2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
Opened in 1977 on Thanksgiving day, the Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of Nashville, Tennessee's most luxurious hotels, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities to enjoy. But opulence and entertainment are not all there is to look forward to in this nine-acre resort.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of the most haunted tourist attractions in Music City.
For a fairly new construction, this hotel sure has a lot of spirits! A quick internet search will unearth some of the many encounters guests have had with the "Lady in Black" as well as other specters they can't quite identify.
The overwhelming number of people running into ghosts makes this hotel a go-to for those looking to have a guaranteed paranormal experience.
Perhaps the most famous ghost to call Opryland home, the "Lady in Black" is believed to be the same woman that haunts the nearby Two Rivers Mansion.
According to legend, the mystified woman is Mrs. McGavock, whose family owned the land the hotel stands on. As it turns out, the McGavocks owned 1100 acres of land in Nashville, so it's no surprise that a large portion of the city was built on their property.
As the name suggests, the apparition wears a full black Antebellum-style gown. She has been spotted throughout the hotel: in rooms, in the halls, at the top of different stairwells; this lady is everywhere.
Resort employees, especially those who worked there during the '90s have detailed their spine-chilling experiences after coming face to face with the long-deceased woman. And there are plenty of tales to tell.
One man remembers his time at Opryland “back in the day.” He managed a store that remained open until midnight, much later than most of the other establishments. Normally, he left around 2:00 a.m., after stocking and finishing up paperwork for the night.
On one particular night, he looked up as he was walking out and saw the blurred image of a woman atop a staircase. The woman was dressed in what he described as "customary during the Civil War era."
Aware this was an apparition yet wanting to remain calm he said "good evening ma'am," and she disappeared. He has wondered what happened that night and why she showed herself to him ever since.
One woman, who stayed at the hotel when she was nine years old, recalls waking up at precisely 3:00 a.m. every night.
She swore that upon opening her eyes, she saw the "Lady in Black" standing over her, watching her sleep. She described being scared; however, she didn't feel threatened.
Others claim to have experienced something similar, waking up in the middle of the night. They remember being startled out of slumber, after hearing a woman whisper in their ears.
Another former employee, hired in 1995, recounts how during orientation he was told about the "Lady in Black" and how she sometimes changed into a red getup. He said that one night he entered the elevator and found a group of people inside, visibly freaking out over something they'd just seen.
Eventually, the group told the employee that when they went into the elevator, there was a woman inside. They nervously added that as soon as the elevator doors shut, she disappeared. The employee jokingly asked, "was she wearing red?" Imagine his surprise when the group in unison replied, "yes!"
But this Antebellum-era woman is not the only specter believed to walk the halls in the afterlife, there are other far more menacing entities roaming the hotel.
Other paranormal accounts include hearing someone running on the roof, especially from guests who are staying on the top floor.
Guests have also reported feeling an unbearable weight on top of them and something breathing down their neck while they sleep. One woman, in particular, was so shaken by this, she decided to wake her husband. He, of course, dismissed the situation and blamed the spicy food they had eaten that evening.
On a playful note, the ghosts that call Opryland Resort home are often to blame for anything that goes wrong during daily operations. If your beer is warm, it's likely because Mrs. McGavock unplugged the cooler.
The Opryland Resort was built as a response to the demand for luxury accommodations in Nashville.
Since the 1920s the radio broadcast known as the Grand Ole Opry, had been making country music famous and every singer/songwriter of the genre wanted to be a part of it. Given the show's success, developers dreamed up a place for country music fans and their families to let their hair down. And what better place to do this than a theme park. They got to work, and in the 1970s, Opryland USA opened its gates right next to the Grand Ole Opry House.
The theme park and radio show were attracting tourists from all over the country to the city, so the next obvious step was to build a hotel for them to stay in. And thus in 1977, the Opryland Resort was born.
Throughout the years, the hotel has undergone significant expansions and renovations, even rebranding itself as the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Today, the vast resort features, a convention center, waterpark, ballrooms, an indoor river, Antebellum-style mansions, restaurants, and much more.
The hotel suffered significant water damage in May 2010, after water from the nearby Cumberland River rose and flooded the building. Guests were evacuated with some parts of the hotel buried under 10 feet of water. After extensive renovations, the hotel reopened later the same year.
Thankfully for us, even a massive flood couldn't clean out the spirits of the Gaylord Opryland Resort. If anything, it riled them up.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is a Marriott International 4-star hotel, open for reservations. When visiting the hotel without a reservation, please be mindful of guests and note that the lobby is not a public space.