Nashville Haunted / Ghost Tour
(For many more places and the back story to them I would recommend the Nashville Haunted Handbook)
- Union Station Hotel (1001 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203) There are many rumors regarding the hauntings of the Union Station. Some claim that a train derailment and the subsequent deaths have caused ghosts to linger at what was their last boarding stop. Others tell of a spooky woman seen jumping from the building to her death, and her death is almost always associated with the reports of Room 711 being haunted.First off is a jilted young woman is rumored to haunt the Union Station Hotel. She is said to have thrown herself on the tracks, forever chaining herself to the opulent downtown rest.Second is of course you have the requisite loud bangs, lights and tv sets turning on and off. There’s also the phantom train which rolls into the station on full moons, and the occasional sound of a steam locomotive. Though only a hotel since the 1980’s, perhaps the most gruesome story involves a young woman who used to meet her married lover there. When he didn’t arrive for a scheduled tryst, she turned a revolver on herself in Room 711 but others have said she jumped from the building. She’s made her presence known both in that room, as well as adjacent rooms and the hall outside.Click here for more information on the haunted history of Union Station Hotel
- Tennessee State Capital – Legend has it that at State Capitol, you may still hear the phantom arguing of two rivals who were both buried in a vault here. Architect William Strickland and Samuel Morgan, head of the Capitol Commission, although they were both respected men, they did not get along.
- Tennessee State Prison ( 6404 Centennial Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37209)(Currently boarded up due to unsafe conditions and on state owned grounds) – Opened in 1898, the prison has been closed since 1992. It has been the location for the films Nashville, Marie, Ernest Goes to Jail, Against the Wall, The Green Mile, The Last Castle, two of Eric Church’s music videos “Lightning” and “Homeboy”, and Pillar’s “Bring Me Down” music video. Most recently VH1’s Celebrity Paranormal Project filmed there for the third episode of the series (titled “The Warden”) as well as the last episode of the first season (titled “Dead Man Walking”). The prison was referred to as “The Walls Maximum Security Prison” in both episodes to protect the location’s privacy. After its many fires, prison breaks and riots, the prison may well be a spot for paranormal activity. Folks have reported unexplained sounds, voices and footsteps.
- Ghost of Music Row (1111 16th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212) – In the early 1900s, Jacob Schnell built the grandest mansion in Nashville at, on what would come to be known as Music Row. Schnell was a successful grain merchant, but was reputed to have made his real money bootlegging.
He desired his daughters, Bertha and Lena, to be accepted into the elite society in Nashville and prepared to throw a party in their honor. Only no one attended. They were snubbed by the elite. Schnell vowed to never contribute anything to Nashville. He moved to live above one of his businesses and he instructed his daughters to never repair a thing to the house. And after his death, his daughters stayed on in the mansion, allowing it to fall in total disrepair and crumble.When Lena died in the house, her body was left to decay for more than a week. Bertha died in the 1970s, living in the neglected mansion with no running water. Some say it was the family’s way of getting revenge on the townspeople who snubbed them, by allowing their fine home to rot amongst other fine homes in the area.Capitol Records purchased the property and tore down the mansion in order to build their new building. Since then, apparitions of the girls have been seen and things move on their own.
According to Nashville Ghosts and Legends by Ken Traylor and Delas M. House, Jr. “employees started noticing strange events in the Capital Records building: objects moving on their own, doors being locked from the inside, lights being turned on and off, windows found open that had been closed and locked. For a long time Capital found it difficult to keep employees, telling their supervisors they could not get used to the strange events, including posthumous visits by the Schnell daughters.” Capital Records moved locations and have seen struggled to sell their former building. Certain second-floor rooms would remain icy cold, even when controlled by a common heating system. Computers and printers would misbehave in bizarre ways. Unexplained minor fires and pipe breaks occurred and even locks would lock on their own and keys wouldn’t work.
Today, cold spots are commonplace and phone lines from unused internal offices often ring. Images of Bertha and her sister Lena have been seen and noises like sounds falling have been heard. Sometimes the ghosts do not want to be on TV. When Ann Heywood was terrorized by a ghost that she called “The Lady ” back in the Seventies, the ghost also threatened two reporters from “The Tennessean” newspaper and a WSM-TV news reporter who came to document the case. The whole story was featured in Winer’s follow-up book, More Haunted Houses.
- Carnton Mansion (1345 Eastern Flank Cir, Franklin, TN 37064) You can see blood stains on the floors. A graveyard where 1700 Confederate soldiers, who had died in the fields near this mansion were hastily buried after this bloody conflict, is located close to Carnton Mansion. After the horrible battle was over, Carnton Mansion became a hospital, where 4 generals died of their wounds, and their bodies laid in state so the men who were lucky enough to survive could show their respect. A young house servant girl was murdered in the kitchen by a jealous field hand in the 1840s, because she rejected him as a suitor. Out of their five offspring, only 2 of the Cantron children made it into adulthood.For much more information on this Carnton Mansion check out this website.
- Ryman Auditorium is a popular Nashville spot to fans of country music and the paranormal, but don’t believe those crazy tabloid stories of the place being trashed by the ghosts of dead rockers. Staff and tourists have heard the voices of their favorite departed country stars here where those classic stars of yesteryear delighted in entertaining millions. A construction worker who got locked in while exploring the building has seen Hank Williams’s ghost in the structure. Another singer was practicing one of Hank’s songs when all the lights went out in the middle of the song.Employees have also heard footsteps and doors opening and closing under their own power. Doors often slam by themselves and employees have reported odd noises from the stage when the building is empty. Captain Thomas Ryman originally built the place as a church, but it became known locally as the Grand Old Opry. The late Hank Williams has been heard singing backstage and a figure of a man in a Confederate uniform dubbed “The Gray Man” has been seen in the same seat during modern-day rehearsals.
- Sam Davis Home and Plantation (1399 Sam Davis Road Smyrna, TN 37167) now a house museum, was built around 1810 but was restored completely in 1850. Sam Davis himself lived here until 1860 and in 1863 he was hanged by the Union Army as a spy. Apparitions of a young man, believed to be Sam Davis’ brother Oscar, and sounds have been heard, including the sound of a woman crying where Sam Davis’ body was laid in state in the parlor. Footsteps, voices, and electronic voice phenomena, and electrical anomalies have been reported as well.
- Rock Castle (139 Rockcastle Ln, Hendersonville, TN 37075) Rumors were that there were ghosts at the Rock Castle landmark. Old Halloween articles repeated the stories that curators running this museum reported things being moved and displays disturbed after the structure had been locked up tight
- Nashville City Cemetery (1001 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) Boulder tombstone with a lantern on top of the rock is nicknamed Suicide Rock after Ann Sanders who died at 21 years old is rumored to have gotten in a fight with her husband and have jumped to her death in the Cumberland River and the husband took a chunk of the cliff to be over her tomb. Supposedly you see the lantern being lit and sometimes you will hear crying or arguing near the stone. Sometimes a figure of a man in period clothing will be seen near the rock.
- Downtown Haunts off Lower Broadway and 2nd Ave are plentiful most likely because they are the oldest sections of Nashville. For detailed information I would recommend the book Nashville Haunted Handbook which can be partially viewed for free here. Merchants Restaurant (401 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203) Melting Pot (166 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201) Riverfront Tavern (101 Church St, Nashville, TN 37201) Hard Rock Cafe (100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201) Flying Saucer (111 10th Ave S #310, Nashville, TN 37203) These businesses have closed but the addresses are 122 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201, 117 2nd Ave N; Nashville, Tennessee 37201, 134 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201
Regional Middle Tennessee Haunted Areas of Interest
- Bell Witch Cave (430 Keysburg Rd, Adams, TN 37010) about an hour out of town is probably the most famous haunting in the area. It inspired the movie An American Haunting starring Cissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland and Ghost Adventures have investigated there.
The tormenting spirit of America’s best-known poltergeist case
ADAMS, TENNESSEE, in 1817 was the site of one of the most well-known hauntings in American history – so well known that it eventually caught the attention and then the involvement of a future president of the United States Andrew Jackson. The Bell Witch incident is one of the most well-known hauntings in the United States. It’s frequently stated that it’s the only known incident of a ghost legally being responsible for the death of a person, the patriarch of the Bell family, John Bell Sr.
Known as The Bell Witch, the strange and often violent poltergeist activity that provoked fear and curiosity in the small farming community has remained unexplained for nearly 200 years, and is the inspiration for many fictional ghost stories, including the horror classic, The Blair Witch Project.
The facts of The Bell Witch case share little in common with the mythology created for The Blair Witch Project, except they both attracted a great deal of public interest. And because it really happened, The Bell Witch is far scarier.
THE HISTORICAL RECORD
One early account of The Bell Witch haunting was written in 1886 by historian Albert Virgil Goodpasture in his History of Tennessee.
He wrote, in part:
A remarkable occurrence, which attracted wide-spread interest, was connected with the family of John Bell, who settled near what is now Adams Station about 1804. So great was the excitement that people came from hundreds of miles around to witness the manifestations of what was popularly known as the “Bell Witch.” This witch was supposed to be some spiritual being having the voice and attributes of a woman. It was invisible to the eye, yet it would hold conversation and even shake hands with certain individuals. The freaks it performed were wonderful and seemingly designed to annoy the family. It would take the sugar from the bowls, spill the milk, take the quilts from the beds, slap and pinch the children, and then laugh at the discomfiture of its victims. At first it was supposed to be a good spirit, but its subsequent acts, together with the curses with which it supplemented its remarks, proved the contrary. A volume might be written concerning the performance of this wonderful being, as they are now described by contemporaries and their descendants. That all this actually occurred will not be disputed, nor will a rational explanation be attempted.
2. Thomas House Hotel (520 E Main St, Red Boiling Springs, TN 37150) as featured in Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters (TAPS) has moving Beds, Dark Figures, Cold Spots, Disembodied Voices and Feelings of Terror are experienced regularly here. Built in 1880’s as a Mineral Spring Resort, this historic and haunted location has seen it’s share of hauntings including sitting on top of an Ancient Indian Trail, A Lay Line, Solid Limestone, Underground Springs, A stopping point for the Union Troops for the Civil War, Fires, Deaths, Disappearances and even a one time home for a Cult!
3. Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN (8000 Highway 13 South Hurricane Mills, Tennessee 37078)
Ghost Adventures aired a special on the Haunted Plantation in October of 2003. The woman in white is Beula Anderson who, after the death of her newborn son, died twelve days later from grief. Sightings of her crying and wringing her hands have been witnessed at the Plantation Home and Anderson Cemetery.
After moving to Hurricane Mills in 1966, the Lynn Family heard stories of the Plantation Home being haunted. The Lynns, visitors and employees have experienced strange occurrences throughout the years. A woman dressed in white and two Civil War Soldiers have been seen on many occasions. Strange sounds and happenings are commonplace in the home.
4. Cragfont (200 Cragfont Road Castalian Springs, TN 37031) The museum curators even sell a pamphlet on the haunted history 0f the place. Witnesses have seen candles burning inside at night, heard loud screams and breathing and had the feeling of being followed. Also known as The Winchester House, it was built from 1798 and completed in 1802. General James Winchester was a hero of the Revolution, a Tennessee pioneer, and one of the founders of Memphis, Tennessee. Cragfont has since reopened as a museum. Visitors attest to strong energy levels in the master bedroom and the nursery, as well as a few other areas of the house. The landmark is registered in the National Directory of Historical Places.