GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Water Avenue in Gallatin saw a lot of death in its day. But still, store owners on the square are seeing some of those who died.
“When we first opened up I was probably told that three or four times a week. ‘Do you know you have a presence upstairs?” Shannon Bussell with Timeless Treasures said.
Bussell said while she hasn’t had any direct encounters with the children in her antique store, she has heard and seen what they like to play with.
“There were two stuffed animals in little wicker chairs and you could hear the tea cups clinking,” Bussell said.
Bussell learned that a little boy and a little girl haunt the second floor of the building. She said there’s never any malicious activity, they just sound like they’re enjoying the toys in her shop.
“The little girl just loves the fairy houses. She doesn’t want it to go anywhere. She has touched people that want to buy the fairy house. So the fairy house is here to stay. We leave it here for her to look at and I guess she plays with it at night,” Bussell said.
Southern Ghost Stories author Allen Sircy said the entire square has haunted encounters because of the spirits left behind during historic fires.
“North Water burned several times in the 19th century. There were several fires that wiped out the whole city block,” Sircy said.
Sircy said most of the buildings were made of wood so fires spread easily down the square.
But some of the ghosts that are cited in businesses on the square came from illness as well.
“The story is that she died from cholera and she was being treated here in the pharmacy by Dr. Schell,” Sircy said.
Swaney Swift’s on the Square used to be a pharmacy back in the day. But now as a restaurant, a little girl named Sarah finds entertainment with the staff.
“Multiple servers have told me they’ve felt someone playing with their hair,” Sircy said. “She likes to move things around and there’s supposedly a doll that moves around upstairs, downstairs, employees find it in different places.”
Sircy said other businesses have reported other activity from children being mischievous. But it’s only children that seem to haunt the majority of those reports.