William Fish


Knock knock. Who is it? William Fish

In 1872, William Fish was distraught by the sudden passing of his beloved wife, Sarah, and daughter of typhoid. Disheartened, Fish built a brick mausoleum to protect their remains. As completion approached, these efforts were not enough to begin to heal his broken heart.

Local legend is that Fish placed his own comfortable rocking chair inside and closed the iron door, entombing himself inside the vault and shot himself. Stories say that if you knock three times on the entrance of the Fish Family Vault and call “What are you doing in there Mr. Fish?” you will receive an answer that says it all: Nothing.

The peculiarity of the Fish family doesn't end there. In 2008 funds were raised by the Friends of Baldwin County Cemeteries to repair both the interior and exterior of the 1840s brick tomb. The tomb is partially subterranean and was believed to house the graves of three Fish family members, and three other unknown remains. The tomb has three stone benches along its walls that house the caskets of the Fish family. Upon entering the tomb, the original caskets had deteriorated and all that was left were piles of bones. The remains were then sent to the human osteology lab at Georgia Southern University to determine age and gender. Three of the remains were matched to William Fish; William himself, Sarah Harvard Fish, and Horace Virgil Fish. Two other remains are believed to be members of the Fish family, but the remains of a middle-aged male are still a mystery. 

Following the completion of the brick repair, the remains were placed in new caskets and returned to the tomb and the entry was bricked close once again.

The final resting place for the Fish family can be found in Memory Hill Cemetery in the East Section J. The vault is located on at the far east end, #20 on the Memory Hill Self Guided Walking Tour. Brochure are available at the gazebo at the front of the cemetery or online

William Fish


Stories adapted from local sources and: 

Duffy, Barbara. True Ghost Stories of Georgia: Banshees, Bugles and Belles. Rockbridge Publishing Company, 1995.


The image of the "ghost" is an interpretation of the character depicted.


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