Andrew Jackson Caldwell built Octagon House, or Octagon Hall, in 1843. Caldwell was a slave owner, and he made his home into a refuge for Confederate soldiers. They were allowed to camp on the grounds surrounding Octagon Hall, and it’s said that Confederate generals Johnston, Hardee, and Breckenridge spent the night inside the home at Caldwell’s invitation.
The Union troops, however, were not welcome. They considered Octagon Hall and its grounds as enemy territory. They came onto the property and simply took what they wanted. It’s said that the killed the family’s milk cow, Spot, and threw her bones into the water well. The well was contaminated for months.
There are rumors that injured Confederate troops were hidden in Octagon Hall while it was being occupied by Union troops. A Confederate soldier who had lost his leg in battle was hidden in the attic. He later died. It’s said that there is a secret tunnel that runs between Octagon Hall and the barn.
Octagon Hall is currently being restored by brothers Billy and Barry Byrd. There have always been tales of unexplained noises, footsteps when no one was there, and doors opening and closing. There is a bed in an upstairs room that always has the imprint of a body on it no matter how many times it is straightened.
A few years ago during a reenactment of the Confederate withdrawal from Bowling Green in February and the encampment at Octagon Hall that followed, some strange things happened. Some of those who had participated in the reenactment decided to spend the night inside the house. They reported hearing noises like footsteps and opening and closing doors all night.
Some say that a small black girl hides in the cellar and can’t “go home” because she shot her brother-before the Civil War.