Sumner County has a vast history in the development of the state of Tennessee, music of all genres, and nationally recognized events. This is the history that is talked about, but the hidden history? That involves early settlers surviving off the land and fighting off Native American attacks, Civil War battles taking the lives of both Union and Confederate troops, fires that devastated communities, and disease that killed innocent civilians. Be cautious before visiting these Sumner County haunted locations!
Timeless Treasures is located in Historic Downtown Gallatin and has been serving the Gallatin community since 2017. Although a charming boutique during the day, strange occurrences have taken place well past closing time. The boutique owner has recounted the multiple customers who, when the shop first opened, warned her of the two spirits that haunt the upstairs. The owner has stated that although she has yet to see the spirits, she knows their true form.
The Timeless Treasures Hauntings
Allegedly, the spirits are those of two children, one boy and one girl. Both like to interact with the customers who enter the shop and the items for sale. These experiences include toys in wicker chairs being played with and teacups clanking together as if they are being used. Their most notable encounter involves a fairy house which the owner states the little girl will not part ways with, even going as far as touching customers who attempt to purchase the fairy house. These encounters have made the fairy house a permanent fixture in the store to please the little girl.
BYH Kitchen & Bar
BYH (Bless Your Heart) Kitchen & Bar sits right in the heart of Downtown Gallatin. Known for its light eats, relaxing hangout space, and handcrafted drinks; it’s no surprise that this restaurant is filled with the living but as the stories are told, there is more than just the bar spirits that reside here. BYH’s building has held many different types of businesses in its lifetime. The building was originally built in 1883 and has since then been the location of a firehouse, city hall, jail, and even a brothel. Although their times have passed, the spirits of the past aren’t quite ready to leave BYH yet.
Employees of a former restaurant that occupied the location specifically remember times during closing when the chairs would be put on top of tables just for the employees to return to the chairs being knocked to the floor. Other times employees would hear a banging on the bathroom door in the women’s restroom while no one was inside. Former musicians who performed for the night encountered a supernatural fan as they would hear a woman whisper in their ears during performances while they were the only people on stage.
BYH may be known for its food and drinks but the next time you walk in, make sure you look twice before thinking you are alone.
The Palace Theater
The Palace Theater was once the vibrant gateway to Sumner County from 1913 to 1977. Once a beacon to Sumner County locals and visitors alike, catching a movie or show at the Palace Theater was a special occasion. The Palace is Tennessee’s oldest silent movie theater that is still in its original location, but the spirits inside want their message heard loud and clear.
Bill Roth purchased the Palace Theater property as a gift to his daughter but before they could enjoy the theater in its entirety, she passed away. Bill ran and operated the theater until his passing in 1977. Bill’s son would operate the theater until fully closing in 1987. Closed for a generation, Gallatin locals and organizations restored the theater to its once-shining glory and reopened the theater to be used once more. Today, the theater is owned by the nonprofit group Greater Gallatin.
The Palace Theater Hauntings
TWC (Tennessee Wraith Chasers), a paranormal investigation group, received the opportunity to enter the Palace Theater and listen in on the voices of the past while debunking any activity that was not paranormal. During their investigation, the group asked Bill Roth whose spirit many believe still resides in the theater and has been seen in the projector room, who his favorite actor was. A response came through that stated “Clark Gable”. Along with this voice, the group also captured video evidence of a flashlight being turned off on demand. Holding multiple investigations opened to the public, locals have joined in and found evidence of activity they could not explain.
Historic Rose Mont holds more than just state and national history within its walls. Spirits of the Guild family continue to live out their daily routines while visitors roam their once-normal home. The bustle of tours doesn’t deter them away from their other worldly pursuits, in fact, they interact with guests that visit their historic home.
Rose Mont was built and owned by Judge Josephus Conn Guild, a close friend of former president Andrew Jackson. Guild and the family raised thoroughbreds who would be purchased by the wealthy, including Andrew Jackson and The Hermitage estate. As charming of a house as Rose Mont is, the Guild family has been seen multiple times, refusing to let go of their beloved home. Tour guides and guests alike have experienced the same eerie phenomenon that holds Rose Mont in its grasp. It is normal to hear creaks, footsteps up the stairs, and voices having conversations while no one is in the house but seeing the spirits has taken some guests by surprise.
The Rose Mont Hauntings
Some of these most notable sightings include women on the tour encountering the spirit of Betty, the daughter-in-law of the Guilds, staring out of upstairs bedroom windows. A tour guide explained that Betty does not expose herself to men usually when all of a sudden, he felt a cold hand placed on his back shoulder as if Betty was agreeing with his message. Another ghostly encounter involves Betty’s son, Walter Jr.
Walter Jr. has been caught opening doors to the main office at 3:50 A.M. setting off the security system at Rose Mont on a daily basis at times. Multiple encounters involve seeing the young boy in the doorway of what was once the Master Bedroom which is now the main office door. Although the sightings are scary enough, the story gets more chilling as Walter Jr. died at the age of 14 in the Master Bedroom due to epilepsy at 3:50 A.M.
A last unknown spirit has made their presence extremely known to tour guides in the house. A recent chilling encounter brought a tour guide leaving the master bedroom face to face with this unidentified spirit. As the tour guide was leaving the master bedroom, he quickly turned away to complete a last check of the room. When the tour guide touched the carpet exiting the room, a black silhouette of a man walked directly in front of the tour guide, coming inches away from their face. The tour guide felt the air in the room become displaced and felt uneasy as the presence passed by.
Trousdale Place in Gallatin is a staple of Sumner County that has withstood the test of time for over 200 years. Originally built in 1813, Trousdale Place was purchased by William Trousdale in 1836. William Trousdale was a veteran of many wars and excursions including the War of 1812, he would later serve as Tennessee’s governor from 1849 to 1851. His participation in these conflicts would give him the nickname of “The War Horse of Sumner County.”
William and his wife Mary would live in the house and raise seven children. After William and Mary’s passing, the house would be inherited by their youngest child, Julius. According to records, Julius, his daughter Mary, and his wife would all pass away in the house in 1899. Two other of William Trousdale’s sons would return from the Civil War to the home with severe leg injuries, their last destinations are unknown.
The Trousdale Place Hauntings
Trousdale place is a haven of paranormal activity according to local ghost hunters. Many of the activities happen during the daytime, including guests capturing pictures of faces in the windows. Julius Trousdale’s daughter, Mary, is said to still take shelter in her once beloved home. Recent encounters involve a lamp in her bedroom being turned on and off. This activity cannot be explained as no power outlets are located in her room, making this quite a chilling experience.
While Mary is the most active, other encounters have left ghost hunters and skeptics shocked. Paranormal investigators have made contact with two males who have described their once physical being as being in pain from gruesome leg injuries, leading many to believe these spirits are the sons of William Trousdale who returned from war. The most riveting encounter left two empaths physically affected by the spirits. As one empath entered the property, she collapsed to the ground stating she felt a man’s spirit rush through her. The other empath made contact with this spirit who seemed apologetic for hurting the woman as he was unaware of just the effect he had on the living.
Cragfont is a paranormal investigator’s dream location. Originally built in 1798 and completed in 1802, this house was the gateway to the South and a beacon of hope for many travelers exploring the unknown frontier of the Western United States. General James Winchester, known for his service in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, would construct the home and live in the home upon its completion.
Building the house during this time was very daring as the land’s location had previously housed a fort that would be used to fend off Native American attacks in the surrounding area. On July 9th, 1794, George Winchester, James Winchester’s father, was ambushed and scalped by Native Americans on his way to the Sumner County Quarterly Court. After sending out groups to find the attackers, James Winchester gave up the hunt after two weeks and mourned his father’s death.
Accounts of the Winchesters owning enslaved people have been found in sparse documents. Although there are no direct documents from the Winchesters themselves expressing ownership of enslaved people, accounts from memoirs of immediate family members mention names of people who tended to the house and surrounding area of the land. Upon James’s death in 1826, an inventory of his property included 26 enslaved people and others who lived in the area who were once enslaved people at Cragfont. Many believe over 100 slaves were actually kept on the property and many are buried on the Cragfont property.
The Cragfont Hauntings
With so much activity including Native American attacks, enslaved people, and wars fought on the land, it is no surprise that the paranormal activity here is more….angry. An account that has been shared with local news stations involves a caretaker of the property of over 40 years. An encounter that left them and the other individuals speechless and nearly another victim of the Cragfont land.
The story is told as the caretaker was finishing their cleaning and returning the cleaning items back to the basement, as witnesses state, a seemingly uneasy feeling took over the room as they watched the caretaker rush back up the basement stairs with a rope wrapped tightly around their neck and struggling to get it off. Cragfont has shared video evidence of the encounter with news sources but has not released the footage to the public. Another famous account involves Country Music legend and former Sumner County resident Conway Twitty.
Conway Twitty allegedly was interested in the paranormal and opted to tour the Cragfont house alone. Caretakers granted him permission. Conway ventured into the house and started his own tour. Caretakers say that they were caught by surprise as Conway rushed out of the house refusing to go back in. Conway would not share his full experience but was quoted as saying, “The last straw was when the candlesticks flew at me.”
Many witnesses account for candles being lit and in windows long after caretakers and staff have left, objects being moved and misplaced in different rooms than normal, apparitions being seen floating in photos and videos on the grounds and in the house, conversations being overheard in empty rooms, and items being thrown at guests.
Enter with Caution
The rich and charming history of Sumner Couty is shared all across the world with its music connections, southern charm towns, and state and national history, but the secrets that Sumner County locations hold offer more to the story. The next time you are in these haunted locations, take a second to look behind your shoulder, you never know who may be watching you.
For more information on tours and operating hours for Sumner County Historical Sites, click here.
For a list of more Tennessee Haunted Locations, click here