I am still on the fence about this subject. However, as the grand finale for our summer road trip, we took a visit to Chattanooga, TN., and one of the activities we enjoyed there was an evening walk around the city looking for local haunts with Chattanooga Ghost Tours. While I can’t say for certain that we experienced any paranormal activity, I can tell you that the boys and I had a blast. Even my seven year-old thought it was great. With knowledgeable, engaging guides and a central downtown location, Chattanooga Ghost Tours is the place to go if you are looking to hunt for things that go bump in the night while visiting the city.
Tours begin at The Little Curiosity Shoppe located at 138 Market St., which has nearby free shuttle stops if you are staying in the downtown area. They begin at 9:00 pm. with a short explanation of the types of ways ghosts may manifest themselves in photos, along with examples of photos taken on the tour. If you are a skeptic, you will easily dismiss the orbs and ghostly mist in some shots, but others are distinctly harder to explain away when you see the ethereal outline of a little girl clutching her doll.
Throughout the tour, we were led along city streets to view haunted sites around downtown Chattanooga. Our walk began with a visit to the old Mansion built with coca cola bottling company money in 1905. It is now part of the Hunter Museum of American Art, but is believed to be haunted by 5 ghosts, including Augusta Hoffman, a woman found stuffed into the floorboards of a nearby home in 1912.
We then moved on to the Walnut Street Bridge, a delightfully old pedestrian bridge built in 1890, where we were enlightened about the story of Ed Johnson. Ed Johnson was an African American man who was accused of raping a Caucasian girl. He was hung by an angry mob right there on the bridge.
Did you know that the entire city of Chattanooga had to be raised up an additional 20 feet above the ground in the late 1800’s? Yeah, neither did I. However, our delightful guide Sean Phipps, who was full of not only ghostly but historical knowledge of the city as well, told us of the “doors that lead nowhere”. These doors can be found around the city, and lead to underground tunnels that contain original city walls, old signs and were used to help raise the city one bucketful of dirt at a time. Incidentally, the underground is said to be haunted with the ghosts of those who died in the floods, but we weren’t about to crawl down and find out.
We were also regaled with stories of Mary Greene, the captain of the Delta Queen Steamboat now docked in Chattanooga, the ghosts of room 311 in the Sheraton Hotel downtown and those who haunt the site of what was once the city’s first African American mortuary.
If you are looking for a night of spooky fun, then Chattanooga Ghost Tours is exactly what you need. Tours are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. While I can promise that you will catch a photo of a ghost during your 90 minute walking tour, I can promise that you will hear stories of the city’s past, share some laughs, and enjoy your evening in historic Chattanooga.
We received complimentary access to one of the ghost tours for the purpose of review, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.