Today I added a couple of local events to the Paranormal Events page and felt bad. Sometimes I forget about all the things to do in Nashville, especially the haunted and Halloween variety. It seems I get focused on researching our next big trip and forget about the daytrips available right here in our own backyard.
Which is sad, because Tennessee overall is loaded with interesting historic sites and a plethora of haunted places. To try and rectify overlooking the obvious, I decided to write about some of the Halloween things to do in Nashville. I divided them into categories: Haunted Historic Homes, Ghost Tours, and Corn Mazes. In some cases you can find more than one of these activities at a site. (Example: There’s a maze at the Hauntings at the Hermitage as part of its festivities, but I listed it under what it primarily is, which is a haunted home.)
HAUNTED HISTORIC HOMES
- Hauntings at The Hermitage – The Hermitage is one of those places in Nashville that always strikes me as shy about it’s ghosts. You know some must roam there, but getting people to open up about it is hard. Except Donna Marsh, author of the Nashville Haunted Handbook, was able to root out some interesting tales, which she shared in her article, “The Hermitage, a presidential and haunted home.” During Halloween time, the Hermitage spends a couple of days celebrating the season.
Join us Saturday, October 20th and Saturday, October 27th for the 12th Annual Hauntings at The Hermitage. Celebrate the holiday with ghost stories, a haunted hay ride through the Hermitage fields and old barn, fun Halloween themed movies on our outdoor movie theater, music, food, games and activities for kids, and more. New this year is a Presidential Trick or Treat Trail (featuring Andrew & Rachel Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Dolley Madison & more), and hay maze!
- The Sam Davis Home Ghost Tours – This home is located in Smyrna, another town just southeast of Nashville. When we toured this property back in 2009, it was not known for its ghosts or paranormal activity. However, we had a great guide who shared a couple of spooky anecdotes with us. Apparently they’ve realized the benefit of having ghosts and now offer ghost tours for the Halloween season.
Ghost Tours offers an answer to the commonly asked question: Is the Sam Davis Home haunted? This storytelling event gives visitors a chance to hear a different tour of the historic house and property. Visitors will first board a haunted hayride and hear tales of the property before being dropped off at the front walk of the historic Sam Davis Home. Storytellers inside the house and outbuildings will share the hauntingly true tales experienced by visitors, staff, and volunteers as guests are guided along the walking tour. The event begins at 7 pm with ghost tours (consisting of the haunted hayride and walking tour) departing about every fifteen minutes until 10 pm. Admission is $5 per person and parental discretion is advised. This event is not recommended for children under the age of ten. Ghost Tours is a weather dependent event.
- Back porch of the Sam Davis Home
- The State Museum’s Haunted Museum Ghost Story Festival – This is an excellent museum located in downtown Nashville, which is convenient if you want to take in Broadway and the honky tonk scene. (Fun, even if you’re not country music fan. Trust me. I’m not, but it’s hard not to have a fun time downtown at the bars.) For one day only, the State Museum shares Tennessee’s history through ghost stories.
The event features a “ghost trail” through the museum with prizes, crafts, and refreshments. At stops along the ghost trail there will be chilling ghost stories from Tennessee’s past, including those of the Bell Witch, the Cherokee spirit Spearfinger, John Murrell’s thumb, and many other scary tales.
And new this year is — “The Bell Witch Bucket” — an object from the museum’s vast collection and which is normally not on public view. The bucket will be on display alongside the storyteller who will explain its frightening origins.
- Nashville Ghost Tours – As I mentioned above, Downtown Nashville is where the honky tonks are. And within these bars are spirits…both ones you can drink and the other variety. But Nashville is more than country music. A great way to learn about the city’s haunts and history is on one of these ghost tours.
Nashville Ghost Tours is Nashville, Tennessee’s original haunted walking tour. Don’t be fooled by competitors. We are Nashville’s Original Downtown Walking Tour in operation for over 8 seasons. Voted best haunted walking ghost tour attraction in Nashville, Tennessee and number one ghost tour in Tennessee. Ranked #5 ghost tour nationwide by the SC Morning Post. Nashville Ghost Tours is the only ghost tour that has been seen on Biography, A& E, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, TLC, and the Travel Channel. Visit downtown Music City and learn the haunted history of some of Nashville’s most recognizable landmarks including the Ryman Auditorium, Printer’s Alley, the Hermitage Hotel, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Tennessee State Capitol. Nashville Ghost Tours also offers two new unique tours; Haunted Tavern Tours Nashville and Haunted Hearse tours.
- Haunted Franklin Tour – Franklin is a Civil War history rich city located just south of Nashville. Around this time of year, especially on weekends, this tour sells out far in advance.
Lives cut short…. Sudden, violent death…. Unfinished business. All reasons spirits remain behind. But sometimes it’s an entirely different reason: folks get so attached to their homes that they just can’t bear to leave…even after they die.
Franklin seems to be full of both kinds. We’ve got departed socialites, spies, businessmen, Confederate soldiers, and at least one dog, all roaming downtown, and we spend an interesting hour and a half with them on this tour. One is helpful, several appear lonely, and one seems to be afraid of the dark.
- Bell Witch Fest – I sort of have a problem promoting the State’s biggest claim to paranormal fame, mainly because the Bell Witch Cave was never part of the actual Bell Witch haunting. It was rumored the witch that haunted the Bell family may have lived in or come from a cave, but that’s as much conection to the Bell Witch haunting as there is, a rumor. But, you know someone’s gotta make a dime off the story, so…. As you might expect, the Bell Witch Cave hops around Halloween. They have lots of activities, including tour of the replica cabin and cave (both daytime and night ones), hayrides, psychic readings, and more.
- Rippavilla Plantation Corn Maze – In my opinion, the Rippavilla Plantation is one of Middle Tennessee’s most fabulous historic homes. It’s also haunted, but they downplay that and don’t really do much for Halloween on that front. As far as the house goes. (Which is why I didn’t include it under Haunted Historic Homes.) However, their corn maze is interesting. There are points within that have the house and region’s historical highlights. Not sure if they have pumpkin chucking again this year, but we greatly enjoyed that last year.
- Rippavilla Plantation
- Gentry’s Farm – This Franklin, TN farm is often a popular field trip excursion for school kids, but come Fall families have a chance to pick their own pumpkins, take a hayride, and get lost in a four acre corn maze. The drive to the farm, no matter which direction you come from, also allows views of some of the prettiest countryside you’ll ever see.
- Honeysuckle Hill Farm – I’ve been wanting to get to Honeysuckle Hill for a few years now. Their corn maze always gets rave reviews. Now they’ve even got a zip line over it. They also have a U-pick pumpkin patch. And if you’re feeling destructive, they have Pumpkin Blasters that let you shoot a baseball-size pumpkin out of an air-powered gun. Oh, and they also operate the Scream Creek Haunted Woods. You travel north from Nashville to Springfield, TN to find this corn maze, pumpkin patch and Halloween haunted attraction.