The Potential Haunting of the Carnton Plantation

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In honor of Halloween I’m going to revisit one of my favorite spooky locations, The Carnton Plantation in my hometown of Franklin, TN.  Now, I’m a sucker for a ghost story and I grew up in Franklin, TN, a small town that’s still milking the Civil War because that’s the last interesting thing that happened there.  So, I’ve spent my fair share of time at the Carnton Plantation.

Carnton Plantation

Is it worth a visit to Franklin?  No, but I would argue that very little is, however, if you find yourself in Franklin or Nashville you’ll likely be at a loss for things to do, and this is an interesting afternoon.

Carnton Plantation and the grounds surrounding it were the site of the Battle Of Franklin, a battle that left 9500 killed, wounded, captured, or missing.  As with most of the older buildings in Franklin, Carnton served as a hospital during the war.  You can tour the inside of the home and see the bloodstains that still remain on the floors where surgeries and gruesome amputations were performed.  If that’s not a recipe for a haunting I don’t know what is.

carnton plantation

Tours cost $15 and run from 9-5, but if you’re there outside of hours or just don’t want to shell out the money, you can tour the grounds on your own for free.  There you will find the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation.

carnton cemetery

You’ll hear many stories about the reported hauntings at Carnton Plantation.  Apparently, people have seen a man dressed in a Civil War General’s uniform on the second story balcony, a floating head in the kitchen, disembodied voices and the sounds of drum, marching or footsteps, as well as several apparitions in the graveyard.  Including this photo, perhaps the most intriguing Carton Ghost photo.

One place you won’t hear any ghost stories about the plantation, is the plantation itself.  Ask anyone there and this place is absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt not haunted!  So, quit asking!  At least that was the answer I always got growing up before they decided to cash in on the ghost tour trend.  It sounds like they may have finally wised up.  Ghosts=$$$!

I don’t have anything as exciting as a phantom general, or floating head.  All I can attest to is the one time I was locked in the cemetery by myself, due to a series of bad decisions, I took this photo of a tombstone in the family section of the cemetery.

potential haunting of carnton plantation

I know I was by myself, and I know the gate was locked, but it looks an awful lot like a shadow behind me.  (I took the picture from a laying position on the ground, so it’s not me).  Here’s a picture of the section of the cemetery I was in (this tombstone is about 1/3 of the way into the frame on the right).   I don’t see anything that could cast that shadow.

McGavock family cemetary at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN

I’m not sure what it was, but it’s a spooky Halloween story!  What do you guys make of it?



2 thoughts on “The Potential Haunting of the Carnton Plantation

  1. Olivia Garvin

    Love the review. I did the tour and heard surgical instruments dropped on the floor by the table that was used for the surgeries. Does that count as a ghostly experience?

  2. […] for tours during the day.  One of my favorite spots growing up was the Confederate Cemetery at Carnton Plantation (I was kind of a weird kid).  While they do charge for tours of the home, the cemetery is free to […]

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