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Haunted Cemeteries in Tennessee Part 1
Bethel Cemetery is located on Tracy Road at Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It is near the town of Atoka in Tipton County. There are over 600 interments dating back to 1845.
This cemetery has been investigated by many paranormal investigators. Typical haunted cemetery events happen here: strange voices, shadowy people, and ghostly lights.
But Bethel Cemetery has something few other haunted cemeteries have. A monster. It has been described as having the body of a lion with a long mane and the head of a dog with glowing red eyes! Unfortunately, no one has been able to capture a picture of the creature.
Purdy Wright Cemetery
Purdy Wright Cemetery is also known as Old Purdy Cemetery and is located on Hurst Lane in McNairy County. There are roughly 150 interments here dating back to 1820. Purdy is an unincorporated community a little northeast of Selmer. Major Benjamin Wright and his wife, Martha, were buried here in 1859 and 1860. The cemetery is located near Hurst Mansion which is supposedly haunted also.
There are several stories here. People claim to hear the voices of slaves and soldiers. There have been reports of a ghostly horse drawn carriage. Another story is that if you park on the circle on the left side you had better not turn your car off. If you do the car won’t start again until the sun starts to come up. The sounds of children playing are occasionally heard also.
Chapel Hill Cemetery
Chapel Hill Cemetery is part of the Chapel Hill Methodist Church, established in 1861. It is located near Huntingdon and McKenzie in Carroll County. Futrell Road runs through the middle of it. There are roughly 1,000 interments going back to the 1700s. There is an Indian Burial Ground nearby.
Strange lights are seen here that are described as dancing on the graves. Shadows that don’t seem to belong are seen here. For example, there might be the shadow of what appears to be a person, but there is no one standing there.
The scariest ghosts are the invisible ones. Visitors have reported having their hair brushed back by invisible hands. People in cars or trucks say things thump against the side of their vehicle.
There is also a white robed apparition that is often seen standing on the side of the road.
Dumpling Hill Cemetery
Dumpling Hill Cemetery is on Henry Mansfield Road near Paris in Henry County. There is only information for three interments. They are two teen-age girls buried in 1913 and an 80-year-old, sex unknown, buried in 1932.
The legend here is about the ghost of a slave who was hung for a petty crime. Sometimes he can still be seen hanging from a tree. At other times he is walking around and trying to scare visitors away.
Fort Donelson National Cemetery
Fort Donelson National Cemetery in Dover, Stewart County, was established in 1867 on 15 acres. There are 670 Union soldiers killed during the Civil War here. Only 158 are identified. There are also veterans from World Wars I and II, and the Spanish-American, Korean and Vietnam Wars making it a total of around 1,700 interments.
There is a very popular ghost here named Reuben Hammond. He was an infantryman in the Civil War. He appears to stand watch over his fallen comrades, but he is quite friendly. He seems to be sad and lonely and if his presence is acknowledged he responds with a nod of his head and a smile. He will then follow the visitor around for a while as if he’s glad for the company. When people leave he waves to them as they go.
People know his name because he has told them. His name is not in the known list for the cemetery, but it is on the list at the Surrender House. The Surrender House is now the Dover Hotel and is where General Grant demanded surrender from General Simon B. Bruckner following the Battle of Fort Donelson in 1862.
Resthaven Cemetery is located on Highway 41A South in Clarksville in Montgomery County. It is also known as Shrine of Memories Mausoleum and Chapel. There are around 8,000 interments going back to the 1910s.
There is only one reported ghost in this cemetery. He was a slave owned by a man who lived in a house behind the cemetery. Supposedly he raped the man’s daughter and she became pregnant. Her father murdered the slave and to this day his ghost can be seen searching the cemetery for his child.
Confederate Cemetery is located on the grounds of Carnton Plantation in Franklin in Williamson County. All the graves contain Confederate soldiers that were killed during the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864. The are 1,496 interments.
There is a ghost soldier here that seems to be guarding the graves. He follows visitors around until they leave the cemetery.
The far right row contains the graves of twin brothers. When visitors walk past these graves sometimes they feel someone grabbing their ankles.
A little girl also haunts this cemetery. She is seen and heard running her hand along the fence. Sometimes she is only heard but not seen.
Dyer Cemetery is located at the end of Dyer Road in Rockvale in Rutherford County. There are about 50 interments here. The oldest with a death date is for Isaiah Dyer in 1857. There are at least 25 members of the Dyer family buried here.
One story about this location occurred in the mid 1800s. It is unclear if this was before or after the Dyer family started using it as a cemetery. Three women who lived in a nearby village were accused of being witches. The townspeople chased them out of town and when they caught them they were hung and then their bodies burned. They were buried in unmarked graves where the Dyer Cemetery is now.
Many visitors to the cemetery have told the same story about the gate leading into the graveyard. It is very hard to open, but all at once it will fling open violently as if being pulled from the other side.
Inside the cemetery visitors report dark apparitions rushing at them and then vanishing just as they reach the visitor. Footsteps are often heard close to people. Most of this occurs toward the back of the cemetery.
There is a cedar tree near the front of the cemetery that is supposedly the one the accused witches were hung from. People standing near the tree have claimed to feel a hand grasping their shoulder or arm or feeling fingernails scrape along their arm. Balls of fire have also been reported to materialize close to the base of the tree and then rise into the air before disappearing.
Bethbirei Cemetery is located in Lewisburg in Marshall County. It is on Bethbirei Road off Old Farmington Road. There are about 400 interments dating back to 1814.
There is supposedly a ghost of a 3-year-old girl who can be seen here. The story is she was playing in the cemetery after church one Sunday and a statue of an angel fell on top of her, crushing her to death.
There is also a legend about the church itself. If you try to steal the Bible from the pulpit, it will become heavier and heavier until it can no longer be carried.
Haunted Cemeteries in Western Tennessee
More Haunted Cemeteries in Tennessee
- Haunted Cemeteries in Tennessee Part 2
Tennessee joined the United States as the 16th state in 1796. There are 29,462 documented cemeteries in 42,181 square miles. Here are some of the most haunted.