JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) Right now Halloween season is in full swing at Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site as decorations of ghosts and ghouls adorn the property.
However, it is year-round that the ghosts of former owners inhabit Tipton-Haynes.
A cabin relocated to the historic site is one spot that is a hotbed for paranormal activity.
“It is a mid-1800s cabin that was a white family’s farmhouse back then. Today we interpret that as the George Haynes slave house. George Haynes was one of the male slaves that lived here and was owned by Landon Carter Haynes,” said Wes Spurgeon, co-director of Tipton-Haynes.
SRS paranormal investigators have made contact with ghosts in the cabin on multiple occasions. Guests even have had strange noises, a group of people once all reporting hearing a loud scream from just outside the cabin.
“One of the tools at the paranormal team uses reads electromagnetic fields. It gets set off in this cabin all the time even though there is no electricity,” said Spurgeon.
A medium visiting the historic site was spooked at the doorstep of the cabin when she encountered three spirits.
“She said they were all three talking over each other and they rushed down the stairs all three together and met her at the doorway. She wouldn’t enter anymore,” said Spurgeon.
It’s the main house on the historic property where most of the ghost activity happens.
“The property was first settled by Colonel John Tipton in the 1784. Pretty much what you see today is what the Haynes family lived in in the 1840s and 1850s,” said Spurgeon.
Looking over his shoulder has become almost second nature for Spurgeon.
“Out of the corner of your eye you will see somebody walk behind you or through a window you’ll see what looks like a shadow figure walk by. People in period clothing of the mid-1800s have seen walking on the back porch. There have also been voices throughout the house that have been heard.”
Ghosts of the Tipton, Haynes and Simerly families have all been contacted in the house where they once lived.
“Multiple visitors on multiple occasions have said they saw a lady in a white dress walking this whole way here,” said Spurgeon pointing down the hallway to the stairs. “There have been many times where you’ve been on the first floor and have heard footsteps on the second floor.”
In the home’s cellar, paranormal investigators believe they contacted ghosts of slaves once held there.
“A lot of the activity we get down here seems to be more playful and shy so we think it might be kids down here,” said Spurgeon.
He described the paranormal team placing a toy dog in the cellar that lights up by touch. With no one around, the dog would light up. Spurgeon says the paranormal team would even have to coax the ghost believed to be a slave child, by saying they had permission from his master to play with them. They describe the ghost as shy but playful, and active once comforted.
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For the historic site, the ghosts are not scary. In fact, they are a part of drawing us that much closer to a different time.
“I feel like they are still living here and it’s still their property,” said Spurgeon.