A couple of months ago a friend recommended Nashville Pizza Company. I had driven past it several times and was curious to try it, but it’s kind of far from where we live. I hadn’t spoken with anyone who’d actually eaten there so I didn’t want to drag my husband (who’s very particular about his pizza) to someplace untested.
However, my friend gave it rave reviews. She said the crust was thin but not too thin. It was, in her opinion, the right combo of dough plus crunch. Also, the sauce was more spicy than sweet. It sounded like my kind of pizza.
I convinced my husband to give it a go one night when we were over on that side of town. It ended up being a pleasant discovery on two counts:
- The pizza was phenomenal. It is now my favorite pizza in Nashville. (Even though the location we ate at isn’t technically in Nashville. They have two locations, both in Franklin, but the one we ate at is in an area called Grassland.)
- It turned out to be a haunt jaunt because we encountered a ghost.
Not since my experience at Harry’s have I sensed something else like I did on our first visit to Nashville Pizza Company.
We sat at a table to the left of the doors as you enter. There was a walkway separating our side of the restaurant from the other side.
When we got there, there was a table of four people on that other side. They left right before we got our meal. Another family took a table on our side shortly after we arrived. A couple more people came in and out for carry out orders.
The reason I’m talking about the other customers is to illustrate other people came in and out. There was a period of activity. All was quiet, however, for most of our meal. Until the very end. That’s when the metal pull on one of the fans on the other side of the restaurant suddenly started clanging. And clanging. And clanging.
It wouldn’t stop, yet there was no reason it should’ve even started. No one had come through the doors since the people who had been dining on that side left approximately 15 minutes earlier.
For lack of a better word, I felt an energy/presence coming from that area. I thought, “That’s a ghost’s calling card if I ever saw one.”
THE GENERAL MAKES HIS PRESENCE KNOWN
I almost said something to my husband, but refrained. To this day he doesn’t know how to take my feelings. He teases me mostly, but it also leaves him uncomfortable. We were having such a pleasant meal, I didn’t want to spoil it.
But not even a minute after I had my thought, one of the guys from the kitchen walked out and headed over to the fan. I was glad someone was going to do something about it, because the noise was starting to get annoying and was clearly not going to stop.
As he pulled out a chair to step up on, one of his coworkers said, “I don’t know why you bother. You know he’s going to do it again as soon as you fix it.”
My ears instantly perked. He? Since I hadn’t seen anyone, I knew they were joking about a ghost. When our server came to refill our drinks, I asked her about it.
The guy who had taken care of the fan (who was now back behind the counter) heard me asking her if they had a ghost. He answered for her.
“We call him the General,” he said. “That’s how he lets us know he’s here.” (He nodded towards the fan.)
“Some people have even seen him. Mostly over there in the corridor,” our server said as she looked at the small hall that led to the bathrooms.
I didn’t find out if they call him the General because he’s dressed in military uniform or that’s just the name they’ve given him. It’s a question I want to know, but haven’t gotten an answer to yet.
RETURNING TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME
We have gone back since. On a very busy Saturday afternoon even. People were coming in and out. There was even a breeze outside, which gusted inside whenever anyone entered or exited. The pull on the fan didn’t clink once.
I joked to our server (a different one from our initial visit), “Either you fixed the fan or got rid of the ghost.”
We were seated on the same side as the first time we’d eaten there. I did not nod or look at the fan that had misbehaved on our first visit. He did when he responded.
“Oh, he’s still here. Just today when we came in some stuff had fallen that shouldn’t have. He hasn’t messed with the fan yet today, though.”
I asked then about them calling him the General. He didn’t know. All he said was, “I haven’t seen him and I’m glad. Don’t want to.”
There’s a lot of Civil War history in Franklin. That I know of, the Nashville Pizza Company at the Grassland location is not near any of the battle sites. It’s something I want to look into more.
Every time we go back, I’ll also continue hoping I’ll get to see his full-bodied apparition. Or that at least he’ll clink the fan’s pull again to let us know he’s there. He might be a bit mischievous, but he’s a nice ghost I can tell. And perhaps he’s happy haunting that spot because he loves the smell of Nashville Pizza Company’s yummy pizzas!