Want to hear a spooky story this fall? Travel to Tennessee for a hauntingly good time that can only be Made in Tennessee.
Book a night or two at the Thomas House Hotel for Ghost Hunt Weekends in Red Boiling Springs. The hotel, built in 1890, has been named No. 2 on CNN's Most Haunted Spots in America and was witness to deaths, numerous murders, accidents, a home for a cult, and three fires. It also sits on an underground spring and limestone and on an ancient Native American trail. Because of this, the Thomas House Hotel is home to disembodied voices, moving beds and dark figures. Experience these with paranormal expert and author, Chad Morin and the Ghost Hunt Weekend Crew.
Gaylord Opryland Hotel is one of Nashville's luxurious hotels, home to nine acres of gardens and indoor waterfalls, beautiful accommodations and extensive dining options. But, did you know it's also frequented by a ghost? Reports have been made that an apparition visits the hotel. People have said they have seen ghostly figures. The ghost is known to rattle the chandelier in the Magnolia Lobby.
When patrons attend a show at the circa-1817 Bijou Theatre, they shouldn't be alarmed if they see one of the unidentified ghosts visiting the building from time to time. Since it is Knoxville's fourth-oldest building, the theater's vast history shows it was first a tavern, then a hotel, a Civil War hospital, and headquarters for Generals William Sherman and Phil Sheridan. General Sherman, who was treated in the building, is said to still roam the area. Besides the haunting history, patrons will find the Bijou is home to the best-sounding room for live music in Knoxville.
Theater legends surround Memphis Orpheum Theatre. A young girl named Mary who was killed by a car on Beale Street has reportedly roamed the theater for 60 years. Doors opening and closing by themselves, her giggling voice and sounds of her feet running up and down the aisles have been documented. Patrons shouldn't be surprised if they see her apparition in her favorite seat, C-5. Paranormal groups have flocked to The Orpheum Theatre and some are convinced up to six other ghosts roam there.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the only authenticated ghost in the U.S. (and a sinister one, at that): the Bell Witch who resides in the Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tenn. The witch, who once identified herself as Kate Batts, an old neighbor who claimed to have been swindled by John Bell and vowed on her deathbed to haunt him and his descendants, was known to be violent toward the Bell family: beating the members, throwing things and leaving rooms in ruin. Once John Bell died and daughter, Betsy broke off her engagement under the instruction of the witch, the ghost left them in peace for seven years. She returned for a while and then vowed to return in 107 years. It's said she returned in 1935, and now inhabits the cave. Take a tour of the cave and experience the story yourself. Throughout October, the Bell Witch Fall Festival has storytellers and performers come to regale the legend along with other historic stories and plays.
Oaklands Historic Mansion is known as Murfreesboro's spookiest historic home. The mansion celebrates this with Flashlight Nights 7-10 p.m. Oct. 27-28, 2017 where visitors can learn about the mourning customs and superstitions that surround the Victorian-era home all by the dim light of a flashlight. Outside, soldiers are stationed around campfires to regale stories. Take a walk to Maney Spring along the dimly-lit nature trails.
Lotz House, an 1858 home, was dubbed "The Second Most Terrifying Place in America" by the Travel Channel last October. The rich history of the home provides fodder for unexplained phenomena like an apparition of a woman crying for a loved one, a little girl staring out the window, the sound of drums, and the displacement of ordinary items. Located just north of the Carter House on Columbia Avenue, the Lotz House was at the epicenter of the fighting during the Battle of Franklin. Franklin on Foot will share stories of the soldiers who fought the battle 6 p.m. every Friday night in October at Lotz House. Reservations are required.
Wheatlands Plantation in Sevierville was a Revolutionary War battleground for The Battle of Boyd's Creek and burial mound for fallen Native Americans. The home's family, the Chandlers, maintained the home even during the Northern Occupation during the Civil War, keeping up operations for almost 180 years since their establishment in America in 1610. Ghost Weekends, paranormal events and investigations are hosted by the property throughout the year. Tours are $12 and the History and Ghost Walk Tour $17 with an appointment.
Tennessee's cities and towns host ghost walks throughout the year, giving visitors an opportunity to have their own close encounter with the abnormal and paranormal. A few to consider include the Appalachian GhostWalks, which occur around the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to the ghost walks, they also host a Bigfoot Adventure Tour in Kingsport. Jonesborough conducts a ghost tour through the East TN Tours & Paranormal Technology. The certified tour guides lead participants along HistoricJonesborough's streets by candlelight, sharing historic facts and stories sure to leave a shiver down your spine.
Weekend ghost hunts and day and nightly tours are available through the Chattanooga Ghost Tours. Bring a camera to document the ghostly orbs, full figures and mists that are seen at some of the locations you visit. Referred to as the Most Haunted Public Square in America, Gallatin Ghost Walks host weekend tours in October in and around Gallatin. Visitors can hear the history of the area and perhaps experience seeing orbs and figures in their photos.