The Haunted Congress Inn

Nashville, TN   /   1 Review

2914 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN 37207, USA

Is the Congress Inn in Nashville Haunted?

Every good haunting needs a history, and The Congress Inn has quite a lengthy one. Upon initial investigation, information on the history of the hotel is scarce as if the past holds secrets no one dares to speak of or wants to be discovered. But, with enough digging, you’ll soon unearth personal tales and reviews from previous guests who all agree that something lurks within The Congress Inn that supports all the lore and rumors.

The Haunted Congress Inn

A Haunted Civil War Hotel

Many haunted hotels in America got their starts during the Civil War. As a battle with approximately 1,264,000 American casualties, the war was a blood bath that was bound to leave something behind.

Tennessee was a proper battleground during the war; some of America’s deadliest battles were waged on the state’s ground including the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862. Major locations important to the war included Cattanooga, Stones River, Franklin and, of course, Nashville, which brings us back to The Congress Inn.

With thousands of wounded soliders, the need for hospitals was increased, and The Congress Inn was one of the early Civil War hospitals that housed injured and dying soliders. Of course, most patients couldn’t be saved. The war raged on, bodies piled up, and legend says that as the hospital ran out of room to dispose of the corpses, it resorted to cementing them into the basement walls.

Civil War Ghosts and the Congress Inn

Civil War Ghosts at the Congress Inn

One of the most famous stories about the haunted hotel dates back to 1987. Rumor has it that a guest awoke on his stomach only to find himself pinned to the bed. A large weight crushed his legs and knees, forcing him against the mattress and rendering him completely helpless. For the next 10 to 15 seconds, the guest laid there, unable to turn over until the weight suddenly released and the empty room was silent as ever.

This haunting experience led to questioning the locals, and the hotel’s ties to the Civil War were revealed. The bodies in the basement walls may still be encased today, and there are plenty of modern-day guests who report their own frightening encouters at the hotel.

From purported sightings of uniformed soliders lingering in the hall to the sound of gunshots and canons echoing through the walls, plenty of people who visit The Congress Inn go expecting nothing but legends but leave with a real haunt and stories to tell.

Is there really a blood well still in the basement? Are spirits connected to their old beds in the hospital ward like rooms 102 and 104 where one guest online wrote about seeing a young man stand and vanish from doorways?

Visit the Congress Inn

Historical haunt buffs should mark The Congress Inn as a stop along their tour of America’s haunted hotels. It’s one of Tennessee’s local legends, and offers a chance encounter to glimpse the horrors of America’s bloody past. Apart from the guest who was held down in 1987, there don’t appear to be any other recounts of violent or physical encounters with the Cival War ghosts at The Congress Inn, so don’t worry too much.

Maybe it was a one-time deal. Maybe some people have been too scared to come forward. Or maybe, 30 years ago, a ghost decided to spook a guest just enough to get the rumor mill churning in hopes that the truth would come to light.

Posted in Haunted Hotels and Real Haunts

One Review

  1. Donna

    I can confirm that odd things have happened at The Congress Inn.

    I worked at the Congress Inn as a night auditor in the 1980s. I was never told of the history of the place. The check in counter/office was to the right inside the front entrance if the main building/old house, and what I was told was the original chandelier still hung, beautiful and proud in that large entrance area. The beautiful staircase was carpeted with 60s-70s era carpet but the grandeur was still evident. Since it was Dickerson Road in the 80s, there was a little slide window used for guests so the main doors were locked for overnight shift.

    It was mostly quiet between 2-4:30am once the guests stopped calling or coming to the window, so I normally read or try to write. And I drank a lot of coffee. The bathroom was down a narrow hallway that I always made me feel uneasy, which I had attributed to the confined space of the hall. One night after returning from the bathroom, I was settling back in at the desk when I noticed that the chandelier started to slightly sway. I sat there wondering what was causing it, the on-site manager and his wife had moved into one of the efficiency rooms in a separate building so I knew there was supposedly no one in the apartment upstairs.

    The chandelier kept moving ever so slightly, occasionally the glass crystals would clink against each other. I grabbed a flashlight and shined it up on the ceiling to see if someone was pulling on something attached to it from the upstairs staircase landing, there was nothing manipulating the movement as far as I could tell. So I put the flashlight down and grabbed my little safety bat, and watched to see if anyone was going to make an appearance. I also picked up the phone and called the room the manager had moved into, when he picked up, I asked if he forgot to tell me if someone was anyone staying in the apartment upstairs. While I was on the phone with him, the chandelier stopped its slow sway and he grew concerned that someone was upstairs and stopped moving around when they had heard me talking.

    He told me I was the only one in the main building but he would get dressed and come check it out and I was not to go up there alone. I never took my eyes off the front of the main area of the lobby. When I suddenly saw a slender figure descending the stairs, it was a transparent figure of a man wearing a civil war uniform. I gasped and seemingly couldn’t speak a word when I tried to talk. He had a thin mustache and a short beard. I could see the wall through this apparition. I watched this figure, whom seemed deep in thought, walk down the rest of the stairs, briefly lifting his head and looking in my direction but not at me, if that makes any sense. And when he stepped onto the floor, he just casually walked around the corner to the right into what was then an old dining room that led to a commercial kitchen.

    Grabbing the flashlight and little bat, I followed his path. I was opening doors to storage areas and looking under counters and cabinets when I heard the manager come in through the main front doors. He called out my name and I yelled out where I was, I emerged from the kitchen area and excitedly told him what had just happened. I was breathless after my little adventure so it came out in between trying to catch my breath. The manager walked me back to the office area, went upstairs and I heard him walking around, opening and closing doors and when he came back down he told me he had something to tell me.

    I sat there and listened to him tell me the history of the place and when he told me that there were bodies supposedly buried in the basement, I asked him what basement? He told me that the padlocked door across the hall from the bathroom was the entrance to the basement. He hinted that what had happened to me was why they had moved out of the apartment and into one of the efficiency rooms.

    In all honesty, I was not creeped out by seeing the apparition but was extremely uncomfortable with the knowledge of possible bodies being buried in the basement behind a padlocked door. I only worked there a week or so more, I couldn’t drink coffee anymore to stay awake because I didn’t want to visit the Bathroom. I heard on the news sometime later that someone had gotten electrocuted in the pool, it was suspected that there was a faulty wire that ran under or beside the pool to the motel sign at the road. I remember telling my boyfriend at the time, that they needed to unlock that basement door.

    June 4, 2021 at 9:58 am Reply

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