By Robert Regan ‘23
Saturday, September 24, marked National Ghost Hunting Day on the calendar. I got caught up in the holiday spirit, and celebrated the occasion as festively as I could. I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, and visited the infamous Lotz House- one of the most haunted houses in the nation.
The main reason for the Lotz House’s haunted reputation is that a Civil War battle, “The Battle of Franklin” occurred, quite literally, in the house’s front yard. Over 2,000 men died in that battle, and historians say it was one of the bloodiest battles in the entire Civil War. After the Battle of Franklin, the Lotz House served as a makeshift hospital quarters for soldiers who had been severely wounded. Ultimately, some of those soldiers succumbed to their injuries during their stay at the house, and their spirits still remain within its walls.
My family and I were visiting Nashville for the weekend and made reservations for the “Ghost Tour” at the Lotz House, in nearby Franklin, Tennessee. When we arrived at the Lotz House, I instantly knew that the house would live up to its reputation. From its massive columns to its large, curtained windows, it looked like a textbook haunted house. We walked up the front steps and met our tour guide, a military historian, who was also the current executive director of the Lotz House. The tour started at 6:30 p.m., which also happened to be around the time the sun went down in Franklin.
What we learned during the ghost tour was that there was a plethora of spooky and unexplainable events occurring within the Lotz House. Items had gone missing and turned up in the middle of the hallway. Pieces of cannon balls had been found in corners of various rooms. Souvenir t-shirts in the gift shop (which I ended up buying) were thrown from their shelves and strewn across the floor. And these weren’t just stories: they were recollections from our tour guide, who had experienced them firsthand. Phantom faces in pictures, sudden booming knocks, a disappearing “lady in white”: the list of supernatural phenomena experienced in the house was endless.
One frightening experience I personally had during the tour was when the tour guide brought the group into the first upstairs bedroom. The group gathered around the tour guide, who was standing in the center of the bedroom, and my brother and I ended up standing at the edge of the room with our backs turned to another bedroom. The bedroom we had our backs to had its door open, and its lights turned off.
Several times while our tour guide was talking, my brother and I turned to look at each other, reacting to a strange sound coming from the corner of the bedroom behind us. There was a creaking sound and a popping sound, and though they were soft, they were distinct. While some might explain the noises as simply “the house settling”, while you’re in a notoriously haunted house, ghosts are just as plausible an explanation.
Overall, the feeling of the house was extremely eerie. Whether that was because of the close quarters of some of the rooms, that the house was almost two centuries old, or just the sheer amount of people who had died in the immediate area, the atmosphere of the Lotz House was definitely supernatural.
As we drove away from the house, I kept glancing back towards the windows, looking for a shifting curtain or a ghostly face. No such movement occurred, but just because I didn’t see anything doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t something there.
The night after we visited the Lotz House, I was back home and had settled down in my bed to go to sleep, when I heard three swift knocks that sounded like they were coming from my closet door. As I tried to figure out the possible origin of the knocks in my head, I suddenly remembered I had hung up the shirt I had bought from the Lotz House in my closet. I shot out of bed and turned on my lights, revealing that my closet door was open, exactly how I had left it, and the shirt was staring back at me where I had hung it up.
Since that night, I have not heard any more knocks from my closet, and the shirt has not moved. However, I still have to wonder if that shirt, which may have been one of the shirts that had unexplainably flown off the shelf at the Lotz House’s gift shop, maybe had a ghost still attached.