Region home to many haunted places
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 16:10
Halloween season tends to bring out the thrill seeker in all of us. Whether it’s going to haunted houses, haunted corn mazes or even going on ghost tours, there are several paces around the West Tennessee and Western Kentucky areas to explore.
In fact, there are several places right here in Weakley County, from the UTM campus to restaurants to houses. Outside of Weakley County, but rather close, there are places in Gibson, Henry, Benton and Stewart Counties.
First we will visit a place right on the UTM campus that most of you may know about. It is the ghost of Clement Hall.
Most everyone knows about the severely depressed girl that had taken her own life in a bathroom on the fourth floor of Clement Hall. Some have claimed to see her wandering the blocked off section of the floor in a white dress. Others have felt her presence by random temperature changes, slamming doors and even strange whispering.
Along with these hauntings on campus, there are also some present in the town of Martin.
For one, the Opera House located in downtown Martin is a place of food and frighteners. The Opera House doesn’t look like it would be a place full of the paranormal, but beneath its pretty exterior lies something else. Its history dates back to the late 1800s and it is one of Martin’s oldest buildings. Over the years, many paranormal claims have been experienced in this location, including sightings of an older man in a hat, voices, physical touching, shadows and manipulation of objects.
Right down the street, there’s also The Stables, a nightclub built in the 1890s that has housed many different businesses before settling down on its current housing. It even housed funeral services. Now it’s just a nightclub. However, there have been many paranormal claims of screams, shadows, voices and even apparitions. There have also been feelings of uneasiness, especially on the third floor of the building.
Looking outside of the Martin area, there are also haunted places in other areas of West Tennessee.
In Dresden, there is a house on the corner of Jeter and Maple Street that is said to be haunted. The Weakley County Press had reported in 2005 that the experiences in the house were so terrifying that they caused the owner to move out and place the house up for sale. Some of the stories that have been told range from the usual footsteps upstairs to a girl losing consciousness while her eyes rolled back in her head.
Moving out of Weakley County and heading south toward Jackson, there are several places in Gibson County and a well-known place in Madison County.
In Gibson County, there are two places that are known to have paranormal activity, Sleep Hallow Lane in Trenton and Hope Hill Cemetery between Milan and Medina.
Sleepy Hallow Lane in Trenton hasn’t had confirmation of the activity, according to John Norris Brown of Ghosts and Spirits of Tennessee, but it hasn’t stopped people from trying. The myth is that if you were to pull over while driving down the road at night and were to shout “come to me” three times, ghosts would appear, and your car would not be able to start. Although it has never been confirmed, those who were brave enough to stop and try have reported strange happenings.
Cemeteries have always been a focal point of supposed paranormal activity, as well they should be, and attract people of all ages and levels of belief in local legend.
The cemetery of focus in Gibson County is Hope Hill Cemetery and the one in Henry County is Dumpling Hill/Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
The story behind Hope Hill Cemetery is that there was a little girl buried there back in 1931 at the age of five. What makes this grave unique is that after her burial, the family had a dollhouse placed over her grave. The myth is that if you go to the cemetery after dark you can see the little girl in the dollhouse playing with her dolls and talking to them. Occasionally she will catch the attention of thrill seekers peering at her, and she will go to the window and peer back.
The other cemetery, Dumpling Hill/Pleasant Grove Cemetery located in Henry County, has a story to tell as well. The legend here is that a slave had committed a petty crime and was sentenced to death and was hanged. Later, he was buried in the cemetery. They say his spirit remains walking the gravestones and scaring off visitors.
One last burial ground that has for sure had reported sightings is Pinson Mound in Jackson/Madison County.
Pinson Mound is located in south Madison County and is the sight of ancient Indian burial grounds. The grounds have been there since the Native Americans built them between 1 AD and 500AD. Naturally, Indian burial grounds have always been known to have a lot of paranormal activity, and Pinson Mound is no exception. Some of the occurrences that have been reported are strange energy forces, ghostly figures and strange noises, the typical activities that are said to occur at haunted sites. If you ask the park officials about the activity, naturally, they will say the grounds aren’t haunted.
The places mentioned are just a handful of sites in the West Tennessee area that are within short driving distance; there are many more places in the area, as well as the state.
One does not have to believe the legends of West Tennessee to enjoy the entertainment aspect of them, but there is a welcomed excitement from those that are leery of the paranormal.
This Halloween, if you find yourself bored and looking for a good thrill, be sure to check out some of these places right here in your own backyard. Keep in mind that although these places may be public, some of them are not taken care of by state parks, so please be respectful of the properties they are on and treat cemeteries as though your family members are buried there. The Pacer does not condone vandalism or any acts thereof.
For more information about some of the places mentioned and more places to visit, be sure to check out http://johnnorrisbrown.com/paranormal-tn/location.htm and contact PRISM and visit their website at www.prismparanormal.net.