masons

Tate’s Lane Cemetery and Ghost Railroad

Tates Lane and Pet Cemetery (33)

So, technically the cemetery is called the Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens, but I don’t know anyone who refers to it by anything other than Tate’s Lane Cemetery.  The main entrance is actually one street down from Tate’s Lane on Caldwell, but it is on the Tate farm original property.

To get to the cemetery, you must first cross the railroad tracks, which at the time when I was in high school, were used infrequently by the 137 mile line of the Nashville & Eastern railroad based out of Lebanon, TN. It was originally a part of Jere Baxter’s Tennessee Central line which went out of business in 1968 and was left abandoned (has  served as the commuter rail from Lebanon to Nashville, the Music City Star since 2006).  It was in the 1960’s where the haunted rails stories began.  Before the railroad was reestablished as the Nashville & Eastern line, stories began to circulate that cars would just die when passing over the tracks on the way into the cemetery, not leaving the driver enough time to get out before the fatal clash with the oncoming train.

Tates Lane and Pet Cemetery (73)

As if the threat of instant death wasn’t enough, the cemetery was, and probably still is, associated with Satanic and Masonic rituals (there are an incredible amount of Masons buried there- just look for the compass, anchors, beehives, clasped hands, crown and cross, double headed eagle, triangle with an eye, father time and a weeping virgin, hand holding heart, keystone with letters HTWSSTKS, a five pointed start, a snake and cross, and pretty much any other symbol on a gravestone).

In the 1990’s, many of the graves were defaced and some stolen.  There were so many problems with people vandalizing a large Jesus statue, that the statue is no longer there, only the platform on which he once stood.

Tates Lane and Pet Cemetery (50)

 

 

 

 

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Voodoo Village

Would you believe that there’s a place outside of Memphis where shrunken heads sit atop a spiked fence, a haunted school bus comes ‘alive’ to trap all who enter, and where screams of children echo through the woods?

Yeah, me neither.  However, stories come from somewhere and Voodoo Village is in fact very real.

Located in South Memphis, it is still surrounded by wilderness.  A man named Washington (Wash) Harris shut off his home and community with a fence and a huge iron gate in the 1950’s, allegedly to practice “dark arts.”

People became curious about the property because of the yard art and symbols everywhere.  Story goes that the compound actually did block nosy people from exiting with a school bus and many people have been chased away by machetes or worse.

There is a folk-art temple, named St. Paul’s Spiritual Temple, that is visible from the road covered with voodoo dolls, candles, moons, crosses and Masonic symbols.  Neighbors would talk about ceremonies with large bonfires, speaking in tongues and gulp; the walking dead.  Harris denies practicing voodoo, yet never discloses what is really going on behind the gate.

There are lots of accounts from visitors to the compound on the Facebook page here.  It is made pretty clear that these people just want to be left alone, by any means necessary…

Tate’s Lane – Haunted Mt. Juliet

Mt.  Juliet, Tennessee is a bedroom community in the suburbs of Nashville.  It was originally farm land, but grew quickly after the 1929 Great Depression where the people established schools, churches (in abundance), and locally owned businesses. The “feel” of the old Mt. Juliet is all but gone, except in a couple of places; the pig farm on Hwy 70 that stands in the middle of endless shopping centers and urban sprawl, and Tate’s Lane.

Tate’s Lane is a one lane, incredibly narrow forest road lined with tall trees, so that if you meet an oncoming car one of you has to back up until the other can pass. There are all sorts of tales about mysterious things happening on the property, like if two cars crash head on they can enter another universe, and the ghost victim of a duel with Andrew Jackson who wanders around but none more widely known that what we call “the curse.”

The lane begins at the Masonic Temple, and ends at a Baptist Church. These facts alone give me the serious creeps, but the history of the property adds some insight as to who – or what – might be hanging out around there.

W.N. Tate was a civil war hero who fought in 37 battles.  He returned home to Mt. Juliet, married Allie Cawthon and the two built a home on a large farm on Tate’s Lane.  The story I was told, shivering in the dark in the Tate family cemetery on a Halloween long ago, was that W.N. was a brutal slave master, and that there was an area of the property on the South end of Tate’s Lane where he hung the slaves who disobeyed him.  The slaves were still practicing witchcraft and one of the slaves placed a curse on the land that it would claim the lives of 100 white men each year for eternity.

Rumor is that the Masonic Temple has satanic cult rituals and the KKK meet up in the woods, but one thing is for certain; Tate’s Lane is responsible for over 100 accidents per year still to this day.