Tale behind Opryland’s most famous and restless spirit

Haunted Tennessee

Kathy Meredith shares photos of her family trip when the park celebrated 15 seasons in 1990.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For more than two decades Opryland U.S.A. was one of Nashville’s most famous attractions. The theme park brought in guests from all corners of the country, but there are tales of a restless spirit frightening both guests and workers.

According to Allen Sircy, Author of Southern Ghost Stories Opryland, the “old lady” whose spirit lingered even after even after Opryland became Opry Mills, is Mary Louise Bransford McGavock. She died in 1965, leaving her property to her church, which is where Opry Mills now sits.

“She left all the land, the land next to the Cumberland River, to her church and she asked for the land to be used as an orphanage or for a school,” according to Sircy. However, her final wishes were not respected, “Shortly thereafter WSM bought it and built a theme park. So after the theme park got up and going in 1972, people started seeing an old lady walking around at night.”

According to legend, Mary McGavock’s spirit haunted Opryland and her presence has also been felt at Opry Mills.

“She would chase people. They’d see her in the gazebos, they’d see her over here by the rides. And it freaked a lot of people out. Well they closed the park back in 99 and now they see her in the mall,” says Sircy.

Sircy adds, workers have noticed paranormal activity at the mall.

“People in the stores say things jump off the shelf. They’ll come in during the morning and find things on the floor. They hear noises all the time. I guess the ghosts from Opryland have followed over to Opry Mills.”

You can learn more about the ghost of Mary McGavock in Allen Sircy’s book which is available on Amazon.

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