Strange Tales of Music City’s Morgues

Located on Second Avenue South, the old Vanderbilt Medical School building once housed a morgue–and reportedly is still haunted


In my 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 once located atop the original Nashville General Hospital.  The top floor of this old Victorian structure was called “The Haunted House” by nurses and attendants who worked in the old municipal house of healing.  So many workers had creepy encounters there that it became more and more difficult to get staff to go up there and properly file the newly deceased away.

While the hospital has since moved on to newer digs, the original building still stands on Rolling Mill Hill overlooking the Cumberland River as imposing as the House of Usher must once have been.

The venerable medical building is now a series of luxury digs that recent transplants to Nashville have snatched up like grave-robbers finding a freshly planted corpse.  I wonder if the posh new residents have yet had encounters with the previous tenants?

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 was built, the city had acquired a Coroner to do autopsies, as well as more professionally handle the growing number of 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.  Sadly, the squarish stone building is now gone from Rolling Mill Hill–but that doesn’t mean the ghosts are.

Now upscale digs, the old Nashville General’s morgue used to be referred to by staff as “The Haunted House”

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 while you can gawk from across the street, and hope to see a specter at the window, 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: .

Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground: True Tales from the Haunted Hills of the Mid South.
Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee. True haunting tales of the Mid South

2 thoughts on “Strange Tales of Music City’s Morgues

  1. Patricia keith

    In 1988 I had problems with my pregnancy so my sister and her friend stayed in a waiting room to sleep and be close to me while they was in waiting room a wheelchair slammed into door no one was around.I believe it was haunted.


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