1001 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
Once a buzzing terminal in Nashville, Tennessee, Union Station has seen many changes throughout the years. During World War II, the train station was used as a shipping-out point for soldiers. Following a significant decline and rapid deterioration after being vacant, the space has been revitalized as a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city. Today, the landmark combines a historic structure with a contemporary interior, giving spirits in the afterlife a place to call home.
If you’re interested in Nashville’s paranormal, you’ve probably heard the story of Abigail and her beloved soldier. As with any folk tale, there are some natural variations. But there is one version that stuck, which is arguably the most tragic of all.
During World War II, 20-year-old Abigail said goodbye to her beau at Union Station before he left for France. While standing on the platform, she promised she would be waiting for him in the same spot when the war was over. After the war, she returned to the station only to find out that he had been killed while in Europe. Abigail was so heartbroken that she threw herself in front of a moving train.
In an article written by Todd Atteberry titled Haunted Hotels in Nashville, TN: Union Station Hotel, the author dives even deeper into the ghost story.
Apparently, a woman having a smoke out on the hotel’s old platform, witnessed a woman dressed in vintage clothing. Without taking her eyes off the mysterious woman, she continues to smoke. The woman disappeared for a few seconds, only to reappear, hop over the rail, and drop onto the tracks - which were several feet below. The woman is hysterical, thinking she just witnessed someone jump to their death, but when she looked over, there was no one. All she saw down on the tracks was a man in uniform, waiting for someone. It is said that the man is the ghost of the U.S. soldier, who returned to the terminal to find Abigail.
The spirit of Abigail and the soldier are believed to be stuck on a loop. She jumps to her death and he arrives only seconds after, but they always miss each other.
Abigail’s story has been used to justify the strange noises and eerie feelings guests experience while staying in room 711. It would seem, however, that - at least in this room - we are dealing with a completely different ghost.
Guests staying in this room claim they have heard strange noises such as phones ringing, lights flickering and stomping on the roof - as if someone is walking on the top floor. The catch is, room 711 is the top floor. It was once the building’s attic, but when the hotel was being built, it was transformed into additional rooms.
People also describe hearing what sounds like heavy furniture dragged above the room, especially during the early hours of the morning. Some have even felt sudden, unexplained drops in the room’s temperature and feeling like they are not alone. Both common occurrences in a haunted location.
It’s hard to say who is haunting this specific room and why. Is it Abigail or someone else? If it is her, why this room? There are plenty of unanswered questions. We know for sure that there is definitely something going on in this room and that it’s likely explained by the century-old building’s past.
Nashville’s Union Station was built in 1900, as a Gothic-style train terminal. The structure was designed by Richard Montford, and included eight railroads and streetcars to service passengers.
The large station became incredibly significant during World War II, sending out thousands of soldiers during the conflict. At the time, over sixteen trains stopped daily. By the 1960s, the station had declined significantly, with only six railroads making stops. Slowly going into obsoletion, the terminal operated until 1979 and remained vacant for seven years.
While it was abandoned, the disarrayed building was managed by the local government, which was waiting for the perfect revitalization project to be presented. Eventually, the idea of turning it into a hotel was proposed and the project was promptly approved. Keeping the historical importance of the location in mind, the space was remodeled and turned into a hotel in 1986. It has since been renovated on several different occasions, the last one being 2016.
Today, the 4-star hotel displays massive crystal chandeliers, cozy fireplaces, and Italian marble floors, reminiscent of the past. But don’t be fooled by the 20th-century structure, the rooms, and public areas feature plenty of beautiful modern furnishings.
When in Nashville, spend the night in one of the city’s most impressive hotels, soaking up the history, and the ghost tales that resonate through the antiqued walls.
Union Station is a 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.
The Union Station Hotel can be found at 1001 Broadway Street, Nashville, TN 37203. For more information about booking a (potentially) haunted room at the Union Station Hotel, please visit their website.