Ghostly Encounter at Nashville's Haunted Belmont Mansion

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During the summer, I was back in Nashville exploring some of the city's haunted sites. I collected a number of great reports from people who have encountered some of music city's numerous ghosts, further proving there’s no end to spooky encounters in the southern city.

One woman sent me the details of her encounter with one of the ghosts of Belmont University, the spirit of Adelicia Hayes.

First, a bit of background on the site:

At the heart of the sprawling Belmont University is the historic Belmont Mansion, built in 1849. The mansion, now a part of the University, was the home of Adelicia Hayes and her family. During her time living in the mansion, Adelicia outlived her first husband, a wealthy businessman, and her second husband, who perished in the civil war. There were other tragedies for Adelicia too. All four of the children from her first marriage died young and twin daughters by her second husband died of scarlet fever.


Although Adelicia moved to Washington D.C. where she died, her body was returned to Nashville for burial. Many people believe her ghost still wanders the halls of the Belmont Mansion, perhaps searching in vain for her long lost children.

Susan, who shared her ghostly encounter with me, had spent a lot of time at Belmont in the early 2000's and it was during this period that she had her own run ins with the spirit of Adelicia. As she reports:

"I was friends with one of the security guards at the time, and he worked in the mansion and on its grounds. He would tell me quite often how the motion detectors would go off in the middle of the night when the building was completely empty. They would investigate of course, and find nothing, and they'd have to reset all the alarms.


A friend of mine had sworn to me that she'd seen the ghost of the woman, Adelicia, right outside the building one night. A ghost that she swore vanished when she was looking at her. I was doubtful and thought maybe she'd just been up to many hours studying, or maybe she'd been drinking or something, but she always swore she'd had nothing to drink and wasn't tired.

Then, one night I was in the main building myself. It really is a beautiful building and there are a lot of items that are original and belonged to the family like furniture and artwork.


I was looking at some of the things when I heard what sounded like a child crying. I knew there were no kids in the building. It didn't sound like a baby, more like a little kid, maybe 5 to 7 years old, crying from being upset or hurt. I only heard it twice then it was as if there was silence beyond what's normal silence.
I felt a chill and the hair went up on the back of my neck. It's like that feeling, you know someone is behind you and it was almost like slow motion, I turned around, and there she was, this woman in an old-fashioned dress. I know my jaw dropped and I felt frozen, just staring at her. It felt like a long time, but I know logically that it was only seconds. She was looking around like she'd heard that kid crying, and she had her left hand up to her face like she was upset. I saw her and then she just faded away! That made the whole thing even scarier!  

I knew right away that I'd seen Adelicia Hayes. Maybe she was looking for one of her kids who had died in the house.


I never doubted my friend again, and in fact, we both had another sighting of the woman when we were together outside the mansion a few months later. We saw her out front and the same thing happened, she just faded away.

I've been convinced since that time that ghost exists and that Adelicia Hayes still stays around the old mansion."


Susan's account is one of many from people who have attended Belmont University or worked at the site. They believe the spirit of Adelicia Hayes remains on the grounds.