This afternoon my husband, Wayne, and I made an unexpected Haunt Jaunt to the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, TN. It’s not far from the hospital where I’m getting my radiation treatments, which Wayne accompanied me to today because he unexpectedly got the day off.
Anyway, I figured if nothing else it’d make a great getaway article for my gig over at Examiner.com, but…I couldn’t resist asking, “Do you have ghosts?” when our tour guide kept commenting about doors being unlocked he swore he had locked himself, or vice versa.
Wayne gets very uncomfortable when I ask such questions. However, he’s also surprised when, 9 times out of 10, instead of looking at me like I’m nuts, people say, “Now that you mention it…” and launch into ghost stories.
Today our guide said there are lots of unexplained things that happen there, but the best ghost story he knew of was one that happened to another volunteer.
The Crying Woman
I forget why he said the guide was in the house, but he was alone…except he heard a woman crying. He ran to see what was wrong, and sadly I don’t remember if he was running into the parlor or another room, but when he got to where he heard the crying coming from it stopped.
He went to rejoin the other volunteers and said, “I just had the strangest experience.” He went on to tell them and one of the women asked, “Don’t you know what week this is? It’s the anniversary of Sam’s death.”
Sam Davis: His Life and Death
I’ve seen signs for the Historic Sam Davis Home but didn’t know who Sam Davis was. I thought he was an old man who was influential in Tennessee politics or something.
In a way he was, but he sure wasn’t an old man. He was only 21 when he died and was serving as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. He was hung after he was caught by Union troops and convicted of being a spy. When his mother saw the wagon pull up with his coffin inside, she fainted.
His body was brought back to his home for burial in late December 1863. It was around that time of year some 140 plus years later that the volunteer heard the woman crying…a woman the other volunteers immediately concluded must be Sam’s mom, Jane.
The Sam Davis Home made for a fun jaunt I wasn’t even expecting to have today. It was a neat history lesson…and a neat new place to add to the Haunt Jaunts files.