What’s Lies Beneath – Percy Priest Lake

While never more than 30 minutes from a river, lake, waterfall, abandoned quarry or swimming hole; the only (sizable) natural lake in Tennessee is Reelfoot Lake, formed by the 1812 New Madrid earthquake.   To create the other lakes, the property was seized by the State and flooded, leaving behind underwater ghost-towns and the secrets of the people who once lived there…

Tennessee is well known for it’s Body Farm in the outskirts of Knoxville, where students and forensic experts study bodies in various stages of composition to enhance their knowledge of estimating situational time of death.  But before this world-famous Body Farm was another – now mostly buried at the bottom of the Percy Priest Lake just outside of Nashville.

Since the mid 1800’s, Uriah Moreland and his family owned a large farm that lie in the path to be flooded to create part of the Percy Priest Lake.  Rumors around town were that Uriah and his wife Abby practiced black magic rituals in the woods of their property.  Uriah was also famous for his temper and his disappearing farm hands, who had dubbed the place, “the body farm.”

When, in the 1960’s, the Civil Corp of Engineers came to remove Uriah and his family from the property, they found Abby and the children brutally murdered, but no sign of Uriah.

The family graves were moved, and the land flooded but Uriah was never found.  Many people claim to feel a “darkness” on the land at the edge of the lake where the Moreland farm once was, but maybe old Uriah himself is the one still haunting those woods.






  1. Research the community of Old Jefferson. It was supposed to be under water too but is not. Something went wrong and the community was raised but not actually flooded as they had intended. I know there was still sharecropping/peonage going on in the 60’s in this area when the feds showed up and said they were going to flood it for Percy Priest Lake. I think they just wanted to flush the toilet on an area that represented some of the less charming aspects of the Old South. While researching this myself one of the descendants of former Jefferson residents showed me a picture of their old plantation house with the letters KKK carved into the pillars of the front portico. I’ve explored the area beside the Stone’s River that was old Jefferson by canoe and it’s pretty creepy.

  2. Do you have any idea what part of the lake this all occurred on? I live very close and myself as well as the neighbors next to me have been having some frightening experiences.

    1. Kelly not sure about the Old Jefferson being creepy as I have walked the area for many years. I have walked it already in 2017, old Jefferson Rd had a family graveyard removed when the new houses were built on the right side. I can also show you the old trash piles and trail of tears route that went through there. Very cool area!

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