Some places are so special it makes it hard to leave. When you aren’t there, you look forward to going back, and you dread having to go home. In Greeneville, Tennessee, there is a lovely hotel where many others have felt the same way. In fact, at least nine former employees and residents have simply decided not to leave at all. Welcome to the haunted General Morgan Inn.
In its current incarnation, the General Morgan Inn boasts a Library, the Club Room and Brumley’s, one of the premier restaurants in Greeneville, Tennessee. Over the years, it has become the place to host weddings and events in Greeneville. With beautiful rooms for the guests, lovely accommodations for celebrations, and the delicious food at Brumley’s restaurant for the rehearsal dinner or bridal lunch, it remains much in demand today.
In the 1800s, the Great Wagon Trail (now US Highway 321) was a major thoroughfare in Tennessee. Greeneville, a town on the Great Wagon Trail, was a business hub due to the railroad depot located there. Many people traveled through the town and had only a small tavern in which to rent rooms. Col. John H. Doughty, who was an entrepreneur and supporter of local businesses at the time, envisioned a luxury hotel for the town, despite the fact that it fronted a dirt road.
In 1884, the Grand Central Hotel opened. With a sweeping grand staircase and elegant furnishings, the hotel was host to dignitaries and business leaders. Its presence in the town helped to promote the economy and inspired others to help to continue the progress. Soon, there would be four hotels on the same block with connected interior access on the second floor of all four properties. Years later, separate hotels would be combined to form one large hotel.
No one is immune to the ghostly encounters that have occurred at the General Morgan Inn. Guests have cited many examples of paranormal activity. Among the potential 26 spectral guests, are three notable long-term residents:
- Green Room Grace
- Front Desk Bill
- John Hunt Morgan
Green Room Grace
Green Room Grace is said to have been a waitress at the Grand Central Hotel between the late 1800s and early 1900s. She could be called a playful ghost, as she seems very happy. The only problem she causes is that spoons regularly disappear from the Green Room. They don’t reappear anywhere, and no other utensils ever come up missing. Her nickname is The Spoon Snatcher.
Front Desk Bill
One of the most charismatic of the ghosts that haunt the inn, Front Desk Bill has been broached by mediums to see if they could identify who he was and why he was still there. Evidently, Bill, who was named by modern hotel employees, actually worked at the hotel in the late 1800s. He says he loves working at the original front desk from the first hotel.
John Hunt Morgan
Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, also known as the ‘Thunderbolt of the Confederacy,’ is said to continue to spend time at his namesake inn. Folklore says that he was betrayed by a guest at the Grand Central Hotel, a young lady named Lucy Frye, to union soldiers who were staying in Greeneville. This purported betrayal led to Morgan’s murder steps from the door of the inn. In a strange twist of fate, the soldier who shot General Morgan in the back used to serve under his command during the Mexican War before the Civil War split towns, families and a nation.
Join a Ghost Tour
If you are brave enough, you could investigate the paranormal events yourself. Join one of the many ghost tours that list this significant member of the National Register of Historic Places. Make a reservation at Brumley’s Restaurant to get fortified before the tour. Stop back by the restaurant after the tour and have a libation to calm your nerves.
That is if you dare.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Nicole S Glass