NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Whether it be the Bell Witch hauntings or ghostly encounters with long-lost souls in the hills of Tennessee, some things go beyond explanation in the Volunteer State. There are so many weird and spooky legends that come from deep within Tennessee. See how many legendary creatures you know from this list.
Beast of Sugar Flats Road – Lebanon
In the late 1980s, a couple, reportedly cheating on both their spouses with each other, was traveling down Sugar Flat Lane in Lebanon when they allegedly hit someone—or something—with their car. It was about the height of a man, or perhaps slightly shorter, and covered in fur rather than hair.
The legend says the man opted to bury the creature and either decapitated it from the start or returned to the burial site to retrieve the head later, where it was preserved by a taxidermist and put on display for decades in a now-defunct antique shop in Lebanon.
White Bluff Screamer – Dickson County
Starting around the end of World War I, families in the area reported hearing a screeching wail, according to historian Lyle Russell. According to legend, the eerie wailing lured a man away from his wife and children to hunt down the source of the noise, only to return home to find his family slain, and the shrieking continuing through the night.
Some versions of the tale involve a “ghostly female figure enshrouded in a white mist,” while others say the man encountered “a great beast with white fur, easily twice the size of a man, with savage claws and teeth.”
Werewolf of Dickson County – Dickson
The legend in Dickson County says in the late 1860s “a passing circus train either stopped unexpectedly or derailed just outside of Burns Station, Tennessee, and many of the circus animals escaped into the surrounding countryside,” according to Russell.
One of the creatures in the circus was said to have been a pair of men known as the “Wolf Men of Borneo.” They were reported to be “half man, half beast” and were never recaptured.
The Wampus Cat – Appalachian Mountains/East TN
It has many names, as most folklore creatures tend to, but in the Volunteer State, the Wampus Cat is said to be a half-dog-half-cat creature that can walk either on four legs or erect. It is rumored to be seen running throughout the Appalachian Mountains.
The native Cherokee who lived in the area said it was a demon known as Ew’ah, the Spirit of Madness, who had the power to drive men mad with just a glance.
Beast of the Land Between the Lakes – Tennessee/Kentucky border
Deep in the Land Between the Lakes, a national park that covers nearly 270 square miles of natural woodlands split by the Tennessee and Kentucky border and flanked by Kentucky Lake and the Cumberland River, a cryptid-like creature described as a bigfoot, a dog man, or a werewolf has been reported throughout the years inside the park.
The most famous account is from 1982, according to Russell. A man named Roger is believed to be the only survivor of a true encounter with the creature, and his story is the most widely believed among the cryptid investigative community, Russell said.