These two places are must-stops on any Tennessee witchcraft, ghost and haunted places visit:
- Bell Witch Cave (Adams, TN)
Talking about spooky places, no Tennessee witchcraft and ghosts and spooky places visit is complete without a trip to the Bell Witch Cave. Dating back to the 19th century, the cave is associated with a period in Southern US folklore popularly known as the Bell Witch Haunting era. The cave is named after the Bell’s, a family living in northwest Robertson County, TN.
As the legend goes, between 1817 and 1821, farmer John Bell Sr. and his family were attacked by an invisible entity that could talk, impact the local environment and change its shape at will. Witnesses say the entity had superhuman strength, could travel long distances in a flash, and was even spotted in multiple locations simultaneously.
One story about the cave has the farmer’s young daughter, Betsy Bell, and her friends exploring the cave. One young lad crawled into a hole in the cave, got stuck and cried for help. It is said that an invisible voice yelled “I’ll get him out!”, yanked the young boy to safety, and then – still unseen – gave the child a stern lecture on cave exploration safety.
Once owned by the Bell family, and now located on privately owned property, the 490 foot long cave is accessible to visitors and tourists in the summer months, but especially during the month of October. Legend has it that when the demon finally left the Bell family, it escaped to this cave.
- Tennessee State Prison in Nashville, TN
Dark, depressing and desolate places, prisons often have sad tales to tell – often horrifying and scary ones. The Tennessee State prison is no exception, and is a must see stop on any Tennessee witchcraft, ghosts and spooky places itinerary.
Located a few minutes’ drive from downtown Nashville, the once imposing structure closed its doors forever in 1992. While storms, hurricanes and mother nature has taken its toll on the building over the years, it’s ghosts still appear to remain firmly entrenched there.
The prison has a rich history behind it. It was the backdrop of Tom Hank’s movie The Green Mile, and it also housed Martin Luther King Junior’s assassin. Famously too, singer Johnny Cash played some his most memorable hits for the inmates. But there’s another side of history that adds to the prison’s spookiness factor.
Originally built to house just 800 prisoners, the cell soon ran out of space that lead to overcrowding and unsafe prison practices. Prisoner discontent lead to numerous breaks, fires and riots as they protested the inhumane conditions under which they were held. It is believed that many of those jailed there lost their lives while serving their sentences. Some of those tortured souls are said to still haunt the place – waiting for their terms to end so they might be set free.
But the spookiest of all residents is “Old Sparky”, the prison’s electric chair. Rumor has it that not all of the 100-plus inmates, whose lives “Old Sparky” claimed, died a painless death. Many of those that perished in the chair also haunt the place today.