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scullschoals-fireplaceScull Shoals, Greene County

An Encounter in the Shoals

The woman splashed into the muddy waters of the Oconee River clutching her 5 week-old while trying to stop the bleeding from her breast. The Creek Indian who had fought, scalped, and murdered her husband was after her and her slave girl. They had chopped at her arms, making holding her baby a conscious struggle. The current was stronger than usual and in her weakened state, the unspeakable happened, she dropped her infant bundle.

She clawed and dug in the water trying to recapture her baby, but the current had taken the bundle. She screamed and they found her. The enemy Creeks caught up to the two woman and finished what they started leaving them to float away down the river.[i]

Richard and Mary Thrasher and their two children were murdered in Scull Shoals in 1793.

The river and the remnants

The river where Mary lost her infant.










(continuing to last paragraph of the book)

Finding Lost Relations in a Lost Town

Hundreds of years later, on those same riverbanks, Shannon Byer attempts to connect with her many times great uncle and aunt. Shannon was drawn to Scull Shoals in Greene County Georgia to encounter the entrapped souls of her relatives.

Shannon is a paranormal investigator. She does more than the average “ghost hunter.” She does her research. She prefers the term, “Paranormal Genealogist.” Shannon spends time in the Georgia Archive and other research facilities before she visits a haunted location. This case was different; it was personal because it involved family.

Richard and Mary Thrasher were Shannon’s five times great aunt and uncle. Richard was a Revolutionary War veteran and was given land in what is now Greene County, Georgia through a program called, “Headright.” The Headright program was designed to attract able-bodied men to the region to populate the Indian heavy areas to clear the land and farm. An 1800’s treaty in NY City set boundaries using the Oconee River as a barrier between the Creeks and the white men. Shannon found her relatives in the Georgia Archives and discovered the story that began this chapter.

After speaking to Shannon about Scull Shoals before I visit it myself, I asked her about the location, that I had yet to visit.“So, what does it feel like when you visit Scull Shoals? Is it creepy? Dark? Haunted?”

“So, what does it feel like when you visit Scull Shoals? Is it creepy? Dark? Haunted?”

Shannon casually comments,

Shannon Byers, my "psychic friend"

Shannon Byers, my “psychic friend”

“Oh no, not any more. I moved them on. I moved them all to the light. It is peaceful there now.”

I asked her in an interview what it feels like at Scull shoals since there –does it have a haunted or creepy feeling? She said, “No, not anymore–I moved them on[ii]







[i] Donna B. Thaxton, Carlton J. Thaxton, and Stanton C. Thaxton, Georgia Indian depredation claims (Americus: Thaxton Company, 1988)

[ii]Shannon F. Byers, Personal Interview, Vinings, Georgia February 6, 2016.


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Lisa M. Russell

Lisa M. Russell