5 Haunted Places to Explore in Maury County

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Rose Hill Cemetery
photo: Visit Columbia

Middle Tennessee is steeped in grievous historic circumstances. From battlefields to plantations you will hear the chatter of supernatural occurrences. Maury County has ghostly accounts, unique to the area, that have been told from generation to generation. Some even claim to have experienced these unearthly encounters themselves. Here is a collection of places claimed to be the most haunted in Maury County.

1Rippavilla Plantation

5700 Main Street
Spring Hill, TN 37174

A former plantation, historic house and now a museum, Rippavilla was originally built in 1852 for the Cheairs family. Rippavilla has an intense history of being a working plantation (the family owned about 40 slaves), a makeshift housing area and hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers and prisoners of war as well as part of the Battle of Spring Hill unfolding across this property on November 29, 1864. One of the rooms inside Rippavilla was used as a surgical ward and stories of property deaths still haunt the house today. People report ghostly shadows, phantom smells of rosewater perfume & pipe tobacco and even the sounds of people talking and children laughing.

2James K. Polk Home Museum and Visitor’s Center

301 W 7th St
Columbia, TN 38401

Built in 1816, this is the only private residence associated with our 11th President, James K. Polk, to survive. The original possessions of the Polk family still line the halls and decorate the walls of this historic home museum. The Visitor’s Center was once James K. Polk’s sister’s home and seems to be touched by haunting to this day. In fact, one long-time staff member of the museum claims that as she was locking up one night she heard a scream directed toward her screeching “Get out of my house”.

Greenwood Cemetary is just a few blocks away from the Polk Museum and is the resting place of Polk’s parents and many of his siblings, most of which died on the Polk property. On October 23rd, the museum will be hosting a special tour of the cemetery you can be a part of.

3Rattle and Snap Plantation

columbia-tennessee
photo: Visit Columbia

1522 N. Main Street
Mount Pleasant, TN 38474

The name “Rattle and Snap Plantation” came to be after the owner, William Polk, won the property from the governor of North Carolina in a game of “rattle and snap”, a game of chance said to be played with beans. The portion of the property that holds the plantation was built by William’s son, George, and his wife, Sally. The home was completed in 1845 and is still considered the largest mansion in all of Maury County. The interior is decorated appropriately to reflect an 1800s plantation with original pieces, a portion of which are the only few surviving original pieces of furniture that were not lost during the Civil War. The ballroom on the second floor is said to be the most haunted of places in the house, with claims of a tall Confederate soldier wandering around. A decorative bed located in the house is often said to be a mess in the morning although no one has been there all night. Rumor has it, this ghost is the son of George and Sally, Joseph, who was injured during the Battle of Franklin only to return home months later with sustained injuries.

4Rose Hill Cemetery

Rose Hill Cemetery
photo: Visit Columbia

219 Cemetery St
Columbia, TN 38401

Rose Hill Cemetery opened to the public in 1853 and has some very notable historical figures buried inside. Edward Carmack, a well-known lawyer and state representative as well as Washington Whitthorne, also a lawyer who served in the U.S. Senate and a U.S. House Representative are buried here. You will also discover burial sites of soldiers, a legendary stock car driver and members of the everyday working-class community that built Columbia. Many locals claim to see apparitions and the sounds of laughing, screaming and general conversions as they’ve wandered the property from dusk to dawn. Some claim to have even been shoved around by some unsettled spirits.

5Athenaeum

808 Athenaeum St
Columbia, TN 38401

The Athenaeum Rectory is a historic building located in Columbia that was once part of a series of buildings that made up an all-girls school known as the Columbia Female Institute. Reverend Smith and his family relocated to the Columbia area from Virginia after he accepted the position of headmaster at the all girls school. The building is all that remains of the schools from the 1830s era after the first one was destroyed in 1915 to build the first Columbia Central High School and the other building was a total loss after burning to the ground in 1959. Today it is a historic site and museum open for tours. The headmasters original house is said to be haunted. While paranormal investigators were there, they asked the spirits to turn flashlights on and off that the investigators had left on the floor in the basement. The flashlights began switching from on to off and from off to on. There are reports of several figures that walk around the house as well as a woman dressed specifically to the time period.

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