“The Face in the Courthouse Window”

Brad Razorfed
3 min readMay 11, 2024
Photo by The Tuscaloosa News

If there’s one thing Alabama has, it’s ghost stories and legends, but none are more known than “The Face in the Courthouse Window”. This mysterious visage in the old Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton has become a popular tourist destination and is now the hallmark of the city of Carrollton.

Photo by Brian Collins | Flickr

The story of “The Face in the Courthouse Window” was included in Kathryn Tucker Windham’s book, “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.” If you’ve never read this book, I’m honestly shocked. Growing up, it was a right of passage here in Alabama to know this book from front to back. So, as I said, if you haven’t read, do it ASAP.

Photo by Moon Lake Library | Official Website

“The Face in the Courthouse Window"—Summarized

Henry Wells, a former slave who was freed at the conclusion of the Civil War, was accused of arson when the Pickens County Courthouse burnt to the ground on November 16, 1876. As the story goes, Henry fled to the attic of the courthouse while he was escaping the mob that was out to lynch him. As they continued…