Haunted Red Ash in Caryville,TN

Haunted Red Ash Coal Towers, Caryville, TN | May 2, 2010

Every rural town in the South could have a haunted legend attached to it. But some places fit the description a little more than others. In Caryville, TN there is such a place, an 8-10 mile stretch of road that once ran through a mining town, known to some as “Red Ash”. It is easily found on the map as Old Highway 63.  There are many tales of death and haunting along this road. There is even the frequent report of an 8 foot tall Goat-man with a pentagram carved in his forehead. As far -fetched as that description is, I want to share a few of our experiences after I summarize the legend of Red Ash.  We have a few interesting pictures & noise clips after this brief summary.

Many sightings of paranormal phenomena have been reported at the cemetery, known as Red Ash Cemetery, the official name is Turley Cemetery, as well as on the rail road tracks and at the creek. There is a somewhat isolated coal stack on one side of the road, where occult groups & vandals have written graffiti, trashed the place up & performed satanic rituals, offering animal sacrifices. Someone mentioned finding the mutilated & mummified corpse of a dog hung on the wall.  We didn’t see anything like that.

At the depot people have reported furniture or objects moving when no one is inside. My question is, did they see this, or hear it? We have a photo that reveals a blurry shape in the window, even after zooming up on the window I can’t tell what is standing there. I can safely say that we have visited a few times and have many pictures & video of the place, but there is not an object in the window each time.

Many have seen the spirit of a female wandering the train tracks. Which female ghost are they seeing? Was it the young girl killed by a train on the tracks?  Or could it be the sad spirit of the pregnant lady murdered on the iron bridge? We have pictures of a mysterious light orb in motion at the train bridge, (it was not a plane, it was not an insect, I have plenty of pix of those things in my collection after visiting dozens of places, and I think I know the difference.) Also, I read somewhere that a mother drowned two young children in the creek, and people have reported hearing children crying around the creek around 1:00-1:30 am in most cases.

One ghost sighting of interest is the one of an apparition of a worker who fell to his death from a coal tower more than 50 years ago. We parked near the area where we believed that happened and moments after I stepped from my vehicle I thought I heard a “wail” or a “scream”, it was not shrill like a female. At this location we also have a picture of something in an upright, human shape, yet it doesn’t possess a human appearance. It can vaguely be seen coming out of the brush & foliage, and it appears to have a bright red dot in the middle of it. Could it be  matrixing, my mind creating a shape out of nothing? Coupled with odd noises & a feeling that something was with us, I believe it could be something paranormal indeed.

There are also reports of phantom trains, people have seen it and others have only heard one. For a long while the train tracks were not used, but the tracks were definitely in use one of the nights we visited, as a train was parked along the railway the entire time we were there. Oddly enough though, we heard one in motion, but the train we saw sat there the entire hour plus that we visited.

The gated grave at Turley Cemetery is the one the red furred goat-man and hell hounds are supposed to defend. Many people report  bad feelings, glowing lights, strange noises & even a few people remark they’ve been chased out of the cemetery by unknown forces. When trying to escape, some visitors have reported seeing hovering, transparent blue lights as wide as ten feet slowing their descent, When we left the stretch of road known as Red Ash, my husband saw hovering, transparent blue lights; he asked if I saw them, and indeed for a moment I glimpsed a ball of light blue hovering off of the ground, it was hard to focus on and before I could evaluate what I was looking at, it was gone.

In my opinion, I think there is a small possibility of paranormal phenomena along the road and near the coal towers. I also believe that the many attempts to perform sacrifices & rituals, or to communicate with spirits, people have sent out an open invitation for spirits, good & evil to visit the area and perhaps call it home.  As for a goat-man, well I do not believe in this creature, nor do I believe that there have been so many murders/suicides in that one area, as I have spent countless hours researching Red Ash trying to validate the possible haunting.

I welcome any & all comments regarding personal experiences out in Red Ash. Specifically documented verification  of anything paranormal, or regarding murders/suicides there. I find this area very interesting, and would like to include it in a book of local haunted locations , if I can get enough proof to substantiate it.

Comment here or check out the many haunted locations in the SouthEast we’ve explored at: http://www.paranormalspectrum.com

For the video of Red Ash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RISKI-sZO-Q

One of our team members uploaded 2 NEW videos of  Red Ash. Watch this one of November 6th 2010 and then you should be able to find his first one from halloween night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soQUi6Szpz0

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31 Comments »

  1. You said you would like comments on suicides, murders, etc. I have some info that you can easily follow up on the murder of what you called the “pregnant lady murdered on the iron bridge.” It was actually a young girl. Her name was Judy Tidwell and she was 14 or maybe 15 yrs. old and she was pregnant. Her mother and father’s names were Woodrow (Woody) & Rose Tidwell. Her father is now deceased. The last residence that I know of for the mother was in Valley View Estates across from the Valley View School in Campbell Co. She also had a sister named Tina Tidwell and a brother named Woodrow (Woody) Tidwell. She also had a older half-brother that lived in GA. but I can’t remember his name. She was murdered approx. 26 yrs. ago. Her body was saw and reported by an engineer on the train. She was laying face down in the creek. There is a man serving time in prison for this murder. You should be able to verify this by checking the archives at The LaFollette Press. You could also verify this by most any of the locals that lived in Campbell Co. at that time. This is a small town and this was something horrific to happen at the time. It was the talk of the town for a long time.

    Comment by Rita Bowling — June 28, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    • Thanks, Rita. I will check into the info you provided, and it will help us with the research of this place. It also helps me share such information with visitors to my main website at http://www.paranormalspectrum.com. It is unfortunate what happened to Judy Tidwell. Perhaps I will visit the creek along the tracks, where an engineer could see a body, and check for emf readings and do a little poking around there.

      Comment by instantescape — June 29, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  2. yes this did happen to judy she was my best friend and it was at the swimming whole i think i was supposed to go with her that day but my mom wouldnt let me stay the nite think God but i have the clipping from the press here somewhere they was more people involved but it didnt come out and the others r still free but God will get them and judys mom passed a few wks.ago if u wont info her brother woddy still lives here… i took a friend up there to swim and she had a vison of her and she didnt even no her or about her she had to leave it was so strong judy would have lived if they wouldnt have put her in the creek and yes she was pregant by the boy that is in prison

    Comment by joanie — July 17, 2010 @ 1:15 am

  3. I truly appreciate all comments. And if anyone with such experiences would like to be interviewed to be included in our upcoming book and videos, contact me. Just visit my website http://www.paranormalspectrum.com and use the contact button. We can’t pay anyone, and wouldn’t offer that anyway, as it might increase the possibility of fraudulent claims. Confidentiality can be observed, we can use first names only, or even blur the faces if you wish to remain anonymous. It would be cool though to meet with some people who truly know firt hand about this very intriguing place. Thanks Tama

    Comment by Tammy Poore — November 2, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  4. I would like to add one more thing to the story about Judy Tidwell. I only saw her a few times before her death but this young girl was not just pretty, she was an amazingly beautiful young girl. She had medium length, black, silky hair when I saw her. She also had a body shape that most 18 yr. olds would be jealous of. Just wanted to let you know what she looked like in case you saw an apparition and wondered if it were her.

    Comment by Rita Bowling — November 10, 2010 @ 5:06 am

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  6. I am from LaFollette TN. Red Ash is the place where all the brave teens go to check out the rumored hauntings but few ever are brave enough to go back. its very unusual to go there without experiencing some form of paranormal activity. It is very haunted and very real. I have been there one time and have not had the urge to go back anytime soon. I have heard many stories of people being pushed by an unknown force and the feeling of being pursued. these things happen day and night. Even if you are a nonbeliever, no one can deny the feeling an unknown presence there. Its very creepy. The key is to not let your imagination get the best of you. Red Ash is indeed haunted but dont let the sound of a branch breaking get you all wound up. I do however recommend that you go with a group. It is not wise to experience this place alone. Not all of the experiences have been good ones and not all of the spirits are friendly.

    Comment by julia st.cyr — February 11, 2011 @ 2:35 am

  7. im from lake city and my dad is an avid hunter so one day last fall he asked me to go with him so I decided to tag along with him on one of his deer hunts. this was way before i had ever heard of the red ash area being haunted. we parked the truck on the side of the road near the towers, my dad gave me a 2 way radio and proceeded to walk about 250 yards down the road and i took my spot about 50 yards from the vehicle on the other side of the road in the woods facing down the ridge, i had been sitting there for about 10 or 15 minutes when i hear a noise on the road above and behind me to the left. it sounded like someone dragging a shovel along the gravel road, so i call my dad on the 2 way to confirm his position and hes still 250 yards down the road. so i dismiss it as nothing and continue to sit. about 10 minutes later i here the same noise but this time its directly behind me, so i radio dad again and hes still down the road so i get up and walk up to the road to see who or what was making the noise and sure enough nothing was there i also had the feeling of being stared at or watched the entire time i was there

    Comment by Jacob — October 13, 2011 @ 3:20 am

  8. i happen to be one of those crazy teens well when i was that had went with an old boyfriend and some others to hang out one night and it was any thing but fun.there was about 5 of us we had only been there maybe 10 min and had heard growling close ut seen no aniamals.then as walking to the tower we went to walk up across to the other and feelt shaking then what looked like a man standing on top then a scream and nothing it was gone i hae heard alot of other stories a good friends that have also dared to go

    Comment by dannygrl — October 15, 2011 @ 3:32 am

    • I believe a lot of the growls and screams that people hear up there are from Panthers, Cougars, Lynx, or whatever you want to call them. There used to be a lot of them around there and I’ve heard from many hunters that there’s quite a population of them again especially around Royal Blue.

      Comment by Rita Bowling — April 10, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  9. I’m in my 50s and I like to go there in the day time. It is a quiet place to think and reflect. The only thing I found up there was a dog someone had sat out (about 12 years ago). I still have the dog – she is a good watch dog.

    Comment by Connie — October 18, 2011 @ 1:14 am

  10. My name is Sean Purdom. I actually have an image forming from the woods and another picture of a graveyard that seems to be streaming with ectoplasm. My pictures from Red Ash can be seen here.

    On the picture above, you can clearly zoom in and see an alien head or a skull type of figure in the dark woods. This was taken from the road. This isn’t anything small. My camera was aiming straight into the darkness of the woods, not up into trees or down towards the ground. Up close, this would have been human sized.

    This is an utmost remarkable picture. It’s amazing.

    Comment by sean purdom — October 22, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    • Thank you for sharing these links. I looked at both pictures and they are indeed very interesting. We have visited “Red Ash” so many times and have captured “wicked” mist and shapes via camcorder and camera. Amazing place.

      Comment by instantescape — October 26, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  11. I agree. I went last week again but with nothing at all. There was quite a bit of traffic as well so maybe everything “dead” was hiding. haha. But i have plenty of crazy and haunting stories from Red Ash. It’s a place i’m so drawn to. I can’t stop going.

    Comment by sean purdom — October 28, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  12. would love to know how to get the news paper article of judy tidwell murder. and the spot her body was found. i have gifts i was born with. would like to try using them.

    Comment by anthony bolinger — November 9, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    • Just call the LaFollette Press and ask about how you access their archives from 26 yrs. ago. You also might want to mention the article you’re interested in. They might be able to help you even more. The article would be anything to do with the murder of Judy Tidwell. The murder trial was also covered by the 3 major T.V, stations in Knoxville. They are channel 6, 8, & 10 or WATE, WBIR, and WVLT. I believe they also covered her murder when it happened.

      Comment by Rita Bowling — April 10, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  13. People also need to be very careful about going to turley cemetery in Red Ash. Me and a couple of my girl pals went one night. And ran into four guys cooking meth. And one gave us a very evil look that would make your soul go cold. Thank god we wasn’t harmed. I just know we got out of there as fast as we could. And alot of cell phones don’t have service in that area. So be careful. And take alot of people with you all. That will stand and fight to survive if they have to..

    Comment by anthony bolinger — November 9, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  14. I have been to red ash countless times and like the guy above me I feel like im drawn to it.There is a mystery about that place that makes you feel terrified but at home at the same time.There are strange things that happen out there,ive seen pentagrams drawn on the floors with sulfar salt and blood in the middle of it.I would love to tell you all the stories i have about the place but i dont have all day.But if you would like to hear some of these stories you can email me.If you would like to go to red ash i can also take you.

    Comment by Tyler — November 10, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  15. yeah judy tidwell is my best friend’s sister . an i remember seeing a picture of her. and she was so so beautiful . bless her little heart.

    Comment by bre — December 12, 2011 @ 1:02 am

  16. an i heard from her younger sister she was never pregant . so i dont know .

    Comment by bre — December 12, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  17. I live here in Campbell county and I have been back thru red ash and I agree something is back there. I felt an unwanted presence once we passed the church. But we kept going. My friend, my girlfriend, and myself felt like something was with us or (attached) the entire time. This is a great place to hunt for paranormal activity. If u can, go to Norris dam and walk the trail on the right side of the dam entrance with the road leading to the campgrounds on the right the trail is between the dam entrance and the road leading to the campgrounds. My friend’s family and I had a terrifying experience. We believe satanic rituals were held back there and whatever stays back there is a demon or an evil spirit of some sort. It was nice reading it web page.

    Comment by Jordan — February 27, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  18. Tyler i couldnt had said it better, there is a mystery,you feel terrified but at home.My dad was borned and raised at Turley,his dad worked the coal mines,i was raised in Royal Blue by the church with my dad,brother,and grandmother,we have alot of family and friends buried at the Turley Cematary,my dad has old pictures of his grandparents at their house right there in front of the cematary,and also pictures of him when he was little,we had family that lived all down 63,i loved that i growed up in that mtn where we could just jump in the jeep and hit the woods,my dad would tell so many stories of growing up there and some things he would hear at night (and still does)Was the girl Judy Tidwell the girl that was took from the park to 63?Im not sure if the twin towers where the man feel was at the coal station that is there now,along time ago there was a another coal tower,if you were going to Turley its the clearing about ahalf a mile before elec. station they use to bring coal off that mtn. across the road on a convayer belt to the train track,again im not sure but maybe fun to check out,we were hiking there the other day and maybe some good camping spots,but there is something that keep drawing people back

    Comment by Eva — March 8, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    • Yes, Eva and Tyler, I agree with both of you about the feeling you get at Red Ash. I always thought that I felt at home there because that is where my father was raised also and his father (my grandfather) worked in the mines at Royal Blue as an electrician. I also had a lot of friends and family that lived there and some of my family lived there till their death. Some of them are buried at Turley Cemetary. Eva, I would say that you knew my Dad and probably a lot of my people but most of them are deceased now.

      I wanted to reply to your question about Judy Tidwell. As far as I know there was never any connection with her and the park. I know a lot of people that were questioned by the police about the murder and some of those were the last people to talk to her alive. The last known place that she was seen alive was at her father’s (Woody Tidwell) place of business. He owned an Arcade next to the Corner Market in downtown LaFollette. Something different may have come out in the murder trial but I just don’t remember for sure, it’s been so long.

      I also agree with you about the Twin Towers, where the man fell from, being the one at the coal station that is there now. I believe that it happened at the older one some of my older family members used to talk about it and about the “haint” ( the word the old folks used that meant haunt) they said that still roamed the place where he fell from.

      Comment by Rita Bowling — April 10, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  19. I woulld love to go to red ash ive never been and i hear its pretty haunted im interested in going.

    Comment by Miranda — March 14, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  20. I would like to go to red ash ive never been i heard it was haunted and im a type of believe it when i see it girls.

    Comment by Miranda — March 14, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  21. I’ve been going to red ash for years and have seen many weird things. Me and a friend have seen a orb floating 3ft above a stop sign. Another time I was with a group of friends at the cemetery and me and another guy seen a dark shadow walk close to the woods to the left and when we looked again it was gone. I’ve heard of people playing with a wegi board and nothing happened but as they left goin down the road the girl in the back holding the board on one side of the car suddenly flew out of her hands and hit another girl sitting on the other far side. I believe its haunted cause I’ve seen things there. I love that place.

    Comment by Craig — March 18, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    • If you like Red Ash you should check out my latest book which has earned a chapter and some subchapters in it. Its titled Chasing Ghost Tales in Tennessee and we saw and filmed a floating, hovering ghost light. Thanks for sharing.

      Comment by instantescape — April 9, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

      • I would love to buy and read your book! I’m sure after I was finished it would be well worn from front to back cover! Please advise us where we can buy this book and how much it is so I can start saving for it now!

        Comment by Rita Bowling — April 10, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  22. I’ve been to Red Ash, TN. This place is haunted. I’ve been hit by unknown objects that leaves bruises. I have video recordings of the phantom or ghost train. All you can see is the red fireballs coming out of the top, and the sounds. It has glowing red orb that sits in the conductor seat. Ive hit the half goat half man figure with my car, my car had dents in it like a huff print. And we seen it through the sun roof, walking over top of the car. There is also a woman in a bloody dress that has chased us on our 4 wheeler. We have tried to find her again in a vechile and can’t. The equipment at the station will be moving at night with no one in them. There is also a ghost that will tell to go the old mine, we went up there on 4 wheelers one night and the old mine had several human shaped figures standing outside the filled in mine. I’ve been chased by a car that was not even there. We have seen blood seeping from the rocks and road way on red ash. We have seen something under the bridge up there washing thier clothes and the water wil turn blood red. I WOULD NOT RECOMEND going up there at night by yourself. I’m up there on a weekly basis either ghost hunting or 4 wheelin and i’veseen alot of stuff. I was at Royal Blue this past Thursaday night and my 4 wheeler kept shutting off and then a few seconds later it would start up again. Then about 10 minutes later we seen frogs jumpin next to the 4 wheeler and the all of a sudden i was havin rocks thrown at me from the bushes. Both red ash and royal blue have had some ghost reportings.
    And the twin coal towers is not were the guy jumped from he jumped from the old towers.

    Comment by Spears and Mounce — June 18, 2012 @ 3:42 am

  23. I recently went to Red Ash with a couple of buddies, no strange feelings at all. The only thing we learned from our trip was that the picture of the figure you have in the depot is merely a cardboard cutout. For proof, click the following link.

    Comment by Shane Andrews — June 26, 2012 @ 3:26 am

    • If this is true thanks for sharing. We are always glad when we get additional answers.

      Comment by instantescape — August 27, 2012 @ 8:02 pm


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About author

A paranormal enthusiast, with many paranormal experiences to share. A published author, hairstylist, former real estate agent and mother of 2. Reaching for more than the average life.

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