When most people think about the great state of Tennessee, the first thing that tends to come to mind is music and with good reason. However, that is certainly not all that the state is known for, it is also somewhere that is home to some of the most terrifying haunted locations in America.
Let’s get up close and personal with some of the most haunted places in Tennessee:
Carnton Plantation has the unusual feature of having a front porch that overlooks a graveyard where approximately 1700 Confederate troops were buried in the wake of a bloody battle nearby. Shortly after the mass burial, the mansion was transformed into a hospital. There were four Generals who died inside and the staff held on to their bodies so that survivors would later be able to pay their respects. All of this explains why so many witnesses have seen the ghosts of confederate soldiers roaming around the mansion and its grounds. However, these are not the only spirits said to haunt the Carnton Mansion. It has also been suggested that the spirits of the Carnton children are also haunting their former home since only two of the five children survived to adulthood. All of this is more than enough to secure Carnton Mansion as one of the most haunted places in Tennessee, but there are yet more restless spirits here! Among the other spirits spotted in the mansion are a young girl who was murdered by a jealous suitor, the family cook who is struggling to let go of her duties to the family and a beautiful woman with long dark hair.
9. Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Clarksville
If ever there was a location that fails to live up to its name, then surely it has to be RestHaven Memorial Gardens. There is not much restful about a place that is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. Nearby, you will find a house in which a brutal slave owner once resided. It is rumoured that one of the slaves raped his daughter and got her pregnant. The owner killed the slave in a fit of rage. The slave’s ghost is often seen wandering the grounds and the memorial gardens in search of his lost child. This has led to speculation that he did not rape the girl, but that the pair had fallen in love – something the slave owner was unwilling to accept as a possibility.
8. The Delta Queen, Chattanooga
The Delta Queen is now permanently moored in Chattanooga and it is said to be haunted by Mary Becker Greene aka ‘Ma’ who was the very first licensed female riverboat captain in Tennessee. She died in her cabin at the age of seventy-nine. She is usually fairly easygoing, just walking around the boat that she loved so much, but it is said that she did cause a fair amount of havoc when a bar was opened on board. Maybe she didn’t like the changes made to her vessel.
7. Wheatlands Plantation, Sevierville
Wheatlands Plantation has a long history that is marred by murder, death and destruction. It is absolutely no surprise to those who know this history that the house has been named one of the most haunted places in Tennessee! This is not the first house to stand here, the original actually burned to the ground in 1825 claiming the lives of 4 children. This probably explains why there are so many reports of a child like spirit in the basement of the new building. There is also a mass grave on the property which is said to hold the remains of 28 Cherokee Indians, 2 Revolutionary War soldiers and almost 70 African Slaves. There have also been more than 70 known murders on this property and some of the walls are still stained with blood. It is no wonder this place is infested with spirits.
6. Rotherwood Mansion, Kingsport
Rotherwood Mansion is not only one of the most haunted places in Tennessee, but it has also been claimed that it is one that is filled with diabolical evil. It was built in 1818 by a wealthy reverend named Frederick Ross. He intended the home to be a sanctuary, but instead it became a place of despair. Ross’ daughter Rowena had to watch helplessly as her husband to be drowned in the nearby river on their wedding day. She became somewhat reclusive and seldom left the house. At last she was ready to open her heart again, but this time her lover died of yellow fever within the first year of their marriage. Ten years later she tried a third time to find love and even gave birth to a daughter of her own. However, once again she was left devastated when the girl died. Rowena could take it no longer and drowned herself in that same river her first love had. Could it be that she was cursed? Is that why she still roams the property always looking for true love? Later, the mansion was purchased by a cruel slave owner who is said to have tortured his slaves. Did his evil deeds contribute to the hauntings here? Many have said that he is to blame for a menacing presence that takes the form of a black dog. There have also been reports of maniacal laughter and of terrifying faces peering in the windows at night!
5. Pegram Family Cemetery, Pegram
In 1970, a group of developers bulldozed an area along the Harpeth River while working on a housing development. However, in the process they tragically destroyed the Pegram Family Cemetery. The dirt from the land was sold as fill dirt across two counties. Five years later, the river waters rose and all of the homes built on the land that was once the cemetery were flooded. During the flood, some coffins that had not been relocated floated to the surface. One in particular belonged to the town’s very first postmistress – Carrie Pegram Heath. Since then the town has had nothing but bad luck. It floods with some regularity and the seemingly cursed land has had no end of financial hardships. There is an overall feeling of unrest and malice lingering in the air and some of the homeowners have claimed to see tombstones appearing and disappearing in their gardens.
4. Orpheum Theatre, Memphis
The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis is said to be haunted by the spirit of a little girl named Mary who died in some kind of accident on a nearby street. She has been hanging around in the theatre for about sixty years now even although the original building burned down in 1923 and reopened in 1928. She is often seen in her favourite seat – C5 and sometimes she is heard giggling while running up and down the aisles.
3. Tennessee State Prison, Nashville
Tennessee State Prison was built in 1898 and over the years that it was in operation it gained notoriety thanks to several attempted break outs, riots and overcrowding. It also became famous when it was used during the filming of both ‘The Green Mile and ‘Ernest Goes to Jail’. Today it lies abandoned, but it is certainly not unoccupied! There are frequent reports of cell doors closing by themselves, cold spots, phantom footsteps and even boot prints in the dust where no living person has walked!
2. Bell Witch Cave, Adams
One of the most famous ghost stories from Tennessee has got to be the tale of the Bell Witch. Even those who are not particularly interested in the paranormal know this story! The Bell Witch was said to have murdered John Bell and also tormented his entire family with poltergeist style activity for several years. At one point, the terror was so intense that President Andrew Jackson refused to stay in the Bell house overnight! This malicious spirit is said to be an extremely wicked woman named Kate Batts. She was malevolent in her life and even more so in death as evidenced by her murderous ghost. She is still said to haunt the cave next to John Bell’s farm and the cave is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. Some of the most commonly reported activity includes sightings of strange looking animals, rattling chains and unexplained knocking.
1. Hales Bar Marina & Dam, Guild
Hales Bar Marina & Dam was built along the Tennessee river in 1905 in order to tame the natural whirlpool. The local Native American tribes were not happy with its construction and were said to have put a curse on the dam. Could this be why the structure is said to be one of the most haunted places in Tennessee? Visitors, staff and paranormal groups have all reported a variety of paranormal activity which includes Native American war cries, chanting, dark figures and even the apparition of a little girl in a pink dress who is said to have drowned here. It is said that her remains are still trapped in the dam which would explain why she has been unable to rest.