Haunted places and urban legends of the Tennessee Valley

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Ghost sightings, crying babies, floating lights. It’s the stuff that kept us awake at night — especially those first-hand experiences.

There’s no shortage of good old ghost stories and spooky stories of haunted places around the Tennessee Valley, but we’ve hand-picked five to explore a little deeper.

Dead Children’s Playground Huntsville, Alabama

Dead Children’s Playground

A familiar start on this eerie dive of mysterious places, Dead Children’s Playground has plenty of stories and experiences to back up its proof of being haunted.

Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville is not only the largest cemetery in the state but the oldest. A small playground sits low in a small corner of the cemetery, tucked away, surrounded by rocks and trees – creating an especially claustrophobic feel.

It also stays eerily quiet.

Reports of swings swinging on their own, haunting sounds of unseen children laughing and screaming. Some have even said they’ve seen the ghost kids running around and playing.

Old Lincoln Hospital – Fayetteville, Tennessee

Lincoln Regional Hospital

The Old Fayetteville Hospital, or “Lincoln Regional Hospital” is a haunted staple of the quintessential small town that sits just over the Alabama state line in Tennessee.

The last day the hospital functioned at this location was September 10, 2001. Prior to being a healthcare facility, the grounds were home to the former Bryson College from 1919 to 1929.

Several stories of ghostly figures standing in the windows have spread over the small town since the hospital doors have closed.

One common story though is the ‘Angel of Death’. Nurses who worked in the hospital claimed this figure would stalk patients that were dying.

The entire campus of the former hospital is closed to curious eyes, as visitors are encouraged to steer clear of the building.

The Lowry House – Huntsville, Alabama

The Lowry House

Built around 1850 by John Lowry, one of the oldest historic homes in Alabama holds not only original woodwork – but several ghost stories and sightings, according to its website. The house itself has a history in the Civil War, as well as a tragic love story.

That love story, the one where John Lowry marries Elizabeth Lowry in 1846 and Elizabeth dies in 1847, gave way to the “Lady in White” apparition that’s been spotted many times in the upper front bedroom.

The home played a part in the Underground Railroad where several women, men, and families were hidden as they escaped slavery. Numerous sightings and noises can be heard in the house, reportedly belonging to the desperate souls.

Full-body apparitions, strange happenings, and rumors of bodies buried in unmarked graves on the property give the Lowry house a full-spectrum haunt-fest. Goosebumps included.

These days, the Lowry House hosts special events and weddings, even haunted ones! Visitors are actually encouraged to visit and especially ask about their haunted happenings.

Sally Carter’s Grave – Huntsville, Alabama

Maple Hill Cemetery

Now it’s time for what may be Huntsville’s most famous ghost story – at least by al.com’s description – the story of Sally Carter.

The Cedarhurst Mansion was built by Stephen Ewing in 1823. Sally, 15 years old, was visiting her sister Mary Ewing at the mansion in 1837. She became extremely sick and died just three weeks shy of her 16th birthday on November 28.

It would be almost a hundred years later before her ghost would start making appearances. Actually, the first story after her passing wasn’t even her apparition. According to Digital Alabama’s writing, in 1919, a 17-year-old boy from Dothan was sleeping just outside Carter’s old bedroom.

The story goes that a thunderstorm was passing through that night and had toppled Carter’s tombstone. In his dream, Carter instructed the boy to prop it back up. When he went to her gravesite the next morning, her tombstone had indeed been knocked over. Legend says he quickly returned to Dothan and never returned to Huntsville.

After this, the stories multiplied over the years. Kids would dare each other to touch the headstone, some swore they saw bones scattered around it, and several others reported seeing her ghost both at the house and at her grave.

When events were held at the Cedarhurst mansion, several “odd” things would happen. Some said their chairs were pulled out from under them, violin cases would fall over on their own, and there’s even one report of a woman who fell down a flight of stairs, who said it felt like someone pushed her from behind.

Eventually, the bodies that were buried on the mansion’s property had to be exhumed and moved to an undisclosed location because the gravesites kept getting vandalized.

The Cedarhurst Mansion is located in a gated community, so visitors and curious eyes are indeed NOT welcome. You are welcome, however, to walk the grounds of the Maple Hill Cemetery and try to decipher which grave is Sally Carter’s.

Cry Baby Hollow – Hartselle, Alabama

Cry Baby Hollow Bridge

The last stop on our haunted tour is a little spot in Hartselle.

Now, this legend has several different variations. Which one to believe, well that’s your decision. Maybe a visit could help you decide.

At the core of the Cry Baby Hollow Bridge story is an infant that died.

One version says the baby died in a car or wagon accident. Another says it died at the hands of a murderer. Some have said the infant was a Native American who was swept away from their parents in a horrible flood.

People who drive over the bridge have said if you listen really close as you pass over, you can hear the faint cries of a baby wailing. They also say your car will rattle and shake as you drive over the bridge.

One rumor says if you leave a candy bar out, there will be a bite take out of it when you return.

Because Cry Baby Bridge is not a private location, those who dare are welcome to check out these rumors. Just…don’t leave your candy bars out.

Now we want to know – where is YOUR favorite haunted spot?

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