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Civil War Haunts, Paranormal Investigators and Middle Tennessee

This past weekend saw the Middle Tennessee area hosting two biggies in the paranormal investigation field. Well, four really. Chris Fleming was in town to do an event, and the Ghost Adventures boys (Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin) were in Nashvegas for a lock down.

(Why they call it Nashvegas, don’t ask. I can’t explain it. I can explain why they also call it Smashville, and it’s not because people drink too much or get in too many accidents or fights. That moniker has to do with the hockey team, the Predators.)


Chris Fleming was in town to do an investigation at the Rippavilla Plantation with Mike Sears of Volunteer State Paranormal Research. Rippavilla is a restored antebellum plantation located just south of Nashville in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

It was the home of Confederate soldier Major Nathaniel Cheairs. Battles in the War Between the States (a.k.a. the Civil War) were fought on the plantation, and both Confederate and Union generals occupied Rippavilla at points during the war.

The Cheairs family occupied the house until the 1920s, when they sold it to a millionaire who admired it and offered a handsome sum. The Whitfields of Alabama called it home for only a little while before selling it to someone else. Other families have also since called it home.

Today it’s a place of restoration and preservation. Visitors can stroll the grounds as well as the inside and see many period and Civil War artifacts on display.

But is it haunted? Some say the spirits of Major Cheairs and Susan Cheairs are two of the primary spirits who still roam Rippavilla. But they’re not the only ones. Apparitions of soldiers and children have also been reported, and EVPs have been picked up.

I found a video on YouTube of a local PBS program, Tennessee Crossroads, doing a Halloween segment featuring Volunteer State Paranormal Research investigating at Rippavilla. It lets you see the beautiful Civil War haunt and hear more about the ghosts and activity found there.


I’m apparently a terrible researcher. I learned Zak, Nick and Aaron were coming to Nashville for an investigation, and then Linda Moffitt reminded me they were here. (And clued me in they were downtown Saturday night.)

A picture Zak Tweeted of the GA boys in downtown Nashville across from the Bridgestone Arena.

However, I don’t know what they’re investigating.

There’s no shortage of haunted places for them to do a lock down in. Here’s some of them:

  1. Belmont Mansion (which is on Belmont University)
  2. Carnton Plantation
  3. The Flying Saucer
  4. Ryman Auditorium
  5. Stone River Battleground
  6. The Hermitage
  7. Congress Inn
  8. Opryland
  9. Two Rivers Mansion & Golf Course
  10. Wilowen poltergeist
  11. Bell Witch Cave (Which is in Adams, TN, but is only a short drive from Nashville.)

Hmmm…I know they have a penchant for investigating places with violent ghosts, so my money is on the Bell Witch Cave, the Wilowen poltergeist, Congress Inn (people have reported being held down there, not so much attacked or anything), or a place called the Hawkins House which was also noted to have a poltergeist for a bit.

Confidentiality agreements seem to have everyone keeping mum, but I’m excited to see where the Ghost Adventures crew ended up investigating. (And why Zak was in a canoe. He also posted a pic on Twitter today of him canoeing. It kind of looked like the Harpeth River to me, but not sure about that. Hope he got to shore before the bad storms we had this afternoon kicked up.)

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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5 thoughts on “Civil War Haunts, Paranormal Investigators and Middle Tennessee

  1. The Flying Saucer is haunted? Really? I love that place. Time for a ghost hunting trip to Nashville.

  2. It is! And, ahem, I would love to meet you for a drink if you do come to town, missy! (And excuse to see you, be in a haunted place AND have beer? Heck ya! Sign me up!!!!!)

  3. Yes, that episode just aired not long ago. I recently found out when they were here last it was to investigate Loretta Lynn’s plantation…

  4. they was at the bell witch cave they was coming in as I was leaving worked with zac and them before

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