You’ll find so many cool and haunted places in Tennessee and many of them have creepy backstories! This is a guide to some of those places!
Did we miss any of the best Tennessee haunted places that you should visit this Halloween (or any time)? Please share them in the comments! Thanks!
Most Haunted Places in Tennessee
Tennessee State Prison (Nashville)
Located in Nashville, the Tennessee State Prison was a maximum security facility that housed the most dangerous criminals of the 19-20th century. The prison was the first to use the electric chair for executions.
It was also known for its regular isolated confinement and hard manual labor, making it one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. When it was active, it was a terrifying place to be in, but since it was abandoned in 1992, it has become even scarier.
To escape the deplorable conditions, many residents attempted suicide, while others were discovered dead in their filthy cells. It has been prohibited to visit the prison once it closed its doors.
Despite no one being allowed to visit, some adventurers, on the other hand, went in anyway and witnessed some heart-stopping incidents.
Reports of blood-curdling screams from former prisoners executed by the electric chair can be heard throughout, followed by ghostly footsteps and cell bars clunking. The historic prison was decimated due to the tornado of 2020.
Gaylord Opryland Hotel (Nashville)
The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort, which first opened its doors in 1977, was the town’s most opulent hotel.
It is, nevertheless, said to be haunted. The Black Lady is the star of the hotel and she is what is said to haunt it! A young woman wears a black gown and drapes a veil to hide her face.
Mrs. McGavock, who owned the property’s grounds and was killed there by a falling chandelier, is the supposed mystery woman.
Sightings of her are possible nearly everywhere in the hotel, but her favorite place to hang out is in the Magnolia Lobby.
Her presence is said to make chandeliers move and flicker, according to guests and staff. Some claim to have heard her moaning in anguish on occasion.
The most terrifying incident was that of a nine-year-old girl who woke up at 3 a.m. to see the Black Lady standing in front of her. Reservations are available if you want to come to see the location in Nashville and get spooked!
This is a unique destination in TN in that it is somewhat romantic and scary all at the same time!
Cragfont (Castalian Springs)
James Winchester and his brother George built the Cragfont in 1785. After George was slain by Natives in 1794, James and his wife Susan were left to finish the house in 1802.
Aside from being the Winchester family’s home, the mansion served as the center of a tobacco plantation. On the land, more than 100 African-Americans were enslaved.
When slavery was abolished in 1867, the family was forced to sell the Cragfont. These days, the mansion is said to be haunted, and many visitors have reported seeing spirits and items moving on their own.
Candles also light themselves, and neatly made rooms and beds were a mess after a few hours. Nowadays, you may take a guided tour of the mansion and learn more about its history and it is a great weekend trip from Nashville.
Sensabaugh Tunnel (Kingsport)
The scary Sensabaugh Tunnel can be found in Kingsport, Tennessee, close to Bristol. Locals think the location has an evil presence and that visitors should avoid it at all costs.
The tunnel was built in the 1920s, and driving through it will leave you with an uneasy feeling. Murder, death, and demonic rituals are said to be connected to it.
Mr. Sensabaugh, who lived near the tunnel, went insane one day and murdered his family before throwing them into a nearby creek. It is believed that if you drive through the tunnel and then turn off the engine, it will not start again.
Mr. Sensabaugh will then approach you, and the engine will start just as he approaches you. Cries and footsteps can also be heard echoing down the tunnel.
Thomas House Hotel (Red Boiling Springs)
CNN ranked the historic Thomas House Hotel in Red Boiling Springs as the second most haunted location in the United States. It was constructed in 1890 on the site of a natural mineral spring that attracted many rich visitors.
The Thomas House Hotel, as it is named now, was built after the original was destroyed by fire in 1924. A fire in the 1990s, however, prompted the hotel to be completely rebuilt.
Something about the house entices travelers to pay a visit to this enigmatic location. Dark figures in the rooms, freezing spots, moving beds at night, and voices heard all are common occurrences in the motel and what has made it one of the most haunted places in Tennessee to visit!
Murder, suicide, and, of course, fires have all happened at the hotel. However, you can book a night’s stay there these days!
When you book a weekend ghost tour, you can also eat dinner, watch a documentary about the place, and go on a nightly ghost search. This is the perfect thing to do for Halloween in Tennessee.
Wheatlands Plantation (Sevierville)
The haunted Wheatlands Plantation, which is located on Boyds Creek Highway, was built in 1820. It’s a place with a bloody history and a terrible past.
The property, which includes 50 gravestones of Enslaved People, was formerly one of the largest plantations in the south. The property was also the site of battles throughout the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
The Battle of Boyd’s Creek resulted in the massacre of around 28 Cherokee people, who are buried in a mass grave behind the home. As you enter the property, you’ll notice the bloodstains of a father who was murdered by his son.
Loud yells and thuds can be heard around the property, which detectives believe are connected to the murdered father. Visitors can also observe the spirits of the children of Enslaved People playing hide-and-seek with visitors throughout the area.
Many spirits, as well as shadows, sounds, and moving objects, have been observed and reported over the years.
Bijou Theatre (Knoxville)
The Bijou Theatre, located in Knoxville and known to be one of the city’s oldest buildings, is also known for being haunted. Built as a hotel in 1817, the structure has changed hands several times over the last 200 years.
“Haunted locations are based on trauma,” says Adam Smith, director of Knoxville’s haunted tours, and the theatre has gone through a lot since it was a hotel, brothel, and a Civil War hospital. Many troops took their last breath in the building during the war.
General William P. Sanders is the well-known casualty of the war and is buried at the entrance of Bijou. Soldiers’ ghosts have been reported on numerous occasions.
Workers talk about paranormal experiences like someone tugging on their clothes or voices being heard in the Knoxville building. Security hears footsteps all night long along the catwalk above the stage.
Energy exists in this place, and meeting spirits there is not something unprecedented.
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park (Germantown)
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park spans over 13000 acres and is located along the Mississippi River in Millington… it is an excellent Memphis day trip.
At first sight, it is a beautiful place to have a hike in and enjoy the sun; however, as the darkness fills up the space, strange things can happen.
It is said that the place is haunted by the “Pigman,” who worked at a local explosives plant during WWII. Sadly, he was disfigured during an accident and was left with the name Pigman.
As the night approaches, Pigman roams around the forest in search of his next victim. According to legend, if you travel to the nearby “Pigman Bridge” and scream out Pigman three times while flashing your headlights, he will arrive, and if you’re lucky, you won’t find out what happens after that!
If you are brave enough, camping spots are available in the forest, and perhaps you will have an exciting story to tell around the campfire.
Oakland’s Historic Mansion (Murfreesboro)
Located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Oakland’s Mansion was built in the early 19th century.
During the Civil War, several Confederate and Union soldiers stayed at the palace. During the years, many children died in the home, believed to be due to the alleged hauntings in the house.
Oakland is known as one of Tennessee’s most haunted places, with reports of children racing through the mansion and heartbroken matriarchs still roaming the hallways.
In October, the mansion welcomes guests who want to learn more about how families dealt with the loss of a loved one. The Victorian era was full of superstitions; hence the house is full of covered mirrors.
It was believed that when someone passes away, the next person who sees their reflection will be the next to join.
Furthermore, coffins had to be carried out of the home feet first, because if they were carried head first, the soul might summon others to follow.
Shiloh National Military Park (Shiloh)
Shiloh National Military Park, established in December 1894, was the final resting place for many troops. More than 23,000 troops died in the 1862 Battle of Shiloh, and the site is said to be haunted to this day as a result of the many deaths.
Shiloh National Cemetery, Shiloh Battlefield, and Shiloh Indian Mounds are among the historical landmarks in the park. After so many fatalities, the ground has transformed into a strange playground.
The soldiers’ ghosts were unable to pass on, and as a result, they still haunt the area to this day! Reports of drumming, voices, footsteps, and gunshots can be heard coming from the park and visitors report seeing apparitions roaming the grounds.
The nearby pond is known to have randomly turned red, representing the sad reality of many soldiers who had once laid to rest in the water.
Bell Witch Cave (Adams)
The Bell Witch Cave and Farm is an isolated spot in Adams, Tennessee, where John Bell and his family lived in 1804. The place has an interesting supernatural story tied to it.
The Bell Witch is said to be the soul of a vengeful neighbor who claimed John Bell duped her into buying land. From 1817 on, a neighbor promised to kill John Bell and prevent his daughter from marrying, and this is exactly what happened.
Strange creatures and happenings began to appear around the house. John Bell and his daughter received a lot of physical abuse, as a result of this phenomenon.
The supposed witch was very powerful and wise and she began casting spells and cursing the Bell family until John Bell’s health deteriorated and he died in 1820.
The daughter called off her engagement in 1821, meaning that the witch successfully completed her mission. You can visit the Bell farm in this small town if you are interested in the story and would like to learn more about it.
Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary (Petros)
The Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, which operated from 1896 to 2009, is located in Petros, a small community in eastern Tennessee. The prison was known for the dark stories connected to it.
Prisoners were abused, and escaping from there was impossible since the chosen location was known for its rugged topography. The jail is primarily known for housing James Earl Ray, the man responsible for Martin Luther King’s assassination.
He plotted the world’s most daring escape in 1977, only to be apprehended after 58 hours. Since its closure, the prison has gained a reputation for a lot of paranormal activity.
Screams of despair can be heard, as well as clanging against bars in search of justice. If you are interested in dark tourism, then this place will not disappoint. Take a ghost tour to discover more about the location.
Carnton Plantation (Franklin)
Located on Carnton property is the largest Confederate graveyard in the south. It played a massive role during and after Franklin’s Battle during the American Civil War.
The Carnton Plantation was converted into a hospital, and over 1700 men died there… and today it is said that these soldiers are still haunting and roaming around the place and the fields.
A Confederate General has also been spotted on the house’s front bottom porch. Sightings of a young servant who was killed after rejecting a suitor can also be spotted sweeping the kitchen.
It’s no surprise that this site is haunted, given its history of thousands of deaths, murders, and war.
Orpheum Theater (Memphis)
The Orpheum Theater, which seats 2308 people, is located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It is well-known for hosting traveling Broadway plays in the Mid-South and is also said to be haunted by Mary, a 12-year-old girl.
According to legend, she was killed in a car accident in front of the Grand Opera House, and her ghost felt it would be a good place to settle.
Many theatre patrons see her dancing in the lobby in an old-fashioned white gown but then vanishes. Another witness saw a woman dressed in a 1920s gown sitting peacefully in her preferred seat, 5C.
Multiple reports believed that the theatre was haunted by other ghosts, identifying one in particular. Mary is being escorted to the opposite side by David, who is waiting for her.
The spirits of the others are unknown, although none of them appear to be malicious.
What are the creepiest haunted places in Tennessee, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!
Additional Tennessee Travel Guides
- Best places to visit in Tennessee
- Apple orchards in Tennessee
- Small towns in Tennessee
- Weekend trips from Nashville
- Day trips from Memphis
- Tennessee in fall
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Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she has lived all around the world (including Germany, Finland, Norway, etc) but her heart always finds its way back to Virginia. This blog is to help encourage travelers to explore the great state of VA… and its wonderful neighbors! Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, the New York Times, and more. She has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries… and wholeheartedly believes that Brunswick Stew is probably the greatest food to ever exist.