Chattanooga, known as the "the Scenic City", is the fourth-largest and notably haunted city in Tennessee (after Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville of course), and the seat of Hamilton County , in the United States of America. Ghost stories sightings and encounters fill the city's history since it's early establishment.
It is located in southeast Tennessee on Chickamauga and Nickajack Lake, which are both part of the Tennessee River, near the border of Georgia, and at the junction of three interstate highways, I-24, I-75, and I-59. The city itself has it's share of many a haunted ghost tales and I have personally investigated several. From the ghost that are said to haunt the lakes and the highways. To those that travel amongst the living in buildings and homes. It seems like New Orleans, Louisiana there is something that makes this area a haunted mecca to many strange tales and urban legends.
With often told accounts of Bigfoot sightings and mysterious woodland crypto creatures the area is just one of those place where the supernatural seems to become quite natural. The area is well known for it's many roadside or hitchhiking ghosts, some date back even well before the war between the states.
I lived in the area of Ooltewah, Collegedale, Red Clay Springs, and Choutta Georgia for over a ten year period off and on and had the opportunity to investigate its haunted locations firsthand. The ghost of the great Civil War still roam the area with Chickamauga being noted as the area's main ghost central. Many believe it to be one of the most haunted battlefields in the USA only falling second next to Gettysburg. Virtually every battlefield is said to be haunted, but Chickamauga seems to be even more haunted than most.
Reports of spectral battles and the ghosts of man and beast roaming the area or often told. To often the smell of gunpowder the sounds of cannons and gunfire, and often the awful moans and cries of pain of the dying can be heard at any time of the day or night.
Tennessee's Real Battlefield Ghosts
There are so many ghosts wandering the Civil War battle grounds, that it would be impossible to catalogue them all. Over the years, thousands have claimed to have seen them and even spoken to them directly. The first sighting may have been at the battle itself, or even earlier.
During the American Civil War on November 23, 1863, the Third Battle of Chattanooga began when Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant reinforced troops at Chattanooga and counterattacked Confederate troops. The next day, the Battle of Lookout Mountain was fought near the town. These were followed the next spring by the Atlanta Campaign, beginning just over the nearby state line in Georgia and moving southeastward.
The legend of Old Green Eyes, the ghost who is said to haunt the battlefield in various forms ranging from a Confederate soldier to a green-eyed panther, has been a part of Chickamauga Battlefield lore since the last shot was fired at the bloody battle that claimed 34,000 casualties Sept. 19-20, 1863. Green Eyes is rumored to be a man who lost his head to a cannonball, frantically searching the battlefield at night for his dislocated body. There is also a soldier who is supposed to walk the roads at night. If he sees you, he is said to stare at you until you leave.
The tales of Green Eyes and other phantom sightings stem from the soldiers, who lived through the War Between the States. Another legend is quoted as saying that Old Green Eyes roamed the area long before the Civil War and was even seen moving among the dead at Snodgrass Hill during a lull in the fighting. Probably the most stubborn phase of the campaign was at Snodgrass Hill which is some of the roughest and hilliest terrain in the entire park area.
Many people visiting the park near dusk have seen two big glowing eyes approaching them and have heard an agonizing groaning sound which sent shivers up and down their spine.
Charlie Fisher, a forest ranger, says that in the early 1970's two different people both wrecked their automobiles against the same tree. They both sworn to have seen Old Green Eyes.
Ryan Prescott from New Mexico states that he did see Old Green Eyes on several occasions recently. He saw the ghost (or "Chattanooga Ghoul" as some call him) in August of this year. He said the shape was of a black shadow like human with a glowing face with a large nose, but it wasn't human, and it had glowing green eyes. Prescott snapped this photo below of what he believes to be the only real ghost photo of Old Green Eyes to date.
One of the earliest ghost sightings shortly after the Civil War ended is documented in Susie Blaylock McDaniel's book "The Official History of Catoosa County." ALSO SEE: THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED BATTLEFIELD LIST Though the battles have long ago ended and the sound of cannons and muskets is but a distant memory, there are some souls who are still waiting for the call to “Retreat” – and for them, it may never come! Make plans to visit a Haunted Battlefield today! < VISIT HERE TO VIEW FULL LIST >
The battle of Chickamauga September 18-20, 1863 Catoosa County and Walker County
Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans and Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas [US]; Gen. Braxton Bragg and Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS] Forces Engaged: The Army of the Cumberland [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 34,624 total (US 16,170; CS 18,454)
More Chattanooga Ghosts And Surrounding Area
Lookout and Signal Mountain have many ghost tales associated with them. From strange balls of light seen at night moving slowly up the trails to actual ghost sighing's. Many of the Chattanooga train depot seem to happen regularly. From the ghost of a lost woman asking for directions to host of ghost photos. The downtown area ghosts are very often seen and heard like those at the famous haunted Tively theater. And don't be alarmed at the very real ghostly encounters at nearby Moccasin Bend, Missionary Ridge the actual ghosts of these locations are said to be the most active in the area.
Chattanooga in time of the civil war. Soldiers' tents and supply wagons beside the city building, 1864. Lookout Mountain is visible in the background.
The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were Native American Indians with sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period, showing continuous occupation through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian (900-1650 AD), Muskogean and Cherokee (1776 - 1838 AD) periods.
Chief John Ross has been quoted as stating that Chattanooga was Cherokee for 'The Big Catch' because of the fishing on the river. In the 1875 publication 'History of the Army of the Cumberland' by Thomas Budd Van Horne and Edward Ruger on page 407 this is related:"Historians have made effort to transmit to the future the significance of the names which distinguish the natural features around Chattanooga. It is no pleasant task to leave groundless the many pretty conceits which have so long passed for facts; but he who would write the truth, must not hesitate to dissipate a myth or disclose a false hypothesis. With only occasional allusion to the various interpretations of Cherokee names, which have so long been accepted as true, their actual meaning, as derived from John Ross, the celebrated Cherokee chief, and from Lewis Ross, his brother, are here given. "Chattanooga," originally was the name of a small Indian hamlet, situated near the base of Lookout Mountain, on the bank of Chattanooga creek. It means, in the Cherokee language, " to draw fish out of water," and hence was applied to the collection of huts, which were occupied by Indian fishermen. The humble hamlet disappeared, and its name, at first suggestive and appropriate, was inherited by the town of the white man, with meaningless application. A somewhat similar name was applied by the Cherokees to the cliffs, rising boldly from the river above the town, which was derived from "Clanoowah," the name of a warlike but diminutive hawk, which was supposed to embody the spirit of the tribe. These cliffs were the favorite nesting- place of the bird, and hence a name was given which expressed this fact, and which, perhaps, has suggested the myth, that 'Chattanooga' means 'eagle's nest.'"
The earliest Cherokee occupation dates from Dragging Canoe, who in 1776 separated himself and moved down river from the main tribe to establish Native American resistance (see Chickamauga Wars) to European settlement in the southeastern United States. Occupation of the area by members of the Cherokee Nation dates from 1816 with the establishment of Ross's Landing by later tribal chief John Ross and ended with the forced relocation of Native American Indians from southeastern U.S. states to Oklahoma in 1838. Ross's Landing was one of three large internment camps, or "emigration depots," along the Trail of Tears, the other two being Fort Payne, Alabama and the largest at Fort Cass, Tennessee.
The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation of Native Americans from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States. The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. The removals were motivated by U.S. desire for expansion and the desire to save Native Americans from extinction.[dubious – discuss] Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their destinations.
In 1830, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes) were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Indian removal was first proposed by Thomas Jefferson. Andrew Jackson was the first U.S. President to implement removal with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw removal went the Seminole in 1832, then the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and then finally the Cherokee in 1838.
Vampires are said to being very much a part
of Chattanooga's past and present also. Not
Unlike New Orleans as far as the blood drinking
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