Granny White Grave – A Heart Beats On
A story from Nashville Haunted Handbook
The Story of Granny White
Early in 1743, nearly 270 years ago, Granny White was born in North Carolina. Her early life was quite normal for a woman from that area and time. She married a man named Zachariah, had children, and lived happily. Things began to change when her husband was killed at the Battle of the Bluffs in 1781. Granny White, then named Lucy White, was left without money. Things compounded when her son died, leaving her two grandchildren, Thomas and Willis, orphaned. In 1801, the State of North Carolina declared that she was unfit to care for her two grandchildren, so she took them with her and moved to Tennessee, settling on the land where the Inns of Granny White sit today.
In order to make enough money to care for her small family, she used the culinary skills that she had developed earlier in her life. She set up an inn and a restaurant that quickly became popular with the weary men who had just traversed the Natchez Trace, which ended four miles from her property. Her ingenuity and business savvy allowed her and her grandchildren to survive. Granny White eventually passed away in 1816 and was buried on her property. The nearby road leading into Nashville was named after her.
Ghost story of Granny White Grave
The spirit of Granny White lives on despite the fact that she has been dead for almost 200 years. While her memory may have inspired many older people never to give up, in a more literal sense people have encountered the actual spirit of Granny White even today.
The story goes that if you were to approach the grave of Granny White at any time of the day or night, you will experience this ghost. Her ghost takes the form of a simple sound. If you stand near the grave, you will supposedly be able to hear the sound of a heartbeat coming from the ground. Sometimes, if you’re standing close enough, you can even feel that beating heart through the ground. Granny White’s story speaks of an unwillingness to give up despite age and adversity. Perhaps her will still hasn’t given out and her heart continues to beat audibly to this day.
Visiting the Granny White Grave
The grave itself is fenced off, but you can still walk close enough to experience its unique ghost. This area near the grave where the ghostly heartbeat can be heard does not close at night. If you want to experience the added creepiness of approaching the grave after dark, there is nothing to stop you from doing so.
This doesn’t mean that the ghostly heartbeat will only manifest at night. You are more than able to approach the grave during the day as well. Just stand there for a few moments being as still as you can. Most people who try this will eventually hear the sounds of her heart still beating beneath the ground.
Directions to Granny White’s Grave
The grave is located at Travelers Ridge Drive and Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN 37220. This strange location is about 5 miles outside of downtown Nashville. Simply take 12th Avenue South from the city. After a couple miles, the road changes its name to Granny White Pike. Follow the same road for another 2.5 to 3 miles until you see Travelers Ridge Drive on your left by the sign that says “Inns of Granny White.” The grave itself is fenced off at the front of the subdivision.
For more spooky stories check out the Nashville Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garret Merk and Donna Marsh.