The Smoky Mountains is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world and as such, it has borne witness to quite a few major events. The things that happened within these mountains and, even more so, the buildings within them, are said to have left a stain on the land that visitors can still feel when passing through. Although they're considered to be ghost stories, there's no saying whether or not the spirits from them do really linger on after meeting their tragic ends, or whether the history has more truth to it than many people realize.
These mountains make up the most popular mountain range in the U.S. and with so many people visiting on a yearly basis, there's no shortage of stories that go with their trips. Many people have attempted to walk through these woods at night only to be met with things they can't explain, strange noises, and eerie sights. While some locations within the park itself are said to be haunted, there are other places around the park that aren't on any specific list but are still said to make people feel uncomfortable while walking through. If you're headed to the Smoky Mountains, these are some of the most well-known stories that have been passed down for centuries.
Cades Cove is a very old part of the Smoky Mountains and it's not surprising that there are so many stories to come out of this area. One of the most talked-about places in regard to uneasy feelings is the Baptist Church, which was an early installation by those who settled in the region. People have reported coming down the church at dusk or just after nightfall and reported seeing a ghost apparition of a woman, or just a woman's face, around the side of the church.
Along with the church, this is the area where hikers trek to see the remains of what was once an early settlement, complete with many houses that are still standing to this day. The cabins that were built long ago look exactly the same (with a bit of wear and tear, of course, due to the elements and the factor of time passing) and the cemeteries that were dug centuries ago have not been moved or relocated. Therefore, there's plenty to see and explore in this area for history buffs but those who walk around these grounds late in the day might also be in for quite a spooky surprise.
Elkmont Ghost Town
The Elkmont Ghost Town is a particular point of interest for those interested in the spookier side of the park's history since it was officially abandoned after the 1930s, which is quite a few decades later than most of the park's settlements. The reason for its abandonment was due to the NPS purchasing the land on which the town stood for use as a national park, thus no more residents were permitted to move to the town.
Many of these homes were vacation homes but were still homes nonetheless, and after the last residents passed on, their houses were simply left there. Now, the houses stand as an eerie reminder that the Smoky Mountains wasn't always home to a national park and was once, in fact, home to many people. Today, the Elkmont ghost town, as it's referred to by those familiar with it, is the most popular campground in the park.
The Road That Leads To Nowhere
The story about the road that leads to nowhere is a tragic one and, while no lives were lost during the events of it, it's sad nonetheless. It's this hopeless energy that many people claim one can feel as they're making their way to and down the road that, indeed, leads to absolutely nowhere, in particular. At one point, hundreds of people lived around where Fontana Lake is today prior to it being a lake.
There were generations of people who called this land their home and, unfortunately, they were forced out when it was decided that part of the land would be flooded in order to create the lake that sits there today. The reason they couldn't stay is that during the flooding process, the highway that led to the town was bound to be destroyed which would have left them stranded - thus, they did the only thing they could do and left their homes. After they left, the road was never built and the reason was due to environmental issues that made the road unable to be paved, which meant those who left wouldn't be able to visit the cemeteries where their loved ones were buried or their previous homes ever again.
One of the most well-known places in the Smoky Mountains when it comes to tragedies is the Wheatlands Plantation. This building has served as a landmark for the Battle of Boyd's Creek for over a century now, and it's said those Cherokee who lost their lives in the battle were buried in the backyard, which is a mass grave for almost 30 people.
That's not the only thing about this plantation, though - it's also rumored that something like 70 murders took place inside of the house. While it was once open for tours, it has now been closed for several years.