FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – While Franklin, Tennessee is known for being a popular destination for the living, it’s also allegedly a hotspot for ghosts.
Stories of hauntings abound in downtown Franklin, and local author Allen Sircy has compiled these tales in his book Southern Ghost Stories Franklin, Tennessee.
“Every building has a story. They see shadows, things jump off the shelf,” said Sircy. Before fire codes were put in place in Tennessee in 1935, there were numerous deadly fires in Franklin. The city was also a battleground during the Civil War.
According to Sircy, downtown Franklin has certainly seen its fair share of death. “They fought the Battle of Franklin all the way to the square. It was over, they marched to the square, the soldiers outnumbered the citizens 4 to 1 that night. Every building on the square became a hospital. Death everywhere.”
The historic White Building, which now houses a cluster of businesses including a Starbucks, is the site of many hauntings, including one experienced in-person by Sircy. A little research after this experience and the identity of the ghost was discovered.
“We’re downstairs. I play the Battle Hymn of the Republic on my phone, and all the lights light up, and everything goes crazy. So, we go upstairs and do the same thing. A lady with us says, ‘what’s your name’ and we heard… ‘Drake’. I go home, and I start googling and going through the archives. Thomas Jefferson Drake was a drummer in the 10th Ohio, and that’s probably where he died, in that old building there.”
After Mary Shelley released the gothic novel, Frankenstein, many doctors sought to recreate the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. “There’s a guy named Dr. Ferdinand Stiff from Pennsylvania. He had an office there, a small little wooden building where the courthouse is now,” Sircy said. “He made a deal with a young man who was going to be executed – he was going to be hanged. He took his remains back to his office and hooked an electrical current up to him, to his temple.”
Sircy said the experiment, of course, was not successful. But, that’s not the only spooky story coming from near the courthouse.
Another incident left one man rather frightened. “A deputy a the courthouse, he’s telling me that they were having a hearing, and there’s a guy in the holding cell behind the judge’s chambers, and he starts screaming. So, the deputy walks back there, and says hey man you need to calm down. He says there’s a guy in a beard, and he told me to get out, and he had a cigar and he blew smoke in my face then he disappeared.”