Thomas House Hotel in Nashville

Posted by junketseo in Nashville Ghost Tours
Thomas House Hotel in Nashville - Photo

If you’re ever hunting for a location primed for waves of supernatural phenomena and visitors from the great beyond, seek out anywhere that sits on limestone. Geologists will scoff at the notion that limestone can be a conductor of emotions, and they’ll refute that no natural part of the Earth can store and release this energy like pulse waves. Maybe they’re correct, but a historic hotel in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, just over an hour outside of Nashville, may certainly leave many doubting their science. 

Built atop a natural spring, where mineral water rushes over limestone slabs, the Thomas House Hotel has been a hot spot for the paranormal. Years worth of guest reviews on Trip Advisor and Google highlight their encounters with the hotel’s spectral inhabitants, the shadows and imprints of Red Boiling Springs’ tragedies stirred up and distributed in this very spot by the spring. 

The alluring red brick facade of the hotel desperately tries to cover up the suspected murders, heart-rending suicides, and alleged cult activity. Through the main doors, though, an unmistakable heaviness hangs in the air as if weighed down by decades of built-up supernatural energy. 

The hotel’s decorated rooms offer a place to rest amidst adornments that speak to the hotel’s history and fuel the location’s many hauntings. Seemingly untouched by time (but twice devastated by fire), the Thomas House Hotel welcomes its living and dearly departed guests. 


Who haunts the Thomas House Hotel?

It’s said that the spirits of those who died in the hotel have yet to leave. Just who are these spirits that are forever tied to the hotel? Keep reading to find out. For more on Nashville’s most haunted locations, book a Nashville ghost tour with Nashville Ghosts!


The Cloyd Family Constructs Its Legacy


If you dig deep enough into the history behind the Thomas House Hotel, you’ll find it didn’t always sport its current name. The current incarnation isn’t even the original building. That honor went to the Cloyd Brothers Hotel, an 1890s establishment that aimed to take advantage of the influx of visitors looking to benefit from the healing properties of the local mineral spring. 

Brothers Zack and William Clay Cloyd constructed the 18-room, two-story structure that became a focal point of Red Boiling Springs (then Redboiling Springs). Visitors took advantage of the on-site bath house, where they could soak in mineral bath water before exploring the small town’s few amenities. 

The growth was inevitable, with the Cloyd venue and its rival properties drawing attention to Red Boiling Springs. The family hotel was poised to revel in success as the idea of staying amidst the healing springs attracted more and more guests. Unfortunately, even a visit from President Woodrow Wilson couldn’t stop the Cloyd family from losing their property. In 1916, when it simply couldn’t afford to pay its expenses, the Cloyd’s sold to Joseph H. Peters.

Unfortunately for Joseph Peters, the original wooden Cloyd Brothers Hotel wasn’t long for this world. In 1924, the building burned to the ground. The reconstruction included converting the hotel into the red brick motif it’s known for today, adding 36 additional rooms, and expanding the amenities to include a bowling alley, golf course, house orchestra, croquet, and, to the eventual dismay of Dona Ann Cross and Clarence Earl Rush, a swimming pool.


Tragedy Strikes the Hotel 


Records of who may have died or been killed at the hotel haven’t been well kept over the years. However, the drowning of Edin Ward Rush struck the hotel hard, and the pain that Clarence and Dona Ann Rush felt still lingers, making it impossible to forget. The young boy was only seven when he was found lifeless in the pool in front of the property. Could the ghost of what’s believed to be a young girl trapped inside the hotel be that of Edwin Rush, misidentified by the staff who claim to have seen the young spirit playing with a ball? 

Edwin’s tragic passing was just one of many deaths believed to occur on the grounds of the hotel. “Murder” and “suicide” are often whispered by staff looking to add to the mystery and supernatural appeal of the old-fashioned building. Whether they’re real or not doesn’t seem to matter, as many ethereal visitors have made the Thomas House Hotel their new home. 

However, whatever has happened within the walls of the former Cloyd business has left a mark that guests can sense and see—especially those who stay the night in Room 37. 


The Many Ghosts of Room 37


Just about every hotel has that room. The one that staff skirts around and tries their hardest to spend as little time as possible inside. For the Thomas House Hotel, it’s room 37. You can read through mounds of text about the hotel, and you may never find a reason why room 37 is the epicenter of the hotel’s paranormal presence. It just is. 

The ghost of Sarah, the daughter of one of the Cloyd brothers who died unexpectedly in her adolescence, used to stay in room 37 when she was alive. Today, she welcomes guests with a playful attitude. As you doze off to sleep, you may hear a commanding “Play” from the shadows, both a demand and a suggestion to whoever she latches onto.

She’s not the only one enthusiastic about meeting the living, though, and guests can expect to see many ghosts roaming or shifting in the corner of their eyes in room 37, like the guest who allegedly fell off their horse and died in a stream. The occasional childlike laughter or ghostly whistle isn’t uncommon, and neither is waking to a shadow standing at the edge of the bed.

Bedframes shake, dark figures move amongst the shadows, and mysteries remain unsolved, leaving little question as to why CNN ranked the Thomas House Hotel the second “Most Haunted Location in the United States.”


The Final Piece of the Puzzle


Exactly why is the Thomas House Hotel believed to be so haunted? Is it just an unfortunate rash of forgotten and unspoken murders and suicides? Is it the mineral water and limestone carrying the many imprinted memories and tragic events throughout Red Boiling Rock and depositing them at the hotel’s doorstep? Or could there be something else in the property’s past responsible for the spectral stain emanating from all over?

Depending on who you talk to, the darker energy and heavier air within the hotel may be the work of a cult that used to congregate within the brick building. Shortly after a child-friendly summer camp owned the hotel, it changed hands in 1988 to the Anzara Incorporation. Briefly known as the Anzara Hotel, rumors circulated that it was now the site of a religious cult. 

Those rumors seemed substantiated when a guest, Penni Goode Evans, recounted her stay, claiming she witnessed strange people dancing naked in the dining room. What the cult did in the hotel remains a mystery, but one can only fathom the dark rituals that may have stirred a nest of supernatural entities.

Anzara didn’t have its grip on the hotel for long, and in 1992, the corporation folded. Was the damage already done, though, and the hotel left even more active than before? The only answer to that question lies within the Thomas House Hotel itself. 

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