Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Read House: Room 311

Ok, listen to this. I was doing some research the other day for an article and I was searching on websites concerning hauntings and the paranormal in Tennessee. Well, I happen to come upon some information about a certain well-known hotel in Chattanooga called the Read House.

Let's go over some history of this hotel, shall we?

Before burning down in 1867, the hotel was called the Old Crutchfield House, and it was a very grand hotel in its time period. It was used in the Civil War by the Union Army as a hospital before it burned down. Dr. John T. Read built the new hotel in its place and in 1926 it was demolished again and in its place, the ten story high Georgian style hotel was built and is the hotel that you see today.

Many famous people have stayed in this hotel such as Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Al Capone, and Andrew Johnson.

The most famous story explaining the ghostly hauntings is that Civil War soldier had a prostitute in his room (Room 311), and after she completed her services, the soldier murdered her for no apparent reason. He was never punished for this crime since he was most likely a Union soldier because the Union occupied the hotel at the time.

Since the murder, and even after the hotel was burned down, many people have said they have heard noises and seen bizarre apparitions in the room. It has been said that some guests have even left in the middle of the night claiming to have seen a shadowy figure in the mirror and in the bed of Room 311.

One particular couple stayed in that room after specifically asking for in in August 2007 (they are far more risk-taking that I ever could be), and a number of instances happened to them, including a heavy wooden door shutting by itself at 3:30 am, a dark shadowly figure standing next to the husband while he was in bed, and the figure starting to bend down towards him in the bed as he is looking at it, him seeing two "gleaming eyes", the figure getting closer to its face until it ultimately fades into a mist and floats off the comforter. Just reading this man's account sends chills down my spine. He said he also saw a dark shadow pass between the foot of the bed and the chest of drawers, an orange glow above the TV, and small lights flickering about the room. (This guy even says he would go back just to see if more strange things would happen! For more details on his account, click on the second source link.)

Ok, now for the fun part. I've actually been to this hotel; that's why I clicked on the story to begin with! I was there in January visiting some of Sean's family, and while it was a very nice hotel, I did notice a kind of "Unsolved Mysteries" quality to it. :) Call me weird, but there definitely was a strange feeling while I was walking along the halls and in the elevator, almost like the hotel itself was holding back something very dark about its history that has bled over into the present time. Lol. I told you this was weird and creepy.

I took the liberty in calling the receptionist at the Read House and asking about Room 311. The receptionist, Linda, after a hesitant pause, said that there was, in fact, someone staying in that room at the moment, and that people stay in that room just as much as any other room. About the supposed hauntings, she said that they are all just rumors.

So, I guess one would just have to spend the night in that room themselves to see if they are "just rumors." All I can tell you is that I won't be one of them. :)


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