Most Haunted Places in America: Mills Plantation
Hurricane Mills Plantation is located in the small, country town of Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. It has quite a fascinating history, first and foremost being the homestead of the beloved country singer Loretta Lynn. It also has a dark history that has left the Hurricane Mills Plantation haunted for well over 100 years.
The town was established in 1810 as an iron furnace. The first mill wasn’t actually built until 1850 when the iron furnace fell. In the early 1800’s, a small white church and Masonic Temple was built on the 3,500 acre property that is now Hurricane Mills Plantation, used as a hospital back in the Civil War days.
A dreadful battle took place on the grounds on July 22, 1863, where 19 soldiers tragically lost their lives. They were all buried in the cemetery near the church.
It wasn’t until 1876 that a new mill was built, along with a glorious mansion, by James Anderson, a prominent businessman of that time. It was called the Mills Plantation.
Loretta Lynn and her husband, Doolitte (Doo) Mooney Lynn, came to Hurricane Mills, TN and fell in love with the locale. They bought the plantation, and the entire town, in 1966. Loretta’s career was at an all time high, so she spent the majority of her time on the road while husband Doo raised their 6 children.
Now let’s back up a bit and discuss Loretta. It is well known that she inherited a gift/curse from her mother. She claims to be a bona fide psychic and by all accounts is difficult to dispute. Loretta’s mother visited her family at Mills Plantation and had a horrific vision. She proclaimed that the river that ran through the property would be the site of a terrible family tragedy.
Several years later, the eerie prediction came true. Loretta’s eldest son, Jack Benny, met an untimely death at just 30 years of age in this very river. Loretta was on tour then, and at just about the same time the disaster occurred, she suffered a seizure. It would be days before Loretta was conscious again, and as soon as she was, she spoke to her husband on the phone. Doo was just starting to tell her what had happened when she stopped him and said, “It’s Jack Benny, isn’t it?”
When the Lynn’s daughter Peggy was just 3 years old, she experienced her first paranormal encounter. While lying in bed, she felt like she was being watched. When she looked, she saw a lady dressed in white come from the bathroom. She assumed there was a visitor in the home, but the ghost took two steps back and vanished.
Loretta saw this ghost one day, too. She was returning from tour and saw the lady in white on the balcony of Mills Plantation. The apparition had its face buried in its hands, crying. She also thought the lady a visitor and asked the twins’ babysitter who was upstairs. When told there was no one up there, she went back outside and saw the same spectral lady walking through the cemetery.
They researched history of the area and found out that a woman by the name of Beula Anderson once lived at Mills Plantation. She had given birth to a stillborn child and, just 12 days later, Beula died as well. Mother and child were buried in the cemetery in side-by-side plots.
James Anderson, the original owner of Mills Plantation, is also believed to haunt the home. Loretta always referred to him as “Old Man Anderson”. His ghost (assuming it was Anderson) was seen by visitors trying to push the tour guide down the steps. Fortunately the guide caught himself and only went down three or four steps. Loretta also believes it was Anderson that locked three of the female staff members on the balcony one day while they were trying to hang red, white and blue banners. No one was upstairs to lock the doors behind them, and the ladies were stuck outside until someone finally heard them calling.
Loretta Lynn’s personal assistant, Tim Cobb, has quite a few ghost stories about Mills Plantation. He once noticed a frost on one window on a warm day, not on the outside, but on the inside of the glass. Another incident involved Tim Cobb hearing noises from the upstairs after all of the tours were done for the day. He assumed there was someone left over upstairs creating mischief, and when he went to investigate saw a shadow move into the Brown Room on the second floor. He found the room completely devoid of life, but incredibly chilly. Loretta commented that he “came a-flying outta there!”
Apparently no one is very comfortable in the Brown Room. It is the coldest room in the house, regardless of the weather outside, and there are always dead flies found in the window. Dead flies are found in no other window or room of the entire plantation home. When their son Jack Benny was younger, this was his bedroom. He had fallen asleep with his shoes on one day and awoke to a Confederate soldier tugging at his boot!
Their other son, Ernest, slept in the Brown Room one night and awoke to find two spectral soldiers staring at him. Never again would he sleep in that room. A fisherman also claimed to see a Confederate soldier walking/floating across the bridge at Mills Plantation just before it dissipated into thin air.
An even more disturbing story of the Mills Plantation haunting gets its origins from the plantation’s slavery days. The porch has a large grill cover that lifts up, becoming an entrance to a dungeon type area. The pit of a room has chains hanging from the ceiling and is believed to be where the owners punished disobedient slaves.
One night, Loretta was home watching TV with a friend when the two of them distinctly heard footsteps crossing the porch, immediately followed by the rattling of chains within the pit.
Loretta’s strong psychic abilities are likely the only reason she did not run screaming from the home, selling it off at rock bottom price to find a new, less haunted home elsewhere. She says the ghosts never tried to hurt them and she never felt fear from their existence. She always loved her Hurricane Mills Plantation, haunted as though it may be.