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Many say that water can carry the memories of the dead and amplify their voices. Perhaps that’s what is going on along the banks of the Holston River, where the ghost of Rowena Ross still wanders in her wedding gown, or where Kingsport, Tennessee’s very own hellhound still howls in the nearby woods.

Of course, what is most terrifying about this river, besides its dangerous currents and ghostly visitors are the things, both living and dead, that reside under the water of the lakes it flows into. You’ll never think of the waterways of the East Tennessee Appalachians in the same way after you listen to the episode above. Would you swim in these waters, knowing what lies beneath?

The H Files

Welcome to The H Files: a limited-run miniseries where we delve deep into the folklore and science behind ghostly sightings and urban legends. This series began September 1 and will run every other Tuesday until November. If you would like to discuss anything you hear on the episode, please reach out to us in our Facebook Group or through Instagram. And, as always, if you have something you’d like to contribute to the show, please submit it for consideration.


Rotherwood Mansion

Primary source: Becky’s own memories of East Tennessee legends and folklore, dispensed during her youth in Kingsport, TN.

Ghost Energy
Becky picked up this lovely little book right as it was published.

Price, Charles Edwin. Haints, Witches, and Boogers: Tales from Upper East Tennessee. Winston-Salem, Blair. 1992

Justus, Anthony. “Rotherwood: House of Hell.” Haunted Spots Library. https://hauntedspotslibrary.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/rotherwood-house-of-hell/. Accessed 20 September, 2020.

Wright, Laura. “The Phipps Come to Rotherwood.” Virginia Creeper: The Appalachian History and Folklore Magazine. https://vacreeper.com/phipps-come-rotherwood/. Accessed 22 September, 2020.

Scoggins, Katherine. “History on Display at Rotherwood’s Bicentennial Celebration.” Kingsport Times News. https://www.timesnews.net/news/local-news/history-on-display-at-rotherwoods-bicentennial-celebration/article_97c287ca-f63d-56bf-9dd8-087b32cb7661.html. Accessed 23 September, 2020.

Things Living in Lakes

Price, Charles Edwin. Demon in the Woods: Tall Tales and True from East Tennessee. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press. 1992.

Until next time, have a spooky day!