Archive for the ‘Bolivar, TN’ Category

I want to assure my readers that I am still around. I haven’t been able to update the site because I have been unable to visit any new places. Hopefully that will change with Halloween right around the corner.

As always, I am here to answer any questions you have and I always reply to comments left here within 48 hours. If you want more information or would like to share your own experiences, please email me at tnhauntings@writersbeacon.com.


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It’s still way too cold to venture out to explore new places, but I have updates!

I spoke to an employee of WMHI yesterday and there are numerous reports of incidents occurring in Luton Hall. One woman reported her hair being pushed behind her shoulder while several others have reported a presence in one of the restrooms.

I also learned that years ago there was a woman (I think I was told it was a woman) who could levitate above several feet above the bed. Apparently, many staff members walked into her room and discovered her doing just that. Many of the employees believe she is still lurking on the top floor and occasionally makes her presence known.

If anyone knows anything about these happenings, please leave a comment. Also, while it’s too cold to go out and take photographs for my readers I would like to invite you to stop by my other blog, http://www.allaboutbipolar.com.

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A friend of mine (Rickey Smith) brought an interesting newspaper clipping to my attention today. It was printed in 1871. He says the area they are referring to is the Masseyville – Cave Springs area in Chester County. The clipping says:

1871. Unusual Story.

Wild Men (News Article) Date: 1871-05-04; Paper: Weekly Eastern Argus (Maine);This entire product and/or portions thereof are copyrighted by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society. 2004.page 1
…. Tennessee, however, has the champion wild man. The Jackson Whig of the 23th inst. says:
We learn that between Sobby and Crainsville, on what is called Piney, in McNairy county, a strange and frightful being has been observed for several weeks. He is said to be seven feet high, and possessed of great muscular power. His eyes are unusually large, and fiery red; his hair hangs in a tangled and matted mass of jet below his waist, and his beard reaches below his middle. His entire body is covered with hair, and his whole aspect is most frightful. He shuns the sight of men, but approaches with wild and horrid screams of delight every woman who is unaccompanied by a man. He sometimes with great caution approaches houses; and should he see a man he runs away with astonishing swiftness, leaping the tallest fences with the ease of a deer, defying alike the pursuit of men and dogs. He has frightened several women by attempting to carry them off as well as by his horrid aspect, and the whole country around Sobby is in consternation. The citizens are now scouring the woods, and are determined either to capture or drive off the monster.
So bigfoot sightings are nothing new. This story is 137 years old. I know we have all heard stories of bigfoot, but has anyone actually seen one? If you have a story about bigfoot, leave a comment or email me at tnhauntings@writersbeacon.com.
Again, thanks to Rickey Smith for passing along this article.

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Western Mental Health Institute – Bolivar, TN

I have had several people land on my blog while searching for Western Mental Health Institute so I figured I would add some information.

The grounds of WMHI were once populated by flying squirrels but they have disappeared in recent years. The main entrance leads to the Administration building. This building once had two large wings. They were condemned and removed in the 1980’s. Some of the locals said the wings were haunted but it really doesn’t matter since they no longer exist.

Some of the things I have read on the internet are simply untrue. One person stated that when lightening struck nearby you could see a man who hung himself swinging from the top of the Administration building. None of the employees, security guards or locals have ever seen this. It was also said that there were places in Luton Hall where there are no cameras and the patients use this spot to kill other patients. My mother works in Luton Hall now and did many years ago as well. First of all, there are cameras everywhere. Secondly, this unit is all men. The majority of these men will remain there for their entire lives. They have had patients murder other patients but they really don’t care if they are caught or not. Honestly, what are they going to do to them? Many years ago, one of the men strangled his room mate with a tube sock because his snoring kept him awake. It happens.

One rumor that swirled around at WMHI for awhile revolved around the tunnels beneath the buildings. It was said that patients had become lost in the maze of tunnels and died down there. Some have even went so far as to say that the tunnels are haunted by these patients who are still looking for a way out.

Let me say this now: It is illegal to trespass on state property. All employees have hangers on their rear view mirrors so anyone who isn’t supposed to be there is spotted very easily. Even if you did manage to gain illegal entry to the grounds, the tunnels can only be accessed via the units. If you attempt to enter a unit, you will be captured on camera and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. DO NOT trespass!

The reason I know all of this is because my mother, three aunts, two uncles, and several friends work or have worked at WMHI. Several of them have retired from there and others have worked there for several decades. My mother has worked in Luton Hall, the Clement Building and occasionally works the Timber Springs Unit. My aunt and uncle worked in Dietary. One uncle is a Security Guard. Two aunts worked in the Administration Building. One friend is a Security Guard, another retired from Dietary.

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This house is located on Highway 64, past the Super Wal-mart and Western Mental Health Institute. It is right off the highway right before you reach the Bolivar Ford and Mercury dealership.

The house is privately owned and I think it may be occupied. Do not trespass on this property.

This two story white house was said to have been occupied by Lucy Black many years ago. Local legend says she was a school teacher who taught children in her home. This was common back years ago. The legend continues to say that she murdered several of her students upstairs and now her ghost haunts the home, occasionally standing in the upstairs window. It has been told to me by someone who lived in the home almost two decades ago that you can hear footsteps upstairs at night and the occasional rattling of chains.

I never really believed the story to be true, but about 13 years ago I saw her ghost in the window above the porch. I just happened to notice her when I was driving past the house. The apparition was there for the next several nights and then I never saw her again. Feel free to drive by and look for her but please do not trespass on the property.

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This story is documented and can be found in the History section of the library located in Bolivar, TN.

Dave Parran was a simple man who lived in a house known to locals as the “Wedding Cake House” in Bolivar, TN. He was an undertaker who would often sit on his rocker all day, talking to anyone who would pass by. Parran died in 1936, at the age of 86. He had lived in his house for 75 years, and absolutely loved his home. After his death, most of the locals said the thing they’d miss most was passing by his house and seeing him rock.

Dave Parran’s old rocker still sits on the porch of the Wedding Cake House. Sometimes, it will gently rock back and forth, even when there is no breeze. Some people have also seen Dave Parran’s apparition, rocking peacefully in his favorite chair. Others have said they heard Mr. Parran rummaging through his house in the middle of the night.

No one has ever been frightened by the ghost, and everyone agrees that this is a benevolent spirit. So if you pass by the Wedding Cake House, be sure and look at the rocker. You might get a ghostly welcome.

This house is located in the Historical District in downtown Bolivar near the McNeal House.

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Built in 1862, this home is beautiful AND it has a very rich history.

Photograph by Barbara Chambers-Hensley of http://www.barbarasgraphicdesign.com/

This home is located within the historical district in downtown Bolivar. You can reach it quite easily by turning beside Sonic and passing through a few stop signs.

McNeal Place was built due to the death of the only daughter of the original owner, Ezekiel K. Polk (a relative of James K. Polk). Mrs. (Ann) Polk was inconsolable at the death of Priscilla, who was in her teens in 1854. Polk built the home on the west side of his property near Polk Cemetery where Priscilla was buried. Ann visited the grave each day. During the Civil War she had to have a special pass to cross the Union Lines.

The local legend says that on the days when Mrs. Polk was not allowed to visit the cemetery, she would stand in the second story bedroom window and stare out at Polk Cemetery. Some say you can occasionally see her spirit in that same window simply staring across at her daughter’s grave.

Even though I have never seen the ghost of Mrs. Polk, I still enjoy visiting this neighborhood. There are many other historic homes nearby, including one that is documented as being haunted. (The Wren’s Nest, Uncle Dave’s rocking chair) It is also right across the road from Polk Cemetery which is alleged to be haunted.

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