Do you believe in ghosts? Franklin is rich in history with landmarks scattered across the area still standing as a reminder of that heritage.
Whether or not you believe, many places in Franklin have been associated with ghost sightings.
1. Carnton Plantation
Located on the Carnton property is the largest Confederate graveyard in the south. It has been said that you can see soldiers walking the fields. Others have spotted a young servant who still sweeps the kitchen and the ghost of one of the five generals who lost his life on the property.
What we know is that after the battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, five injured Confederate generals were laid on the front porch of this old mansion where they subsequently died. Caroline Winder McGavock, who comforted the soldiers before they died has since been spotted at various places in and around the house. There have also been reports of one of the generals riding a horse through the fields of the mansion.
Carnton Plantation even made it on a Google Map of Tennessee called The Haunted Tennessee Road Trip.
Nashville Ghost and Paranormal Investigators (NGPI) publishes photos taken at haunted places, in which they believe ghosts revealed themselves. Here are some photos they published of Carnton Plantation.
The featured image at the top of this article shows the back porch, where people enter for tours. NGPI explains that this picture shows a man sitting on the bench to the right of the door and a woman in a large dress standing to his right whose image is partially hidden behind the column. There were no people on this side of the house at the time the photo was taken, adds NGPI.
This photo below supposedly shows a ghost sitting on the porch.
In this photo, the people at the bottom left of the picture are on a tour, but the blog site says the people on the porch are apparitions.
2. Lotz House
The Lotz House has been referenced many times as a Franklin haunt. The website Are you Terrified, along with the Travel Channel, named this historic home as “One of the Most Terrifying Places in America.” Built in 1858 for the Lotz family, it was the site for a portion of the Battle of Franklin and later became a hospital for wounded soldiers. Witnesses have said they hear drums playing inside the home and a woman crying out for a loved one.
They claim many have spotted ghostly figures peering out the windows while the house is closed.
“I’ve always said if you believe in ghosts, this is where they’d be,” said Margie Thessin, of Franklin on Foot. “If you think about why spirits are left behind, their lives have been cut short often. It’s unfinished business, and sometimes they just don’t know they’re dead.”
“Things go bump in the night,” said J.T. Thompson, owner of the Lotz House, to WSMV in 2014. “There’s no doubt about that. When you consider what happens inside this house and on the property surrounding this house, I can’t imagine anything more terrifying.”
The Lotz House was once home to a German immigrant family searching for a simple life in the Antebellum south, but instead found themselves in the middle of the Civil War. According to some who have lived and worked around the house, something from a bygone era has remained in the house and on those mist covered battlefields 150 years after the Battle of Franklin.
“This was the heart, soul, ground zero of the battle,” Thompson said. “It was the bloodiest five hours of the American Civil War.”
“These were soldiers who were on top of each other within 20 minutes of starting the charge,” Thessin added.
“Because of its place on the battlefield, it’s used as a hospital for both confederate and federal troops,” Thompson said to WSMV in 2014. “It’s a very unique situation to house both under the same roof, under the same structure. The best way I can describe it comes from Lotz in his diary about the dead in his front yard the next day. He says they’re standing like scarecrows. They may not fall for the dead at their feet.”
“The first thing I say every day when I walk in this house is, ‘Hello everyone,’” Thompson said. “It’s when you fail to acknowledge them that they remind you that you forgot.”
3. Old City Hall
The old City Hall and Courthouse, located next to Mellow Mushroom on Public Square, was once headquarters for the Union soldiers. There have been sightings of ghosts on the balcony of that building, eye witness accounts say they saw a couple of Union soldiers standing on that balcony as they sat on a bench in front of the building.
The courthouse property has been used for various purposes, including hangings, and for branding and beating of criminals. The offices were used for hospital wards after the Battle of Franklin in November 1864.
The current iteration is actually the third construction, built in 1857-8, to replace a much-maligned courthouse that was built in the center of the square in 1808.
4. Third Avenue
Margie Thessin, the founder of Franklin on Foot, hosts walking tours of some of Franklin’s haunts, cemeteries and more. She told us that the most haunted street in downtown Franklin is Third Avenue. Watch our video below to learn more about the sightings on Third Avenue.
And if you are looking for a Ghost Tour, Thessin has two options -one is called Haunted Franklin where you will visit 4-5 locations in Franklin that are said to have ghosts still living there. The other option is the Ghost of the Battlefield at the Lotz House. Tours begin at 6:30 pm in Franklin. To book your tour, visit Franklin on Foot website.