Our Hainted Loves ask, and we deliver! Some of you have been asking us to reveal more spooky secrets about incredibly haunted Appalachia. So enjoy these true ghost stories about the hauntings of Jonesborough, Tennessee. Today, we speak with Anne, program Director of the McKinney Center and also an author and playwright. We chat about her experiences at work, in private homes, and with SRS Paranormal. Join us on this journey to Tennessee’s oldest European-settled town to hear about the 1840s Duncan house, the 1797 Chester Inn, way too much cholera, and a house that comes with a rocking chair that you absolutely must not move. And enjoy the Season 6 premier of Homespun Haints!

About the Guest: Anne Mason of Jonesborough, TN

Anne G’Fellers-Mason is the current program director of the McKinney House, formerly with the Heritage Alliance of of Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia. She co-authored the book Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia, available on Amazon. She’s even familiar with Woolly Days, featured in Becky’s hilarious childhood summer camp story, Magic in Appalachia (or Shearer Terror). In this interview she shares true ghost stories about several haunted locations in and around Jonesborough, TN.

Anne Mason, Program Director of the McKinney House in haunted Jonesborough, Tennessee, shares ghost stories from Jonesborough
Anne G’Fellers Mason, Program Director, McKinney House

Haunted Places In Jonesborough Mentioned in Anne’s Ghost Stories

The Chester Inn

The Chester Inn is a historic site housing the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. It’s also the oldest commercial building in Jonesborough, built in 1797. It is now a museum that offers tours to the public. But it was once a haunted apartment building that Anne’s grandparents lived in.

The inn has a spooky reputation, attracting the attention of paranormal investigators. The inn has been the subject of several paranormal investigations. These include events open to the public where participants can join in the investigation led by professional teams.

Aerial View of Jonesborough, Tennessee. Photo by mandritoiu, Adobe Stock

The McKinney House

This current art museum started its life as a segregated schoolhouse: the historic Booker T. Washington School (not the one Diana is an alumnus of), which was built in 1939. In 2010, the Town of Jonesborough decided to restore the school. Today, it houses the Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts and is also available for special events.

The transformation of the McKinney Center into a community arts center marks an important part of Jonesborough history. For more information, you can visit the Town of Jonesborough website.

Duncan House

The Duncan House was built in the 1840s. It is a historic site that now houses the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Alliance preserves the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of the region. For more information, you can explore the Washington County, Tennessee Department of Records Management and Archives website here.

Anne heard footsteps on the stairs for years while working in this grand old house. Then, they mysteriously stopped. Did the spirit move on, or did he just decide to stay downstairs from then on?

The Mars Hill Theater (not in Jonesborough)

The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART) is the professional theatre company of Owen Theatre in Mars Hill, North Carolina. This theatre produces a range of plays since 1974, many of which highlight the heritage of Southern Appalachia.

Anne helped SRS Paranormal investigate this haunted theater. For more information about the theater and its productions, you can visit the SART website.

Jonesborough Stories About Ghosts and Graveyards

A Play in the Graveyard

Anne wrote an original, research-based play called “A Spot on the Hill.” Fascinatingly, you can watch it in the Old Jonesborough haunted cemetery every October. This theatrical experience narrates the stories of individuals interred in the cemetery, how they came to Jonesborough, and their fates.

The play is presented among the headstones of the actual cemetery, providing an immersive, spooky, and historically rich experience. The proceeds from ticket sales are used for tombstone restoration and preservation in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery. For more information and ticket details, you can visit the Heritage Alliance website.

The Jonesborough Cholera Pit

Anne tells us of a new development in old history. Just last year, a significant historical discovery was made by cemetery volunteer “Graveyard” Gordon Edwards. Edwards used GPR technology to locate a long-rumored mass grave from the cholera epidemic of 1873. This epidemic claimed around 35 residents of Jonesborough in a span of a month. Edwards’ research on the victims led him to a specific section of the Old Jonesborough Cemetery. His findings suggest the presence of a mass grave, potentially containing 15-20 individuals.

This discovery is an important piece in understanding the town’s history and the impact of the cholera epidemic. The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia provides more details on this discovery on their website.

Do you work in a haunted historical building?

We still believe that working in a haunted place is the best way to reliably encounter a spirit. Even if you never hear or see them, you can be sure the ghosts are constantly gossiping about you. And like Anne, maybe say “hi” to the spirits when you get to work every day, just in case. You never know who you’ll inspire to have a spooky day!