The Ghosts of Tennessee: Not for the Faint of Heart

The paranormal have both fascinated and frightened the living throughout history. From movies to testimonies of sightings, the stories stretch far and wide –in location and validity. Whether or not you choose to believe the tales of various hauntings, here are some spots where the most interesting ghosts and spirits have been reported: East Tennessee State University, Jonesborough, Historic Erwin, Robinhood Rd. in Greenevill, Rotherwood Mansion in Kingsport and the Bell Witch Farm.

Several ghosts have been sighted at East Tennessee State University. It could be one of the most haunted universities in the south; every building on campus rumored to host at least one ghost. The most popular are that of the first president of the University, John Gilbreath; a young female who used to haunt a girl’s dormitory; the strict librarian who haunts, none other than, the library; the “screaming ghost,” also known as Alice; an old English professor and there have also been various reports of students walking through “cold spots.” Many students at this university have claimed to have spotted one of these apparitions or have experienced said “cold spots” and uneasy feelings when alone in the various on-campus buildings.

 Another supposed haunting site is historic Jonesborough. This is a stop in many ghost tours and is even considered to be one of the most haunted places in America. The ghost that is reported to be seen the most is that of President Andrew Jackson. His is a most unusual spirit, because the 7th president will be seen walking the streets of Jonesborough during the day! If you wish to spot the deceased Mr. Jackson, you have to be walking on the opposite side of the street from him; all reports of sightings have declared this.

 The Rotherwood Mansion is a place that holds terrible memories of loss and cruelty. The story of this sad place starts with little Rowena Rotherwood, daughter of the master of the house. Her ghost roams the banks of the neighboring lake, searching for her beloved suitor, who drowned the night he was going to propose to her. The next, more feared, spirit is that of Joshua Phipps. He was an evil man, who tortured his slaves and was unkind to anyone to stumble upon his property. Visitors of the Rotherwood Mansion who experience the ghost of Phipps or of his mistress are in for a fright-filled night. These two enjoy wreaking havoc, one can tell, by their horrible cackling that follows any of their evil deeds. It is also said that a Hell Hound roams the property, attracted to the mansion by Phipps’ evil soul. It is said on rainy nights in that section of Kingston, blood will drip from the walls of the rooms the slaves were mercilessly tortured, and the distant sound of the hound howling can be heard. This place is a gold mine for paranormal fanatics!

  The Bell Witch ghost of Adams is one of the most intriguing apparitions in Tennessee. First appearing in 1817 to John Bell, a settler in rural Robertson County, her tormenting of him and his daughter did not cease until he died.  It was believed that the Bell Witch was a another local named Kate Batts, who many already believed was a witch; that suspicion was confirmed after she claimed to have placed a curse on him. The witch plagued the house and its property with strange animals, loud noises and shaking. After experiencing these abnormalities, John Bell asked his neighbors to stay the night to see if they too would experience these things. Sure enough, they did and people came from miles around to investigate. Even President Andrew Jackson stayed on the bell farm for a night; he, like all the others was frightened by what he experienced during his one night stay. It is said that the Bell Witch has left the farm, but strange things still happen around that part of Adams.

  Tennessee may not be the most desired place for ghost hunters, but it does have several tours that will spook and thrill the brave souls that dare to venture to these places at night. However, whatever time of day you decide to explore Tennessee, these locations and many other “haunted” sites are beautiful, full of history and have just a sprinkle of mystery and the unknown to make you almost want to see a ghost!