NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There are generations of people who swear things really do “go bump in the night” at the Tennessee State Capitol building — even when lawmakers are long gone.
There are stories of an image vanishing at the Capitol Hill Tomb of U.S. President James K. Polk. Inside the building, voices of the dead are said to be heard. They are tales told about an eerie old building and the grounds around it. Legislative librarian Eddie Weeks tells the tales best.
Last year, he donned a black and red cape detailing the scary stuff around the Tennessee capitol in a presentation before Capitol Hill workers. It did not include any “scary” legislative action. Weeks cited the book “Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground.”
It adds a few other spooky stories concerning the Capitol “and two of its residents,” as he puts it. The “residents” referred to are buried within Capitol walls. The remains of its architect William Strickland are in the northeast wall.
Samuel Dold Morgan — who planned the building is buried in the southeast corner. They argued often we are told…and may still be at it.
“Two men engaged in a heated argument…yelling and cursing in a most heated manner,” said Weeks in his production last year.
The legislative librarian tells the tale from the “…Dark and Bloody Ground” book of what capitol hill police officers from the last century heard all too often.
“For some reason, the sounds always began around 9 p.m. when a loud argument would erupt seemingly in the area of the north foundation wall and continue for several minutes,” Weeks detailed in his production.
This week appearing a little less scary in his office, the legislative librarian–among the many things he does–documents the unexplained capitol occurrences. They continue to this day.
“After I did that presentation several people came up to me,” he said this week.
Weeks said they told him things like, “I was working in the capitol late one night and heard various things– from voices in an empty room to various loud noises out in the hallway–with no one being there.”
Had the longest serving member of the Tennessee legislature — Lt. Governor Randy McNally — ever heard those noises or voices?
“Never heard those voices but my hearing is not as good as it used to be,” laughed McNally whose careers at the capitol began in 1979.
Just down the hill a bit from the capitol, it’s not a voice, but a strange image at the graves of U.S. President James K Polk and his wife Sarah.
In a story with WKRN morning anchor Neil Orne a few years back, downtown ghost tour operator Frankie Harris tells a story here that comes with the night chill.
“Most common is to see a man in a darker suit kind of kneeling here at the base,” Harris says. “And then as people walk down the path getting closer to that spot, the image sort of evaporates and disappears.”
Those are just a few of the haunted stories from Tennessee’s Capitol Hill.
Most of the others are in the Eddie Weeks production he put together last year with the legislative audio-visual staff.