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According to respected paranormal investigators the Historic Walking Horse Hotel is one of the most haunted buildings in the country. A routine query posed to Walking Horse personnel centers around the tragic events of the past that today invite such distinctive paranormal activity. However, unlike other prominent haunted locations with malevolent histories, the birthplace of the Tennessee Walking Horse has no such story. None!


Past and recent paranormal activity includes:


Class A Electronic Voice Phenomenon – EVP’s

Full Body Apparitions

Unexplained Voices and Singing

Strong K2 Activity

Piano Playing Itself

Severe Temperature Changes

Amazing Photographs

Shadow People

Physical Contact and Attacks


Based on everything we know today there is no logical explanation why the Walking Horse Hotel has the amount of unexplained occurrences it consistently has. Personally, I’ve always maintained the belief that because we welcome spirits rather than fear them they know that they’re always welcome. I also maintain the belief that our spirits still recognize the building as a hotel and come and go as they may have long ago.

Personal Experiences

Joe Peters, Sr. – Owner / Within days after purchasing the hotel individuals began sharing with us their accounts of ghostly encounters inside the historic brick building. The yarns included eerie feelings, doors opening and closing without explanation to observing full scale apparitions. While I personally have always believed in the existence of spirits, I initially ignored most of what was being said. We began renovating the ground level of the hotel in August 2007. During this period I routinely stayed overnight. Unexplained noises accompanied by an overall feeling that I was not alone became commonplace. The presence I felt was not malevolent. What I initially chalked up to my overactive imagination soon began to peak my curiosity. In June 2007 I stayed the night in room 203. At approximately 2:00 am I was awakened by a loud train. Unable to fall back asleep I began channel surfing. A few minutes later I turned the television off and closed my eyes. A second later something touched my chest. When I attempted to sit-up the touch became a very heavy press and I literally felt my entire body being pressed into the mattress. I wasn’t afraid but was angry because I’d done nothing to provoke such treatment. I struggled to move and was released only after I’d completely relaxed. I sat up and turned on the light. There was nothing there. The following morning when I was taking a shower I discovered that my neck, arms, stomach and legs were very sore. A few days later I discussed this incident with a physic who offered the following overview. I had never met or spoke with the physic before and disclosed nothing of my experience in room 203. She told me that the night before my encounter a paranormal team investigated the hotel. She was correct. Without my knowledge various members of the team were taunting our spirits. In doing so they frightened the children’s spirits and angered the adults. The end result was my early morning visit to remind me something like that would never happen again! To smooth things over she encouraged me to walk through the hotel after midnight and apologize to the spirits that were frightened and angered. While there is no way of knowing whether her interpretation was accurate or not, I took her advice and apologized. I immediately imposed a strict NO TAUNTING policy for all paranormal investigators and have never since personally had any problems.

Joe Peters Jr. / My youngest son Joe has had many personal experiences inside the hotel. One night he was walking down the corridor of the 2nd floor en-route to my apartment. As he passed room 202 a large white figure approached his left side and hissed in his ear. Because he and I were the only ones in the building he assumed it was me trying to scare him. However, when he entered the apartment he saw me sitting across the room nowhere near the corridor. From that moment forward he doesn’t walk through the hotel alone at night unless the lights are on.

Joe Peters Sr. / Joe Peters Jr. – In another instance I was walking out of the in the laundry room downstairs when something growled in my ear. I kept walking and said firmly, “Get lost”! It followed me into the music hall and as I approached the stage I turned around and said, “I hope you like loud noises because I’m about to bang on these drums for the next 30 minutes”. I sat down behind the kit and started playing. Forty minutes later I went upstairs and into my apartment. My son was sitting on the couch with his girlfriend and said something very strange happened a little while ago. He said while they were watching television Ziggy, our mini schnauzer, stood up, lowered her head and stared into the kitchen. Then they both heard a deep growling sound coming from the kitchen and the hair stood up on Ziggy’s back and she started growling back. Based on the time line this presence visited them shortly after I started playing the drums.

Brent Riddle / was working in a theme room during the Halloween season 2010. He reported that a small girl, who identified herself as Emily, walk into the room and sat down next to him. Emily told him she died after a fall. We have been unable to find any record of this occurrence. However, Emily has been seen in the hotel dating back to the 70’s and as recent as several months ago.

MaLissa Wall / has taken a very active role in working with various Paranormal Investigators since 2007. For whatever reason, MaLissa has been responsible for obtaining some of the hotel’s best EVP’s. One in particular was an EVP session with a member of the Office of Paranormal Studies. During a K2 session MaLissa was communicating with the hotel’s second owner, Floyd Carothers. The session was interrupted when MaLissa had to go downstairs. When she returned she resumed her questions but received no response. She then asked Floyd if he’d left the room. An voice captured on audio clearly responded, “He left the room!” Recently MaLissa was investigating with the OPS group when she felt sick to her stomach. One of the other investigators asked if she was alright. A male voice with a bad attitude clearly says, “Fu** her!” One of the most interesting experiences that MaLissa recounts was following an investigation. She was standing on the side porch as Clint Ferguson and Brandon Boston were getting into their car following a long night of investigating. They all heard the distinctive sound of a horse near the meadow. Clint and Brandon ran to the meadow approximately 30 yards away… but saw no horse. A breeze then seemingly came out of nowhere causing leaves to rustle on the ground around them. It is important to note that their was absolutely no breeze before or after that.

Christine Mullin / was standing in the lobby while I went into the music hall to turn off the lights following a musical event. When I returned a minute later she was nowhere to be found. This was extremely odd because Christine never felt comfortable being alone in the hotel. I looked out the window and noticed she was sitting in her car. I walked outside and asked what she was doing?. She said, “I’m not going back in there”! When I asked her what happened she said while she was waiting in the lobby she heard the distinctive sound of boot steps directly overhead. At the time she and I were alone in the building.

John Riddle / was working on Halloween night as a Paramedic. He was standing in the corridor on the 3rd floor when he was struck hard under his right eye. John weighs 250 lbs. and was staggered by the attack. Interestingly John had made some sarcastic comments earlier in the evening suggesting that he would have to have something definitive happen to believe in ghosts. Today he believes in ghosts!

Todd Riddle / was standing on the 3rd floor Halloween night with three paranormal investigators from the Office of Paranormal Studies. Without warning Todd was struck in the stomach hard enough to double him over. Like his brother, Todd had also made several sarcastic remarks earlier in the evening about needing proof before he believed in ghosts. And like his brother, today Todd does believe in ghosts!

Office of Paranormal Studies

Clint Ferguson /  Co-Founder of the Office of Paranormal Studies was getting into his car after a night of investigating. He and teammate Brandon Boston both heard what sounded like a horse whinny followed by hooves landing on the parking lot cement in the direction of the meadow. MaLissa Wall was standing on the small deck on the north side of the parking lot. She also heard the sounds. Clint and Brandon ran toward the sound and found nothing. They then felt a mysterious wind on a very calm night which caused the leaves to rustle on the ground. #2. Clint reported while he was on the 2nd floor hearing a parade of people coming up the stairs and stopping at the 2nd floor landing. When he looked to see who is was nobody was there. #3. Clint also reported a shadow detach itself from the wall of the back room on the 3rd floor and move aggressively toward fellow investigator Kristy Ferguson.

Kristy Ferguson / Case Manager with the Office of Paranormal Studies was in the back right room of the 3rd floor. At the time the entire team was together doing an EVP and K2 session. They weren’t getting much activity and decided to pack things up. Investigator Brandon Boston was reviewing some earlier audio and captured a woman screaming “Oh God, please help me“! Kristy went back upstairs to the room where the EVP was captured with Joe Dunn and Brandon Boston. They all heard strange noises coming from the room as they approached and upon entry Kristy felt nauseous. She said she’s never been so afraid since she joined the team.


Brandon Boston / is a Paranormal Investigator with the Office of Paranormal Studies. #1. He reports a little after 4 am the team was about to head home. As the team members were getting into the car he and Clint Ferguson heard a horse neigh at the end of the parking lot just before the meadow. The also heard the distinctive sound of hooves hitting the asphalt. They looked at each other and without speaking headed for the area where the sounds were coming from. As they approached the end of the parking lot leaves began to rustle yet there was no wind whatsoever. Both investigators jumped back because this mysterious wind literally came out of nowhere. Brandon said his eyes fixed on a leaf in disbelief as it floated in the air and seemed to be gliding in a designed path. He said this lasted for a moment but it is something he will never forget. #2. Six members of the team were investigating a room on the 3rd floor. They had a K2 meter in the corner and everyone was 6 digital recorders were running. The night proved to be relatively nonproductive and while they packing up the gear. Brandon went downstairs and was listening to his digital recorder when he heard a distinct female voice cried out, “Oh God, please help me”! Out of the six digital recorders in operation only his captured this EVP. #3. Brandon reports on Halloween 2011 he and Paul Cagel placed a K2 meter on a stool in the corner of a room. The meter was actually resting on a small stick. Brandon removed his blessed shield of faith necklace and hung it on the stick the K2 was resting on. That instant the K2 spiked over and over again for nearly 30 seconds.  

Brad Dunn / is an investigator with the Office of Paranormal Studies. While investigating the 3rd floor with tech expert, Lee Broom, the two were asking questions with a K2 meter and a Sony Camcorder. Lee asked several questions and the K2 spiked following every question. He then asked if the responses were coming from a child. This question was based on reports that children’s spirits occupy the building. At that exact time both investigators heard a small child laughing in the hallway followed by what appeared to be footsteps running away. They quickly exited the room and followed the sound to the end of the hall until Lee stopped dead in his tracks. He asked Brad if he heard anything. Brad said he hadn’t. Lee then told Brad that he heard a child’s laughter directly in his right ear. As they were walking back toward the room they heard what appeared to be something riffling through their equipment. They searched the room but found nothing. Convinced that someone was toying with them they searched the entire floor. Nobody was there.


Joe Dunn / is the lead investigator of the Chattanooga Chapter of Office of Paranormal Studies. Joe reports witnessing strange and possibly paranormal activity at the Walking Horse Hotel. One of my most memorable experiences began when we split into two groups. One covering the dining rooms and music hall while the other went to the 3rd floor. My group consisted of Brad Dunn, myself and guest investigator Paul Cagle, author or Paranormal Journeys and Director of the South Eastern Paranormal Society. Joe walked Paul through and pointing out various locations where we had discovered evidence in the past. As they were walking Joe pushed several chairs tight against the tables to make maneuvering easier. Shortly thereafter the group from the 3rd floor asked us to go into a specific room. They didn’t offer any details but suggested something occurred. They went to the 3rd floor and within minutes began hearing what could only describe as a conversation between a man and woman. The words weren’t clear enough to understand what they were saying but it was clearly different voices. Joe had his K2 meter and was getting a lot of activity. Paul then reported seeing a shadow moving across the floor toward him the it just disappeared. They reunited with the other group to compare notes. Both groups had the exact same encounter with the shadow figure and heard voices. They all went back to the 3rd floor and attempted to communicate with the entity. They all heard sounds in the hallway whenever they were in the room and sounds in the room whenever they were in the hallway as if the entity was playing with them. They then sent a small group into the hall while the rest stayed in the room. Several members of the group reported hearing very strange laughter.

Paranormal Incorporated

Rich Newman Rich Newman and his partner Mike were investigating on the third floor. They heard sounds of disembodied voices/whispers, including one that made a loud sigh between them. They also saw what they described as a massive black shadow shape that blotted out the light of an entire doorway. Mike, much to his surprise, witnessed the full bodied apparition of a woman wearing a turn of the century dress. Rich said he could attest to his surprise because Mike dropped his flashlight, jumped about two feet into the air and nearly tore his shirt off trying to grab him to show him the woman. http://paranormalincorporated.blogspot.com/2010/01/case-files-walking-horse-hotel.html


Present for Investigation: Clare Russell, TN, Eddy Russell, TN, Shaunna Kennedy, TN, Joe Kennedy, TN, Jim Tate, GA, Darla and Richard Watkins, GA, Heather Brockmeyer, MO.

The weather was humid, and very hot. We had thunderstorms early Saturday morning until late morning. We arrived approximately 5pm on Friday and stayed until Sunday around noon. Activity was constant, with no specific time, or area with more than another.

Personal Experiences

These were varied and across the board. The group experienced physical touches, on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  Eddy was on the 3rd floor, and had what he felt was child like arms wrap around his legs like a hug. When he attempted to leave he felt a strong tug to the back of his shirt. He was emotional regarding this connection and left the investigation for approximately 15 minutes. He came back and we discussed the happenings. Shaunna was in her hotel room, double room by the balcony door, and felt someone tug her hair. We heard a rhythmic knocking multiple times in different rooms.

What sounded like walking and footsteps on the 3rd floor was heard by all, possible wood pops due to heat in the area. Jim heard someone present in his room, and heard someone walking around in there as well. We felt general feelings of not being alone, physical reactions to energy, hair raising, goose bumps, and general feelings of presence throughout.

Chais Music Hall – Eddy had the feeling of being in presence of spirit while sweeping the lounge. He stood still and felt all normal signs of contact. No feelings of negative or fear, just feelings that came and went of presence.  Mostly normal responses, again goose bumps, hair raising, and physical response to energy changes. KII was used but little to no fluctuations in this area.

2nd Floor/Hotel Rooms- Multiple EVP caught in the areas around the 2nd floor. Balcony was a hotspot for KII activity and EVP. Train room had touches, and feeling of presences. Dowsing Rods revealed possible woman and child connection. No father, but child with his mother. Kind and interactive. EVP confirmed child there. Class A caught in this room. Sound of possible horse in this room as well, not heard by us, but caught on audio. Presences were felt throughout the whole weekend here.

3rd Floor- General feelings of presences were very widespread. Shadows were seen with EVP connected to the time. Something was thrown or dropped during the EVP session. Multiple EVP’s caught, and our names were spoken clearly. We ran a high quality microphone ran thru a MAC the entire weekend, and what was caught was beyond explanation. We heard children, a woman calling a dog named Bones, children playing and humming, and talking. These EVPs will be revealed in Sept. as the owner of this audio and equipment, has been very ill. I have heard it personally and it was phenomenal. 3rd floor balcony, Heather and I were out there making sure all equipment was picked up, and we caught an EVP of a little child saying Whoopee! This EVP will be attached to this Document.

Equipment used over the weekend included multiple audio recorders, KII, EMF detector, Thermometers, Motion detector and vibration detection, Studio Mic with Pro Tools and Mac laptop, IR cams, digital cameras, dowsing rods, and personal feeling.

Our experiences at Walking Horse were some of the best we have had. We respect the hotel, and all that reside there. We appreciate your allowing us to come and spend some time together as a team, as well as with the spirits who make the hotel their home. At no point did we feel threatened, in harms way, or uneasy to a possible negative situation or spirit. While feeling presence it was not in our opinion, threatening or malicious, but welcomed us and even said hello to Heather by name. We look forward to coming back and reconnecting with them in September. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions, or concerns. Thanks again Joe, and I will call you this week regarding September!

Prepared by Clare Russell APEX TN

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