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In the mood to read something spooky? The Great Smoky Mountains are famous for their ghost stories! From tall tales in Cades Cove to old Cherokee legends, these stories have been passed down through generations. It’s up to you to decide if you believe them or not! Check out these 4 spooky Smoky Mountain ghost stories.
1. Lucy of Roaring Fork
One of the most popular Smoky Mountain ghost stories is about Lucy of Roaring Fork. One night in 1900, a man was riding his horse through the forest. When he passed by the Roaring Fork stream just outside of Gatlinburg, he saw a woman on the side of the road. The woman was walking without any shoes on, so the man offered her a ride. The woman introduced herself as Lucy and climbed on the back of his horse. The man fell in love with Lucy throughout their journey home. The next day, he returned to her house to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. However, his parents told her Lucy had unexpectedly passed away two weeks earlier.
If Lucy was dead for weeks, who was the woman Foster gave a ride to that evening? Although we don’t have the answer for you, we can tell you that rumor has it a barefoot woman can still be spotted along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
2. The Cussing Cover
Before the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Basil and Mavis lived in a two-room cabin in Cades Cove. Mavis had an unconventional fear of being struck by lightning, which is why she refused to ever sleep on a metal bed frame. Because she was born during a thunderstorm, she believed she was destined to be killed by a bolt of lighting. However, it wasn’t lightning that took Mavis’ life, but a serious illness. On her deathbed, she made her husband promise that he would never sell any of her handmade quilts and that he would never place her quilts on a metal bed.
Months after her death, Basil remarried a much younger woman, and before long, the two were sleeping on a metal bed. One night, Basil’s new wife asked if she could sleep with one of Mavis’ quilts, and he agreed. That evening, the wife was woken up by a flash of light that knocked her to the floor, and the room filled with smoke. When the smoke cleared, Basil had been charred to a crisp and the metal bed had disintegrated. However, the quilt remained untouched and no other damage was done to the cabin. Legend has it the quilt, named the Cussing Cover, was eventually sold to a collector in the Smokies.
3. The Ghost of Greenbrier
Have you ever heard of Lydia, the ghost of Greenbrier? The Greenbrier Lodge, which later became the Greenbrier Restaurant, was a hotel that catered to wealthy vacationers. According to a local legend, in the 1930s, a young woman named Lydia was engaged to a man from town. On the day of her wedding, she was left at the altar, so she threw a rope over the rafters and hung herself in her wedding dress. In the days following her death, her former fiance was found dead in the Smokies from a cougar attack. Since cougars had been long gone from the Smokies, locals believed it was Lydia’s spirit that had returned to take revenge. Years later, staff at the Greenbrier reported seeing Lydia’s ghost wandering the halls.
4. The Legend of Spearfinger
Before Europeans settled in the Smokies, the area was home to the Cherokee, who called the region “Shakonohey,” the land of the blue smoke. They used the area as a hunting ground and told stories of the unforgiving landscape. One monster who lurked among the peaks in the Smokies was Spearfinger, who was a shape-shifting witch who had a long blade for her right forefinger. She could take the form of a fox, a bear or a bird, but usually appeared as an old woman. She fed off human livers, and would stalk her prey through the mountains or take the shape of a known person in the village. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for hikers to be spooked by the sounds of leaves rustling or the feeling of being watched. Was it just a squirrel running in the leaves, or was it Spearfinger?
If you loved reading these Smoky Mountain ghost stories, check out more tall tales from the Great Smoky Mountains.