Halloween is the holiday people love to hate. While its origins are in pagan rituals surrounding ghosts and the underworld, modern celebrations have included candy, pumpkins, cartoons, horror movies and virtually anything that can be used to scare or terrorize. What does it take to scare you? Are you drawn to the horrific, strange, unexplained, ghostly, bizarre or chilling?
While donning your favorite costume and attending local haunted attractions, ponder some appalling and alarming facts and places from around the world – including right here in Northeast Tennessee. Each warrants more investigation for those who wish to get to the bottom of things… if you dare!
Strange Facts from Around the World
Our world is truly unexplainable, and that certainly goes for these weird and spooky events and happenings. Follow the links for more information and let that lead you down your own dark path of discovery.
A haunted radio station from Russia has been broadcasting anonymously since the height of the Cold War. First heard from only a single location and then discovered from another, the dull sound continues even today on 4625 kHz twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Some listeners also claim a second sound can be heard on occasion, similar to a foghorn.
Is Poltergeist (1982) a favorite Halloween movie? Did you know that real corpses were used as props in the original film?
A favorite terror device in a hugely popular movie is the chainsaw – made famous in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Did you know that the chainsaw (un-motorized at the time) was originally invented to assist with childbirth? It was used to perform a Symphysiotomy, which cuts the fibers joining the pubic bones at the front of the pelvis to enlarge the birth canal.
Death and dying still fascinates, and although many don’t wish to discuss it, some questions still haunt us. One such question is, “What is the last sense to lose at death.” Medical researchers believe they can prove that our sense of hearing is the last to go after we die.
Closer to home, but not necessarily in Northeast Tennessee, an old haunted prison first built in 1898 still stands, albeit now closed due to structural concerns. Formerly a working maximum security prison in Nashville, the old castle-like structure was used in the filming of The Green Mile (1999), which portrayed supernatural events within the prison from an inmate named John Coffey.
Creepy Facts from Northeast Tennessee
Our region is rich in history, from the Revolutionary War, the Lost State of Franklin, The Civil War and countless Indian skirmishes. Of course, this means the area is rife with ghosts and haunted places. Here are a few of the more interesting stories and haunts in our home area.
The Rotherwood Mansion, otherwise known as The Most Troubled House in Kingsport, is rich in a sordid and terrifying history. The current owners do not allow tours or visitors, but even they have admitted some strange encounters in the past.
The Christopher Taylor House in Jonesborough, built in the 1770s by Overmountain Man and former Revolutionary War soldier Christopher Taylor, once housed a young attorney named Andrew Jackson. The Taylor family is buried on the original property a mile from downtown Jonesborough (on the Hexpol Compounding property, formerly Burton Rubber), and area residents tell stories of ghosts and apparitions around the property. The original cabin was removed to downtown Jonesborough to preserve it – but who knows how many spirits followed?
If you spend a few nights at The Hawley House Bed & Breakfast in Historic Jonesborough, don’t be surprised to hear voices on the second floor. The original house was erected in 1793 and part of its storied history includes being a popular boarding house for ladies of the evening. Could their spirits still be reliving visits with former guests?
The Devil’s Looking Glass is a sheer rock face above a storied stretch of the Nolichucky River in Unicoi County, paralleling Highway 81 South between Jonesborough and Erwin. Reputed to be a haunted stretch of river, “The Devil’s Run” flows right underneath this rock formation, where Cherokee Indians claimed to see the face of the Devil on bright moonlit nights. Ghost stories of death and tragedy also abound here. Do you dare explore the river at night, or try to locate the cave hidden in the rock face?
The General Morgan Inn in downtown Greeneville, TN boasts a number of ghosts, including the specter of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan himself. While the official website doesn’t include the house’s ghostly past, employees and others can share plenty of stories. Why not book a room, enjoy an elegant meal and tempt fate with the chance of having your own ghoulish encounter?
Do ghosts really exist? Are the tales of these places and weird encounters true? Do you have your own experiences in these or other nearby locales? Why not share them with us in the comments!