Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

Carnton Mansion

Franklin, Tennessee

After the battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, five injured Confederate generals were laid on the front porch of this old mansion where they subsequently died. Caroline Winder McGavock, who comforted the soldiers before they died has since been spotted at various places in and around the house. There have also been reports of one of the generals riding a horse through the fields of the mansion.

33 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


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monica says:

September 18, 2005, 10:44 pm

It was 4, not 5, generals.

BOB says:

November 9, 2005, 9:55 pm

On the eve of christmas day 00′ two friends and I had thought that it would be cool to take the ouija board my buddies little sister had recieved for christmas to the cemetary right next to the mansion.While we were trying to sike ourselves up to use it in the cemetary, there seemed to be some sort of ball of fire suspended in the air between us and the mansion.I really dont know what that was to this day but it was pretty freaky that night. We got out of the car to go check it out but before we got half way, this real erie feeling came over us and we left abruptly.That was my only experience at carnton.

Erica says:

January 26, 2006, 6:53 pm

It was five generals, actually. I have been to the Carnton Plantation many times. (I live only a few miles down the road.)

Brandi says:

March 31, 2006, 6:17 pm

See…now that story i can believe

Anne says:

May 17, 2006, 7:22 pm

Actually, there were only four generals laid on the front porch…
They used to say five, but that was incorrect.
I work at Historic Carnton Plantation and we have adjusted our facts.

Steph says:

August 21, 2006, 9:44 pm

I went there with my mom, I live in nearby Clarksville. They made it very clear that they never see any paranormal activity around the area. It was a really neat house and very interesting if you like history. I didn’t get any weird feelings, but you can still see blood stains on the floor.
I’ve also been to nearby Adams, to the Bell Witch Cave. It was neat also, but it didn’t seem very spooky either. As for the urban legend about bad luck coming to anyone who steals a rock from the cave, I have to say its not true…my friends each took one (I wouldn’t take one for fear of bad luck) and they left them in my car without telling me. Nothing bad happened to any of us…. And the movie American Haunting is total BS and I think that its a shame they took a great American Ghost story and ruined it. The Adams museum and gift shop is cool.
Just thought I’d share my experience. Both places have fun (not really spooky) stuff going on around Halloween.

lacey says:

October 27, 2006, 10:57 am

yes i used to live at john bells residency and it is true that he is still living as a ghost and the story that i am about to tell u is nothing but the pure truth john bell was my landlord and he was very nice it seemed until oneday my parents have night jobs u see and they were gone and my brothers and sisters were not with me and that night i was layin on my couch and i was almost asleep and i heard something on my window i looked outside and BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Samantha says:

December 30, 2006, 6:05 pm

I’ve been their many times ! OMG man I have herd so many ghoststories and some of my friends have been there at night and had a couple eerie experinces there . I realy want to tell som people about it. and I live kind of close there and we used to have ghost from there . infact part of the battle happened in our neighborhood. is where I can tell you more also here is a link where you can read some stories about it. There are 2 heres 1…. ……….. Yes it’s from google.. Heres how you get the haunted page on the first page there is a small pic. of the Carton , click on it , then underneath the pic. highlighted is Carton sonmething ,org . click on it then underneath the bigger pic. there is Carton in the news click on it then click on the link that says ” Roumers of spirits……………” And there you are the 2nd link…. THERE YA GO !

tim says:

July 7, 2007, 4:17 pm

YOu are all a bunch of panzies if you could ever get the balls to go to and actually get out of you cars and go walk around you would probibly have some thing happen to you. I’ve gone up there many times and didnt always see some thing, but there were times you could hear the foot steps of a horse, or the opening of a door. The last time however i went with 4 other people one being my girl friend who dosnt believe in this stuff, or well she didnt until now, but what we saw was not from this world. we were arm in arm so it wasnt any of us. It looked like a female in a long white dress that walk along the tree line from the grave yard to the slave house. I was not expecting to see some thing but i did. so i chalenge you to go on the property and walk aroung for a bit, and you never know you might acctually see or hear what every one is talking about.

jr rodgers says:

November 20, 2007, 6:19 pm

i can see ghosts all the time and i can talk to them too

lacy says:

November 30, 2007, 4:44 pm

one night me and my friends were at the carton plantaion and the door randemly opened and they was somthing white and on the same trip we playfull sat on a grave and it shook but we didnt stay around to see what happend i had an eerie fealling the whole time

tara says:

December 3, 2007, 6:43 am

I have heard a story something like this. I’m from that area and actually went to McGavock High School. Thats a scary story in it’s self. But I heard the story of the war and everything but never heard of it being haunted.

Calire says:

December 27, 2007, 3:13 pm

Carnton (for me, anyway) has a lovely, soothing quality. Must be the spirit of the lady who lived there.

There is a good bit of activity in the golf pro shop area – flushing toilets, rattling swords, and so forth.

Carnton is my favorite of the many historic homes in the middle TN area. The only other one with the same feeling of warmth and charm is Cragfont.

Belle Meade Plantation gives me the creeps and is full of orbs; Traveler’s Rest is too commercial, the Hermitage is not worth the bother of visiting more than twice; it has zero charm and I always felt like I was intruding, whereas Carnton seems to welcome people. It seems to be grateful that it has been restored and isn’t used for storage and hay any more. I don’t like looking in the convex mirror, but everywhere else the house seems calm and bustles with its own energy. The floating head in the old kitchen is something I’ve heard about, but not experienced, and I’ve visited that home at least a dozen times.

Should you have the chance to visit, ask your docent about the life and times of the home and its occupants, rather than just dwelling on the tragedy. Also take a side trip to the family cemetary and the Confederate soldiers’ cemetary.

Oh, and do ask about the wallpaper and the dining room door.

Hootie says:

January 17, 2008, 3:49 am

Yea…. This one time, at the Carnton mansion, I was freaked out….like whoa! Its truley a scarey place.

Hootie says:

January 17, 2008, 3:53 am

This one time, at the Carnton Manison, I was so freaked out. Like whoa! My friends and I had a truely out of this world experience. It is an awsomely beauitful place. I would recommend it to anyone.

cya says:

January 19, 2008, 3:13 pm

In the late 70’s I lived in Brentwood Tn. with my parents and brother who is 5 yrs. older than myself. The house we lived in at the time had been a hospital during the civil war. When I was around 8-9 yrs. old I woke up for no reason to find a soldier standing at the foot of my bed. I know know I was not dreaming and I could see this soldier in detail. He had on a uniform that had tassells hanging from his shoulders. He had his right arm bent to his left side with his hand on top of of sword this was bent like a sword was during those times. As I looked up toward his face there was nothing but a haze or smoke and a face could not be made out of it but on top of this haze sat a hat with a long feather on the right side. I could feel that this spirit was watching me and knew that I was looking at him. He floated not walked but slowy drifted out of my room then down the hall and went to my brothers room. I got worried for my brothers safty and went to his room to find nothing was there. At the age of 8-9 yrs. old I had not known the story of our house or the history of that area. My brother also had a visit from something around the same time. My brother was 13-14 yrs. old and we had not been a church going family. One day my brother came out of a locker room after a basketball game to have a lady he had never seen before approach him and asked if he ad been saved, my brother said he did not know if he had or if he ad not. The lady asked if she could pray with him and my brother agreed. My brother tells me that something went through his body that felt like a electric wave had passed through him and he felt completely at ease. He returned home and begain to tell my mom and dad tht he had been saved and how great he felt, my mom and dad could not believe that out of nowhere my brother was feeling so strong about what had happen. My brother was telling everyone his teacher his freinds and other family members about his new look on life and at such a early stage and no church background given to us by our parents it was strange. My brother tells me that is when his fight began with good and evil. He was fighting a battle to be good and do right and evil was always trying to get at him. My brother was in his room one night listening to his stereo with is headphones on laying on his waterbed and he decided he was going to test his faith. So he said out loud to himself in his room if there really is a devil the next song is going to be Rocket Ride by Kiss, now at this time Kiss was the biggest thing going in music but Rocket Ride was a song that never was a radio played song, sure enough the song he was listening to went off and Rocket Ride came on, my brother states that every hair on his body stood up and he was frozen still in his bed only to have something lay down next to him, he said he could see anything but could feel something next to him and as he looked at the bed he could see an imprint in on the covers that something was there. My brother did not know what had happened to me and I did not know what had happened to him till 29 yrs later we were in Brentwood for the holidays and went by the house for old time sake. I asked if he had seen experianced anything in that house and we shared stories. I asked who the lady was that saved him that day he said he had never seen her before that day or since and he belives it was his gaurdian angel. I am not telling this story for a religous reason in any way. I am telling this story because it is the truth.

beth says:

October 9, 2008, 10:40 pm

Tonight my mother and I and my two daughters went to the entrance of the graveyard. We walked into the front area and took various pictures. when we got back, we loaded them into the computer and there are orbs in the majority of them. In fact, the sign at the entrance is surrounded by orbs. They are all various sizes. Some are over grave markers and some just out in the open area. What do you think these really are? Dust? My new Cybershot Sony camers?? Strange

Jef says:

October 15, 2008, 2:34 pm

Chances are they are dust. Remember there is a gravel walkway there. I go there quite often and get tons of dust pics. You would have to post them to get other opinions

kevin says:

October 30, 2008, 9:18 pm

im on my way out there right now. it will be october 31st, 2008 at midnight. ill let you know what i encounter

Keith says:

March 14, 2009, 11:13 pm

I live in Franklin and have been to the Carnton Plantation several times. I love going there because of the history and beauty of the house. My first experience happened on a 5th grade field trip. I had always heard that the place was haunted but never really thought anything about it. Our group was the only one in the house at the time so nobody could have gone upstairs without us knowing. Our guide was talking to us in the main hall and then a distinct sound of chairs moving and footsteps so she went a little of the way up the steps and said “Let’s go visit the slave quarters now…” I’ve always wondered what that was but who knows?
One of the other experiences I’ve had is really spooky. Me and a few of my buddies decided to take a trip out to the plantation to see if we could “find” anything. I was the only one who brought a camera so of course I had to take a lot of pics. The first picture I took, or was about to, we all noticed what seemed like a glow in the bottom left window in the front part of the house. FREAKED ME OUT!!!! But we kept on looking. I took more pics and “orbs” showed up. I don’t put much thought into orbs though because they could be any number of things. But what I couldn’t write off what appeared to be a few confederate soldiers relaxing under a tree. I didn’t know I could run so fast. I’ve had a few other experiences there and at the Carter House *basement*. If anyone else has experienced what I have, I’d really like to hear about it.

Anita says:

August 20, 2009, 2:14 am

My husband and I visited the Carnton Plantation yesterday, Aug. 18, 2009. While I had read the Widow of the South, I did not look up the house prior to our visit and the only info we had besides the book that I read when it came out was the brochure.
We arrived and paid for our ticket only 5 minutes before the tour began at 3:30. We walked from the office to the house and sat down in rockers with the other tourgoers. A group came out of the house from a prior tour and our guide arrived and began his speech. He stepped to the end of the porch and spoke of the kitchen and said that you could see where it was. What I took from that was that you could see an intact room and there would be a difference in it’s appearance in comparison to the rest of the house. We then went into the house with a total of 15 visitors.
The guide walked into the office portion and directed us into the dining room. The group walked to the chained area and listened to his speech. My husband and I were standing in front of the buffet. I heard female voices talking, but couldn’t make out what they were saying. I walked around the table and looked out on the porch and saw no one and figured they were out of sight of those 2 windows. The guide then directed our group to the hallway and continued his talk. Myself and an older gentleman were in the rear of the group and couldn’t fit into the hallway so we leaned into the dining room door facing and listened. Behind us, we heard a door shut. I turned to look and he asked, “Did you just hear a door shut?” I said that I had, but didn’t know if it had been the door in the dining room or it’s mate on the same wall in the office. I assumed that it was an employee who looked out and saw the group and shut the door until we moved on and he/she could leave. I turned to see light under the doors and thought it was coming from windows in the rooms and was looking to see if a shadow would appear under the door telling me which door had shut due to someone being there.
We were directed into the formal parlor in the front of the home and the tour carried on. Again, the room was small and crowded and I got as far as the edge of the piano. I heard the floor above us creak and thought that another group were upstairs further along in their tour than us and that the guide was going long in his speech waiting for them to come downstairs and exit so that we could head upstairs. We then walked to the family parlor and no one came downstairs as we could see the foot of the stairs through the door to the hall.
We went upstairs finally and I realized that no one had been up there. I figured the noise had been the house settling. We completed the tour and were directed back out the back door and told to walk around and view the grounds and the front of the house. I walked around the garden side of the home taking pictures. I got my shots of the front of the house and was walking to the slave quarters.
Then I was shocked. When I walked to the side of the house, I saw the two door on the side of the house that led to outside now because the kitchen had been destroyed and all that was left were a pile of crumbling bricks. There was no way someone had shut one of the 2 doors behind us waiting for us to move on as they are several feet off the ground and there was no room for anyone to be standing and waiting in. I walked to the back porch to tell the guide while the other gentleman who had heard it as well was still standing there for verification.
I have no explanation.

Eryn says:

February 16, 2010, 5:36 pm

I’ve been to Carnton many times and, while I’ve never seen anything there, I’ve heard all the usual stories. Also, a child ghost braided my friend’s hair while she was on the tour. Has anyone else heard about the young girl who has supposedly been seen sitting in the tree in the garden?
It’s worth noting that ghosts of Civil War soldiers are quite thick on the ground in Franklin; understandably so, given the role it played in the war. Most of the town proper and outskirts were, if not part of the battle site, campgrounds or hospitals.

Becky says:

March 6, 2010, 8:05 pm

Hello to everyone. I am researching places for me and my group to investigate, I am a case manager for a local paranormal group. If you have any places or locations that you would like for us to investigate feel free to contact me at We ask that you or the person sending us will give the ok for us to enter any places for we are very professional do not enter unless given the approval. Thank you and for Anne would we be able to get in contact with you.

felesha says:

March 21, 2010, 8:30 pm

My mother in law, her best friend, my best friend and ofcourse myself went to the plantation last night i just moved to fairview tn about 20mins from franklin this month from Indiana and our friends came down this week and we started talkin about how cool it would be to get a little tipsy and go ghost hunting, well we went to the plantation around 12 or so the atmosphere totally changed when we got onto the road leading up to it for somereason all the gates where open too we got to go into the garden area, up on the deck, through the field into the cemetary. We heard geese, drums, chimes, something that sounded like gunshots, heavy breathing, something that sounded like horses walking lol. We got over 400 pictures, there where thousands of orbs!!! We got home and looked at the pictures and there was faces in the orbs idk i thought it was pretty sweet lol. I have the pictures and will share contact me on facebook or myspace under felesha casler and felesha kenworthy 🙂

Emma says:

September 18, 2010, 1:37 pm

well ive been there they deny it but i bet there has been

Emma says:

September 18, 2010, 1:38 pm

I went there and the son died iin the parlour and me and my cousin oth got h=this weird feeling and snuck out of the tour

Cecilia says:

January 31, 2011, 1:42 am

I herd footsteps behind me while I was walking down the stairs. I looked back and no one was behind me.

Eryn says:

February 10, 2011, 10:33 am

Me again. Since posting the last comment, I have acquired a story of my own. While attending an event at Carnton, a friend and I went to hang out on the back porch (where the generals were laid out). We chatted for a while and the subject of ghosts came up. My friend said, “Speaking of ghosts, look at that chair.” The rocking chair to which he pointed was indeed gently rocking- but only that chair. The rest stood completely still, and there was no wind. But, trying to be scientific for once, I said, “Well, it’s probably just a stray breeze.” No sooner had the words left my mouth than the chair abruptly stopped rocking (it is worth noting that we were alone on the porch).

“Or not.” We left shortly thereafter, I slightly embarrassed at having denied someone’s existance to his or her face.

hannah says:

April 7, 2011, 4:52 pm

No monica, there WERE 5 generals who had died there.

Mags says:

November 3, 2013, 6:11 pm

I grew up near Carnton and have been many times. I’ve heard all of the ghost stories! Pretty interesting stuff. I’ve had a couple experiences myself, and I’m pretty sure I got a photo of one of the ghosts,

Yary Gonzalez says:

July 25, 2014, 8:38 pm

I recently visited the Canton Masion I went in excited and ready to learn some history but minutes into getting there I started to feel nauseous and anxious. I am able to feel spirits, hear them and at times see them ever since I was a child. But this caught me by surprise I wasn’t expecting to feel so out of control. Walking around the Masion during the tour I was getting guss bumps and severely dizzy. I felt my legs been grab and at times my vision would get blurry and I would see shadows. I love history and I usually I would have want to stay as long as I could but by the end of the tour my energy was completely drained and the following 2 days I carried a deaf heartbroken sadness that over powered me. I had to seek prayer and I had to release the spirits to God in order to be able to feel better. Wow. .. of all the haunted places I have been this was the strongest I ever experienced.

Mere says:

February 17, 2015, 6:44 pm

I visited with my family when I was 13 and I had passed out in the former kids room. My eyes were wide open along with my mouth and I had stopped breathing. Everyone thought I had a seizure and I had to have mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by my mom. I woke up and gasped for air and my brother-very seriously- asked if anyone else had seen the little girls walking down the stairs from the doorway.
We went one time after that but me and my brother both felt light headed and uneasy in the second story so when we left my parents swore that we would never go back there again and I haven’t been back since.

Kaitlyn says:

September 23, 2015, 5:40 pm

Im in 5th grade and we are going to the plantation in October. I Have heard that the spirits are active in the fall months because thats when the Battle of Franklin took place.

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