014.

This blog is being provided by members of the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), the HPC is a quasi judicial commission, established in 1979, to oversee, promote, and protect the heritage of Wake Forest. If you have any stories about Wake Forest or would like to be featured in the blog, please feel free to email Michelle Michael.


Wake Forest In Roads
Senior Planner - Historic Preservation