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Hales Bar Dam, Guild, Tennessee  July 2016

Time 7pm-4am

Investigators: CAPS team Dave, Trish and Vicki, Returning guests Mark and Angel, along with first timers Lydia and Elaine

Weather conditions was a typical hot summer night


To close out this summer’s adventures, the CAPS team journeyed to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a family reunion. Besides Look-Out Mountain, Ruby Falls, or the famous Aquarium, what activity would you plan? How about a paranormal investigation! Although not all were courageous, we were able to put together a group of seven. Beside us three, Mark and Angel (from Texas) eagerly joined us again, as did our daring nieces Lydia and Elaine from Florida.

Hales Bar Dam located near Guild, Tennessee has been on our bucket list ever since watching an episode of Ghost adventures several years ago. This hydroelectric dam completed in 1913 on the Tennessee River was built on a limestone foundation that was originally sacred Cherokee territory. From the get go, it suffered problems. It was also rumored that a couple of people were entombed in a wall during construction. In the 1960’s the dam suffered a catastrophic failure, flooding the area and disrupting hundreds of graves, mainly those of the children that had perished during the Spanish flu epidemic in the 1920’s.

It is little wonder that all these tragedies were blamed on a curse, courtesy of a Cherokee Chief named Dragging Canoe, and in 1967 they completed the Nickajack Dam, a few miles downstream to replace it. With such an intriguing history and evidence of the hauntings, I was pleased we were able to set up an investigation through a gentleman named Storm and Shadow Ghost Tours.

It was around 7pm when we pulled up to Hales Bar dam in vehicles loaded with enthusiastic family, fully charged equipment and dreamcatchers draped around our necks, (just in curse… oops I mean in case), We were greeted by the Shadows Ghost Tour members Storm, Jeff and Jordan.

After unloading our equipment into a nearby building that we utilized as our command center, we were given a tour beginning with the main power house. I was lagging behind as we made our way deeper into the site, busy taking pictures before we lost daylight. I was intrigued at what I saw through the viewer of my digital camera in the maintenance area. I shined my flashlight down the shadowed hallway, but did not see anything of interest. I took another photo and was trying to take a couple more but my camera was uncooperative. I heard my name being called and after I caught up with Trish, she gave me a puzzling look. She asked if anyone was behind me because she thought it sounded as if I were being followed…

Before I even had a chance to catch my breath, we heard Angel exclaiming from the next room that she had just witnessed a shadow pass in front of her. At the same time I heard Dave say he caught a bright orb in his photo.

The tour wrapped up in the creepy tunnels, where we were shown a door near the back section that would be our only entrance/exit door to the location. After gathering up our equipment and deciding where to place our static cameras, Storm equipped Mark and I with walkie-talkies so that we could all stay in communication in case of any problems

Jordan led Dave Mark, Angel, Lydia and Elaine into the Main building via the front gate to set up cameras. After a while, she left them locking the front gate to keep other unwanted intruders from disturbing our team. That left the tunnel door as our only way to get back to command central.

In the meantime, Storm escorted Trish and me through the Tunnel door, and after a few minutes, he confidently left us on our own. After setting up we decided to rejoin the rest of the team in the main building. On our way down the tunnel, Trish felt a cold chill up her back and I felt it on my legs. We also got a major case of goosebumps and the hair on our arms was standing up. Being that it was pretty hot, we really didn’t mind! We soon recovered as we stepped deeper into the tunnel, then for fun we turned off our flashlights; it was as pitch black as a cave!

We kept walking until we ran into a dead end, somehow missing that door to the main building. As we retraced our steps, we felt like someone was following us, and again felt chilled. Still not finding the door, we were forced to walk back again, this time noticing another path, but still not finding that elusive door. We kept wandering back and forth and discovered every time we hit a certain area, we got goosebumps! At one point we heard what sounded like a male heavy breather at the end of the hall. Whenever I shined my flashlight in that direction, it would stop only to start up again when I turned the flashlight away. It was disturbing and made us feel uneasy… After walking around for nearly half an hour we gave up, but Trish and I agreed not to let the others know of our humiliating predicament.

When we arrived at the front gate we were surprised to find the rest of the group. Dave was shaking his head in dismay. It seems that they too were unable to find the door that led into the tunnels and called for someone to unlock the front gate. Though planning to keep it a secret, we told them what had transpired for us. How odd that both parties were unable to find that door from either side?

After getting directions to the door Trish and I looked at each other doubtingly, but to our amazement, there it was, that dam door and apparently so easy to find? Dave was astonished as well because he instantly recognized the room they had gone through several times. In fact everyone in the group echoed that same sentiment… No one could understand how we all missed the same door or why we didn’t even hear each other; truly a Twilight Zone moment!

Finally Trish and I got the chance to investigate in the main building with the others. There was a slight issue with a bird inside that was screeching a lot. In spite of this annoyance, we heard a male voice followed by a loud noise near the catwalk by the water. As we made our way to the second floor, Trish felt dizzy and I was feeling uncomfortable. Dave also heard what sounded like a group of men talking. Trish really started to feel ill in the section where a couple of people were said to have been buried in the wall of the cement, so we left that area.

We tried a spirit box session, but the SB7 didn’t seem to work as well as usual. We did get a “Hank” which was the name of a person thought to haunt the place. When I meandered to the catwalk with Lydia and Elaine we heard a couple of sounds that seemed to be near us.

Mark, Angel and Elaine left the site about 2:30am; the rest of us decided to remain a bit longer. While in the tunnels, Trish felt an urge to sit in a hallway off to the side. She felt a distinct cold breeze in spite of sweating. Feeling rather warm, I decided to check it out and indeed there was a cold spot. I started to get an odd tingling sensation and then the goosebumps came. We learned from Lydia that she doesn’t get goosebumps, so she remained unaffected in that area. Dave heard a loud male voice saying “hey” as he moved along the hall. Shortly after that we all heard a loud voice say “seven”. It sounded mechanical, so we checked all of our equipment to see if something had turned on, but could not find the culprit. As we went back to the main building, it sounded as if we were being followed.

Upon entrance to the power house, Trish saw something behind me that she described as being a golden orange. Right after that Lydia got her first cold chills of the night! Trish and I were only too happy to have her join our goosebumps’ club!

Dave got out the dowsing rods. Since they rarely work for him, we were in complete amazement when they moved. Lydia gave them a try, and they were working for her as well. While she was holding them, I heard a voice whisper in my ear that I thought said” I got you”. We all were feeling a creepiness and even Dave had his hair standing on end! We were discussing how oddly quiet it was when suddenly that same bird started screeching loudly, scaring the dickens out of us all. That was our sign to return to the tunnels…

It turned out not to have been any more peaceful in there either as Dave, Trish and Lydia heard lots of banging sounds and walking. Dave was sure there was someone else down there with us! Trish then said she heard someone whistling a tune. Shortly after she mentioned it, we all heard it too, loud and clear! By then it was nearly 4am and time to wrap it up.

This was a special investigation for me and thanks to Shadows Ghost Tour for their gracious hospitality. Made even better because I got to spend time with people I am proud to call family. I can’t explain why the seven of us had the mirrored experience with that dam door initially, and I couldn’t help thinking about hearing the number “7”. We began this summer by investigating Revenant Acres Farm, where the number “7” was a predominant number captured by us and other investigators. Capturing that same phenomenon closing out this CAPS’ summer investigations seemed to be ironic to say the least.


Always nice to arrive at a location before it gets too dark outside for some pictures!


Catwalk where The Ghost Adventures captured an interesting figure on video.

View from the second level.


This is the photo I took during our first walk through.  We've cropped and enhanced the image in the cut out. 


I took this picture on the tour. On the bottom left side it looks like a leg and shoe. The right side a creepy face. I thought it was a reflection off of glass and then I realized, there wasn't any glass...


This is a series of three picture taken by Dave on the third floor of the pilot building.  On the left we have enhance the window where a bright orange light is captured and a white mist that looks like a face.  The orange light has moved in the second picture while the mist appears to have disseminated.  In the final picture, the camera appears to have chosen to focus on a large orange orb that is evidently now much closer to Dave.

Guys Are Mean, UpstairsCAPS
00:00 / 00:09

While we were on the second floor of the pilot building, we captured this whispering male voice. Not really sure what is being said, maybe "the guys are mean" or "theres a lazer beam"? Tell us what you think!

00:00 / 00:06

While Dave is in the tunnels joking about drawing, a male voice chimes in "you don't want to" or "you don't know".

Seven, TunnelsCAPS
00:00 / 00:05

The magical number 7!

I'm Neither, Main BuildingCAPS
00:00 / 00:12

Dave is questioning the bird situation. He seems to get an answer at about 6 seconds. 

Pipe Down, Main BuildingCAPS
00:00 / 00:06

Dave decides to tell the bird to "pipe down" and a voice answers "I think he did".

I Did it, Main BuildingCAPS
00:00 / 00:08

There is an area in the main building that is said to have a portal. While Trish and I were standing there my camera batteries started to fail. About 5 seconds in you can hear another voice saying "I did it".

Male Whisper, TunnelsCAPS
00:00 / 00:12

This was while Dave, Mark and Angel was in the tunnels. Around 6 seconds a male whispers. Sounds like "below" to me.

Whistle, TunnelCAPS
00:00 / 00:08

Listen closely around 3 seconds to the whistler!

Donny, TunnelsCAPS
00:00 / 00:08

This clip is from the tunnels. About 3 seconds may hear "what" then a male voice that seems to say something like "Donny"? 

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