Franklin’s Haunted History
We all know that Franklin is largely known for the Battle of Franklin in 1864, but what many aren’t aware of is how many spirits still linger at these historic sites. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to buckle in for a few ghost stories as well as some lessons on this town’s history with three of the most haunted locations in Franklin.
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The Carnton Plantation was built in 1826 and served as the most significant field hospital for injured soldiers during and after the Battle of Franklin, one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. Home to the McGavock family, this historic house is where more than 300 Confederate soldiers were treated during and after battle with half of them dying the first night. Over 1,750 men lost their lives in this bloody battle and 1,700 of them were laid to rest in the McGavock’s 2-acre family cemetery. Many of the wooden floors in the Carnton Plantation are stained with blood from its days of being a makeshift Civil War hospital.
With hundreds of visitors claiming to have seen ghosts at this haunted location, these are some of the most common sightings:
- Many visitors claim to see the ghost of a woman floating across the back porch and one of a Confederate soldier pacing the front porch, specifically during the month of October.
- The most reported spirit is that of a young girl, allegedly murdered before the war by a potential suitor. She is most commonly seen sweeping the floors at dusk, but may sometimes be feeling a bit more mischievous. The home’s curator reported hearing sounds coming from the back porch and when she decided to investigate, she found two panes of glass taken from a shelf and propped up against the back door. She believes this young spirit was responsible for the redecorating.
- The head of the McGavock family’s cook has been seen floating around the home, specifically in the kitchen, apparently still fulfilling her duties in the afterlife.
The Carter House was built in 1830 and ended up being located right in the middle of the Battle of Franklin. The house was used by Union soldiers as a command post while the Carter family huddled in the basement for safety amidst the five hours of fighting along with 23 other men and women. After the battle, this home was also turned into a makeshift field hospital, seeing to many surgeries and amputations. With over a thousand bullet holes, the Carter family’s farm office and brick smokehouse have been recognized by preservationists as the two most heavily damaged buildings from the Civil War that are still around today.
The house is alleged to be haunted by two of the Carter children, Todd and Annie. Todd Carter was a Confederate soldier who had been away from home, fighting in the war for three years. He ended up dying in the Battle of Franklin at his childhood home. Visitors report seeing the brother and sister running around the home and tugging at clothes, as well as hearing unexplained voices.
The Lotz House is another historical site from the Battle of Franklin. Built in 1858 by German immigrant Johann Lotz, this house was the home of Johann, his wife Margaretha, and their six children. Johann had moved to America to escape war, but soon found himself living on a battlefield. Before the battle began, the Lotz family sought refuge in the Carter family’s basement. During the bloody battle, a cannonball was shot through the roof and second floor of the Lotz House. If you visit, you will see that there is still an indent from where the ball hit the first floor. Just like the Carnton Plantation and Carter House, the Lotz House became a field hospital, tending to wounded Confederate soldiers while Johann tended to his home’s damages.
Dubbed as the “Second-Most Terrifying Place in America” by the Travel Channel, this historic site has its fair share of ghost stories. The most reported sightings include a crying woman, a little girl, and moving items.
These historic sites are now regarded as Civil War museums as well as hotspots for spirits. They each have their own tour, but you can visit all three of these locations on Gray Line Tennessee’s Franklin Civil War Tour . If you are looking for more variety, Franklin on Foot’s Haunted Franklin Tour offers even more haunted locations.
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