Haunted Trails of Big Ridge

Ghost House Trail

There are several claims of activity involving the Ghost House Trail.  The first has to do with Maston Hutchinson’s daughter Mary. Mary’s loved ones claimed to hear her cries coming from the bedroom just hours after she had fallen victim to tuberculosis.  People walking near the spot where the house used to stand claim to still hear Mary’s 17430933_10208791478605245_910868593_ocries.  A phantom dog has also been spotted on the trail.  This claim dates back to the same night that Mary died.  Her family and friends were traveling along the road leading to the where house once stood when a dog appeared out of the woods and crossed the path.  Park goers claim to hear the panting of the dog coming from the woods.  The final claim about this trail revolves around the family cemetery.  Many claim that if you take a picture near the graves you can see the silhouettes of the long dead standing behind them in the picture.  The name Ghost House Trail certainly seems to be a fitting name for this trail.

Indian Rock Trail

17408026_10208791479005255_1680745878_oThe trail leads past the spot where Peter Graves was ambushed, scalped and killed by
Native Americans.  On many occasions, hikers have claimed to see the mutilated body of Peter walking around the area where he was brutally murdered.

Old Mill Trail

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Norton Grist Mill marks the spot where a young girl was hung by her father.  She had been accused of being a witch.  Her sprit is said haunt the trail that leads to the mill.  Not much else is known about this haunting.

The Man in the Woods17408374_10208791480325288_1540679224_o

On many occasions, park visitors have seen a man walking in the woods far from the nearest trails.  This man has been spotted by park rangers, who describe him as being middle-aged and wearing a red flannel shirt and gray work pants.  He never speaks, just simply materializes and vanishes with out a trace.  No one knows who this man is or if it is even paranormal.

Our Investigation:

For more info, check out these sites:

https://rootsrated.com/stories/exploring-east-tennessees-eerie-trails

http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/local/haunted-hikes-planned-in-big-ridge-state-park-ep-402840410-357467771.html

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/tennessee/haunted-tn-hike/

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History of Bethesda Church in Russellville, TN

100_1003Constructed in 1835, Bethesda Presbyterian Church is a remnant of the Civil War’s effect on East Tennessee. As the war began, the congregation divided in two: many sided with the Confederacy, though many more still were Union sympathizers. During this period, the church closed its doors. The Battle of Bean Station took place on December 14, 1863. After this historic battle, Confederate General James Longstreet arrived at Bethesda Church with 25,000 men who were stationed on the land until February 1864. During this time, the church served as a hospital. In the cemetery just outside the church doors, over 80 unknown soldiers were buried in mass graves. While some Union soldiers were laid to rest here, most of the unknown dead are presumed to have fought for the Confederacy.

In October, Federal troops pushed closer to the encampment at Bethesda during an engagement 100_1000known as “Vaughn’s Stampede.” In November, Confederate troops pushed the Union soldiers back west towards Knoxville. This battle is known as “Gillem’s Stampede.” During this push, a cannonball smashed through the eastern wall and caused severe structural damage. The walls were quickly repaired and reinforced with iron bracings and rods that can be seen in the photo to the right. The original pulpit and high-backed pews remain to this day, and the floors lie permanently stained with the blood and disdain of our American predecessors.

As the war ended and soldiers from both sides began to return home, the congregation attempted to compromise and reconvene. Sporadic services dotted the calendars. Between 1866 and 1871, sympathizers of each cause sat in the outer pews, leaving the middle column empty. Eventually, one side left and helped form the First Presbyterian Church of Morristown. The remaining church body stayed through 1875. However, in time, the majority began attending the new Russellville Presbyterian Church.

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Bethesda has remained closed since that time, save for a few irregular services held for major Christian holidays such as Easter. Now the building stands to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice of our ancestors in East Tennessee. Within its walls and grounds lies the story of a church body that symbolized the civil issues of the time. This once-unified group of people was just another casualty of a war among brothers.

 

As for potential paranormal activity, many have claimed to see apparitions of restless Confederate soldiers both inside and outside the church. The apparition of a weeping woman has also been seen on the far side of the cemetery. Her cries are often heard late at night. We have also heard reports of a “witch” buried on the grounds near the woods.

We investigated Bethesda Church and the surrounding grounds this past Sunday evening. Check back soon to see what we found!

Interview with Demonologist Darren Holland

We were recently contacted by someone who has been having problems in their workplace with a troublesome entity. They said that it looked demonic. We have never dealt with a malicious or demonic entity before, so we reached out to several people for advice. We found one individual to be a wealth of knowledge. His name is Darren Holland, he is a demonologist and the lead investigator of Demonic Encounters Paranormal Investigators. We asked him if he could do an interview so that we could share his knowledge with others.

KPR: How long have you been investigating demonic activity?

Darren: I have been investigating demonic activity for roughly 6 years now.

KPR: What was your first demonic encounter?

Darren: My first demonic encounter was with a demonic entity named Meridianna. She is an underling or ‘subservient’ of Lillith who is widely regarded throughout most religions as the ‘Queen of Demon’s’.

Meridianna is a succubus who was sexually attacking a middle-aged gentlemen over several months to the point where the entity had become so attached to the gentlemen it was as if it had fallen in love.

KPR: What are some signs that you look for in order to determine if a haunting is demonic?

Darren: I always look for pungent smells, reactions to holy objects, changes in temperature, unexplained lethargy, unexplained fires, phone calls from within the house. An increase in activity around 3AM is always a good sign (bad sign for the victims) especially if the activity happens in waves of 3.

KPR: What is the difference between a demonic and malevolent spirit?

Darren: A demonic entity is pure evil and his/her hatred for man is the driving force behind their existence.

A malevolent spirit is a person who has died but who hasn’t passed on. In their living life they were wicked people who took pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering on other people. They enjoy doing this in death.

KPR: Is there any advice that you can give to paranormal groups that have never encountered a demonic entity?

Darren: Study the history of the area. Is there anything that indicates worship or sacrifice to a particular demon? Never openly challenge the demon or mock it. The last thing we want as investigators is to turn the demons attention onto us. What we must always remember is that we can only banish the demon; only an angel of God can truly defeat it permanently.

KPR: Have you ever dealt with a possession?

Darren: Yes, I have. Fortunately, I had an experienced exorcist with me who was certified by the Vatican to carry the exorcist out.

KPR: What protections are most effective?

Darren: Faith in God. Faith in your team. Apart from that there are no protections that can truly protect you.

KPR: How do you keep things from following you home?

Darren: My house is blessed twice a week by my parish priest. I also wash myself in holy water after an investigation.

KPR: Do you have any suggestions for investigators that like to use Ouija Boards?

Darren: Place four candles around the board and four burning sage sticks. Wash the board in rock salt water or fan it through the same smoke with a bird’s feather to cleanse it.

Say an affirmation making sure you clearly revoke permission for any spirit or demon to approach the board. If the plachette moves to all four corners or does a continuous figure of 8 this indicates a demonic entity and the board should be closed immediately.

 

We would like to extend a huge thanks to Darren for his insight and encourage everyone to check out his team’s website and follow him on Twitter.

Why do paranormal researchers seem to only investigate at night?

There are actually several reasons for investigating in the dark.
  • DSCN2652Human’s other senses are heightened when sight is diminished.
  • Less people are out and about at night.
  • Many paranormal investigators have day jobs, too.
  • Certain paranormal events may occur habitually at a certain time of day.
  • Honestly, it does increase the thrill of doing the live investigations in these locations.
Humans’ other senses are heightened when sight is diminished.

This is a scientific fact. Our eyes do adjust somewhat to low-light situations, but our hearing, sense of smell, and all other sensory devices at our disposal become more in-tune with our immediate surroundings. A seasoned investigator will recognize this, and will work diligently to debunk any strange happenings that occur without immediately writing them off as paranormal.

Less people are out and about at night.

This is important because this means less noise pollution from the surrounding population. When a haunted location resides in the middle of a downtown location that is bustling during normal work hours, but calm and quiet at night, you would definitely choose the latter time to investigate it. It makes the whole situation much easier to decipher the paranormal from the explainable.

Many paranormal investigators have day jobs, too.

Sadly, this is just the reality. Investigating the paranormal would ideally be my full-time job, but for many in this passionate community, it is only a fun hobby. Thus, we work during the day and, when we have time, we investigate at night!

Certain paranormal events may occur DCIM101GOPROhabitually at a certain time of day.

This is true at night as well. Residual haunts may involve an event, such as a murder or accidental death, that occurred at a specific time of day. These events replay over and over, at or near the same exact time every day (or night), and could be the reason for a team of researchers to choose to visit a location at that time.

Honestly, it does increase the thrill of doing the live investigations in these locations.

As lovers of the spiritual realm, many of us do also enjoy a good scare every now and then. It’s one thing to watch a scary movie about ghosts in the dark, but it’s another altogether to live through a paranormal experience! The thrill of prowling around in the dark and happening upon these experiences is second to none.