The Ghosts of Chattanooga’s Historic Read House Hotel
The Crutchfield House Hotel aka/ The Historic Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, TN Circa 1847
Chattanooga, Tennessee could probably be sited as one of the most haunted locations in the United States. The mid-size city’s Civil War past harbors one of the bloodiest battles in the War Between the States with approximately 34,000 dead and wounded soldiers, second only to Gettysburg. It’s a city of enormous beauty and quintessential history that is sure to please those like myself who love to hunt haunted locations. Perhaps that is the real reason that I am intrigued by ghosts. I’ve been a lifelong paranormal researcher studying the unexplained since I was able to obtain a library card and check out books. It’s a fascination that began after I experienced my first encounter with the living dead, and the rest is history.
Lisa W. Kyle- Assistant Lead Investigator/Analyst, PARA 2
Josh Wagner- Lead Organizer/Assistant Lead Investigator II/Public Relations
Josh Elam- Lead Videographer/Photography
Dena Thompson Hall- Lead Videographer II/Photography
Monica Roche Adams- Team Support/Investigator/Photography
Intuitive insights began for me 15 minutes before arriving at the museum when I was preparing to travel to the location. I heard a conversation (clairaudient) where Rae (museum curator) was describing a loud crash that was frequently heard in the building. She also said that the crash sounded like a huge display case falling over. Minutes later after arriving at the museum, Rae told us exactly what I had heard just 15 minutes earlier.
Upon entering the front doors, I felt a strong, stagnant atmosphere that almost made it difficult to breathe. Like a room void of oxygen. I walked into each exhibit room studying the energy and upon entering the Civil War room, I immediately saw a man pacing back and forth. He continued to pace in and out the exhibit’s entry door and then stopped near an exit door inside the room. He seemed agitated by our presence and continued to observe us. His eyebrows were very dark and full, and he had a beard. He was approximately 5’8”- 5’9” tall. I concluded that he was an intelligent entity that was capable of communication. I believe that he is either a soldier from The Battle of Tupelo or a manifestation from objects that once belonged to him and are now on display in the museum.
After moving to the next room, I observed a nurse who I believe holds some residual energy in the museum. I had no interaction with her, but felt a strong presence in the room that contained her personal artifacts.
Upon entering the back rooms, I was overwhelmed by multiple male spirits. Dark shadows were prevalent in the rooms and seemed to move around with ease. Although I didn’t sense an immediate danger from those spirits, I was aware that they were capable of interaction. When I entered the back room where the Jeep is displayed, I began to experience a sensation of being smothered. My head began to ache and my chest felt heavy. I sensed an extreme dark energy in the room and decided to leave the area. I then exited the museum and investigated the outdoor buildings.
A female spirit was sitting in the rocking chair inside the cabin. She was wearing a long, dingy colored dress with a dirty apron. Her shoes were brown. I left upon seeing her and did not attempt communication because she looked unhappy. I then went to the other buildings outside and did not have any other significant findings. I then re-entered the building and felt a strong urge to return to the back room where Josh, Lisa, Monica, and Rae were cleansing the area. As I walked inside the area, I leaned against the wall and listened as they recited The Lord’s Prayer, etc. As soon as they finished and for reasons I cannot explain, I asked them if they were “dead” yet. I felt a strange influence and began to stutter as I tried to explain that I expected to see things flying everywhere. I have no explanation for my bizarre comment other than spiritual interference.
MONICA ROCHE ADAMS
For me it started the night before the investigation. I had a very vivid dream about two Confederate soldiers who were brothers. One had lost both legs and the other was carrying him.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel much in the Revolutionary building although my meter went off a few times. Nothing significant in pics either.
The WWII sections are where I felt the most energy, especially the Jeep room. I felt nauseous, hot and nervous, but not afraid. I felt what I believe was a man named Ron wrapping his arms around me and I got really cold suddenly. I got the feeling he was protecting me. I got several pics of light streaks and it looks like one of the model planes propeller is moving in every photo of it I took.
I got one orb in the cabin by the bed. One really good one outside by the well cover, but otherwise, the church/school were quite peaceful to me. I got nothing useful on EVP, too much background noise.
LISA WEATHERS KYLE
Arrival– felt the presence of a woman walking back and forth in main building. Later in the evening, I actually saw her in the museum.
Strong male intelligent angry spirit in room with the leg brace.
In Jeep back room, two male presences… Both very evil in nature.
Would say that at least one of those two was never in human form. Has a tendency to possess a person if not guarded when you enter the room. The entire room was off balance like it was tilting to the right. At one point, Josh W was overcome by the evil presence and needed to be anointed with oil.
Cabin- bottom right room has residual bad mojo. Nauseated feelings and off balance in that room.
Upstairs rooms in cabin are full of negative energy. Chills, nausea, dizziness were all experienced at the top of the cabin stairs.
Silo—- residual energy detected. Not evil.
Area in front of cabin- feelings of it being “busy”. Lots of back and forth traveling to and from a specific point. Could possibly be a portal.
DENA THOMPSON HALL
I was with the crew when investigating the Oren Dunn museum. I took many photos and caught orbs on several. I could feel a presence in the old military gear room but didn’t catch anything on photo until I stepped out into the hall. I caught orbs and felt cold. But my most prominent feelings came from the room where the Jeep is. I took a lot of pics here because of the negative vibe I was getting. I felt threatened and dizzy. I heard something fall towards the radio but didn’t get anything on film. I got really weak when I felt like whatever was there didn’t want us there. My eyes were tearing up to the point that I had to exit the room.
We made it outside into the cabin, while some of the crew went into the room, I stepped out where the stairs were, placed one foot onto the step to take a pic, and heard a growl. It sounded like it was right behind me. I managed to take a pic just before the growl but didn’t catch anything. I really enjoyed investigating the museum.
My initial feelings before investigating this location were non-demonic, but negative trapped souls. My feelings were unchanged in my empath abilities once the investigation was underway.
What I witnessed— a high fever (hot head) that came out of nowhere in the middle of the lobby, many voices through the spirit box including “Doctor” as we were talking over the medical equipment, and the word “Storm” when L. Sydney Fisher was explaining the details of a tornado in the 1930’s (both pieces of evidence recorded on video).
A very negative feeling overcame me in the lower parts of the museum. Sounds and movement were captured with static camera in the lower displays as everyone was vacated from the premises. More evidence to come.
Overall impressions were very sad but not quite angry. A decent amount of possession over objects but not demonic. Not in my opinion. I would very much go back in the lower exhibit halls for a solo EVP session.
Conclusion: The Oren Dunn Museum and property has more than one intelligent haunting and may contain a portal in the back room where negative entities have entered. A sacred blessing and cleansing by an ordained minister is recommended.
The Christmas holidays can be one of the saddest times of the year for millions of grieving people. People who have lost a loved one or suffered a broken relationship often struggle with holiday blues and depression. It’s a time of year that I’ve often dreaded as a single parent with no real support system since my parent’s deaths in 1991. For years, I’ve felt as if I was wandering through life half-blind and almost hollow as today’s dating culture brought one disappointment after another. How could a believer who has spent a lifetime in paranormal research arrive at such a place of confusion? After all, I have witnessed paranormal phenomena all my life, but at those moments of intense grief and suffering, I was no different than anyone else. I needed a sign.
I’ve heard countless stories from grieving people who have experienced “visits” from their loved ones. Today, people often reach out to me and tell me of a recent loved one’s death. And during those moments when they are telling me their stories, I often catch myself interrupting with “that’s very common”.
Their raised eyebrows and sudden pause prompts me to explain that our departed loved ones often linger for a short while before entering the Light so that they can “gift” us with a sign. A sign letting us know that life never ends. It simply transforms.
Just three weeks ago, I sat down to have a Thanksgiving meal at a local church in my hometown. I sat down next to an ordained minister who was still suffering from his son’s death earlier this year. I noticed his expressionless face as he ate in silence, and my empath abilities allowed me to witness some of his pain. As I finished my dinner, my thoughts carried me back in time to the prayer vigil that was held outside the minister’s home, and I remembered seeing pictures that captured a portal of light beaming straight down from the sky in spite of the night hour. I remembered the minister telling us about his young son talking to “invisible strangers” just days before he lay down and died, and I knew that at that moment, the veil was getting thinner for the child thus enabling him to see spirits from the afterlife.
Just a few years ago, I lost a cherished friend who ministered to me and loved my children as her own. She was by all accounts, a mother and grandmother that we had not known since my own mother’s death many years before. She and I shared a mutual appreciation for the paranormal and a firm belief in the afterlife. She laughingly told me on numerous occasions that she would “visit” me if she died first. Then on November 23rd, 2010, she crossed over. I remember later that night and after a day of horrific grief, I lay down and finally closed my eyes. A few hours later, I was awakened by a strong odor that smelled just like a Thanksgiving dish of chicken and dressing. The aroma was so thick that I wondered where it could be coming from. I sat up in bed and wiped my eyes. Had I left the oven on before going to bed? But there wasn’t anything in the oven. I sat still for a moment and looked around the room. A strange sensation overwhelmed me as if I was not alone, and then I realized what was happening. My beloved friend had paid me a “visit” in a way that only I would understand. Just days before her death, my friend promised to bake a pan of chicken and dressing for my family’s Thanksgiving meal. As the aroma faded from the room, I whispered her name and thanked her for letting me know she was okay.
If you find yourself longing for a sign this holiday season, don’t be surprised when it shows up. Stay alert. Divine signs and messages from our loved ones are abundant and surround us daily.
Here are three most common communication methods through which signs appear:
Dreams-probably one of the most frequent signs is through a “visitation” dream. If you’ve had a dream in which a departed loved one communicated with you, do not dismiss it. In some cases, departed loved ones have actually served as messengers to warn of impending doom or a significant life event.
Music- Hearing a song that holds significance for you and a loved one or hearing a song with lyrics that seem to answer questions you’ve had may actually be a sign from Heaven.
Chance encounters-Sometimes the universe aligns us with people who unknowingly deliver messages through something they say or do that reveals a connection to a departed loved one.
Although there are many other ways in which we may receive signs, there is one constant truth that will always be present. Regardless of the method or form in which it is delivered, a sign that is meant for you will have an indisputable significance that’s always linked directly to you. Be observant this holiday season. And remember, life never ends and those strange feelings you keep having just may be your departed loved one sending you a “Merry Christmas” from The Afterlife.
To learn more about L. Sydney Fisher’s paranormal research and books, check out
From the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author comes a series that ghost hunters are sure to love!
A TRUE HAUNTED PAST…
I want to tell you a story……about a place once called The Devil’s Furnace. A place that dates its beginnings in prehistoric times. Where Indigenous people once lived and hunted.
A place that’s known massive bloodshed……This bloodshed has stained the soil of the landscape and created a portal to another world. It’s a world where the souls of the deceased enter and exit at will.
Read about the stringy haired ghost woman…… She still roams the streets of this southern town. Find out where ghost sightings are a regular occurrence in haunted buildings and homes.
Explore the history of the city known as the Cradle of Rock-n-Roll, Elvis Presley’s birthplace…… Discover the many reasons why ghost hunters love the hills of the North Mississippi landscape.
If you love history and ghosts, you’ll love the first book in this series. Like The Haunted America series by The History Press, L. Sydney Fisher’s The Haunted is a historical narrative that explores southern sites with a paranormal past. Let’s begin…in Tupelo, Mississippi.
A note from the author: This series is a haunted history narrative. It includes local history and lore that has been thoroughly researched. Often times, this research includes interviews, visits to haunted locations, and paranormal investigations. I have spent months and even years researching a project before publication. If you like history and ghosts, you will probably enjoy The Haunted.
Follow L. Sydney Fisher’s On the Haunted Trail at Facebook each month and get a first look at the stories in The Haunted Series.
Being a paranormal researcher means that I am often contacted by people who are experiencing the paranormal. So what’s the scariest project that I’ve ever been involved in? Without a doubt, it’s the chapter in Volume II of my Haunted Series. The chapter is called The Devil’s Den and after visiting here, I knew the title would be fitting for the story.
Several months before the book’s publication, I was contacted by a woman who had abandoned her home after her husband committed suicide. I was immediately drawn to her story as she described her husband’s bizarre behavioral changes after moving into the house. Since I am an empath and clairvoyant, I absorbed the woman’s story and could feel her grief each time that I spoke with her. She told me that she and her husband had ten wonderful years of marriage until moving into the house located on a dead end road in Rural Mississippi. She said that they didn’t know much about the land surrounding the home, but they had heard about a murder that had happened there.
The family brushed aside any uneasy feelings about the home’s past and instead focused on getting moved into their new spacious home. Each of their children could now have their own bedroom, unlike having to share a room in the mobile home where they had lived before. But within two weeks, strange noises began to haunt the family. Thumping noises from the basement, footsteps, and running water (no one could find its source) were the first signs that something was wrong here. Weeks progressed as the woman’s husband battled a growing rage. He seemed to snap over trivial things and began having conversations with invisible entities.
One day when she was in the kitchen preparing dinner, her husband came up behind her with a knife and told her “I ought to slice your f—ing throat”. She immediately ran out of the house and didn’t return until hours later when her husband was gone. This family’s horror climaxed on the morning that her husband committed suicide, but the weeks leading up to the final hour was unlike anything I had ever heard. The story reminded me of The Amityville Horror, not the fictional accounts, but the part that included the DeFeo murders of 1974. Ronnie DeFeo was charged on the same day that I am writing this now–44 years ago! (November 14, 1974) And I believe that the same type of possession that entered Ronnie DeFeo’s body is also what caused this family’s demise.
I scheduled a time to go out to the property and have a look around. If the energy was as strong as she told me, then I knew I would sense it as soon as I arrived. A local neighbor and family friend met me at the house. At first, I didn’t feel anything unusual or sinister as I walked around the property looking into the windows, but as I made my way around the left side of the house, I began to feel overwhelmed with dread. I stopped and peered inside another window, but then jerked back. Whatever had been at that house before was still there and I realized that it was now watching me from inside the house. I hurried around to the front door, but before I could thank the neighbor for showing me the property, my eyes locked straight ahead on the front door side light window where an old hag with hollow eyes stood watching me. She was humpback, her eyes void of color and hollow without even an iris. Her skin was pasty white and cheekbones protruded from a sunken face. I began to breathe fast and tried to keep my composure. What if the neighbor didn’t see what I was seeing? I knew that I needed to get out of there.
I quickly said my “good-byes” and started for the car, but just as I opened the door, I witnessed a massive black shadow zoom past me and toward the trees at the front of the property. I literally could not believe my eyes. I felt its supernatural power as it soared off the ground. It seemed to put on a show, flaunting itself as it paced back and forth along the tree line. A part of me wanted to stay and explore, but I heeded my body’s warning signs urging me to leave the property. When I arrived home, I raced to my computer and messaged the homeowner. I asked her to describe the spirits that they had seen while living there. To my horror and with my mouth hung open, I watched as her words zipped across Facebook messenger as she described exactly what I had just witnessed minutes before.
Days later, I found myself unable to sleep. Thoughts and visions tormented me about the evil that still dwells on this abandoned property. The widow continued to contact me, and I confessed everything that I saw and felt while there. She pleaded with me to go back to the house and go inside. She wanted me to try and make contact with her deceased husband, but I declined. To this day, I believe that the only energy that still resides in that house is the evil that caused a young woman to kill her baby and a man who had a loving family finally take his own life after months of demonic torment.
If you would like to read the family’s story, you can find it here~ GET THE BOOK
Today, I’m thrilled to share with you an excerpt from a lovely lady I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago at a reading for a fundraiser for a local library. She writes an array of fiction, some based on real events like the book she’s featuring today: The Devil’s Board. Let’s all give a warm welcome to L. Sydney Fisher. *cheers*
A note from Sydney…
While doing research for The Devil’s Board, I was contacted by two different individuals who did not know each other and who did not attend Riverside at the same time. Both of these individuals told me about personal experiences they had while a student at Riverside. To my amazement, one of the individuals revealed that they once lived in the very same dorm room where Amber Simmons used the Ouija board in 1987. This person disclosed that they had experienced inexplicable mood swings and depression…