October 21, 2012, The Thirteen days of Halloween, Post 3
In my latest book, Ghost and Haunts of Tennessee, I devoted a chapter to some of the creepiest hauntings that Nashville has to offer. Regrettably, you have to be dead to get into them. There have been three morgues in Music City’s history, all located within a short distance of one another.
The first, and oldest, was located atop the original Nashville General Hospital. The top floor of this old Victorian hospital was called “The Haunted House” by nurses and attendants who worked in the old municipal house of heeling and so many workers had creepy encounters there that it became difficult to get staff to go up there and properly file the newly deceased away. While the hospital has moved on to newer digs, the original building still stands on Rolling Mill Hill overlooking the Cumberland River. It is being converted into luxury digs from what I hear; I wonder if the posh new residents have had any encounters with the previous tenants yet.
Just out front of the old Metro General stood the New Morgue for many years; this too acquired a spooky reputation. By the time they built the New Morgue, the city had a Coroner to do autopsies and more professionally handle the murder victims, suicides and other violent death that came their way. A number of first hand accounts verify that the New Morgue was every bit as haunted as the old. The squarish stone building is gone from Rolling Mill Hill–but that doesn’t mean the ghosts are.
Just a block over from these two spots on Hermitage Avenue is the old Vanderbilt Medical School building. Back when the school originally opened, it was located on Second Avenue South in a suitably spooky looking Victorian building. Today it is a private residence, so you can gawk from across the street, but don’t trespass. In its day, however, the old medical building had its own morgue; it housed patients who did not survive the medical student’s healing hands plus cadavers in cold storage awaiting dissection by the aspiring young doctors. The cadavers are long gone–but not their ghosts.
For a fuller account of many ghosts of Music City, grab a copy of Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee; in the meantime, for a sample chapter see: .http://www.scribd.com/doc/40421658/Excerpt-from-Ghosts-and-Haunts-of-Tennessee