Hidden Gems: Walking Ghost Tour


What comes to mind when you think of downtown Knoxville? Countless would say gifts shops, local street performers, or maybe lack of parking. Would it be a surprise if I say triple homicide murders and reanimated corpses?

Check out Shadow Side Ghost Tour and bloodthirsty murderers might be on your list of downtown stories!

The tour runs for 90 minutes. It will take locals and visitors on a ghastly journey through Gay Street, Central, and all the way back to Market Square.

“All the stories told are shockingly true.”

Opposed to the fake dramatics of cheesy horror and jump scares, the tour takes a more historical approach to creeping out the living. All of the stories told are shockingly true. The tour guide will point out a variety of local sites and tell the story behind why people hear footsteps in the night or catch faces peering out of windows.

It starts in front of the Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain on Gay Street. This is where the history buff who created the tour in 2012, Laura Still, will be waiting. Armed with a stick megaphone taller than her body, she will lead the group through some of downtown’s active haunted spots.


Stay close to her as she speaks! The loud sounds of busy downtown traffic can drown out her stories. Still excels in retelling these chilling narratives so you do not want to miss any word of it.

“… your favorite places might be home to a sinister story.” 

The first part of the tour is mainly up and down Gay Street. Still will transport everyone back to a time where downtown Knoxville was split into two. The top of the hill where the upper-class citizens resided and the lower hill where the darker side of Knoxville was, hence the shadow side. On the shadow side of Knoxville is where a majority of grisly crimes and deaths happened. It might come to a surprise how many of your favorite places might be home to a sinister story.

After a stroll down memory lane of Gay Street’s history, the tour will move to a more eerie setting. Knoxville’s oldest graveyard, The First Presbyterian Church Graveyard. Created in the 1700s, Still identifies the tombstones of prominent figures in Knoxville and spins their hair-raising tales. During this part of the tour, it gets dark fast so be cautious of your footing so you won’t kick a tombstone and upset the church and the spirit too!


The tour will continue down Central and onto the block between Main and Hill. Still will give more sinister stories about murderers who used to lurk the street at night and the ghosts who still hang from their former gallows. Historical houses will also be on this part of the tour so get your camera ready for some neat shots.


On ending the tour, you will find our little scruffy city has more secrets than we know. This is definitely a must-do if you’re a fan of the supernatural or just looking for something new to add to your Knoxville Bucket List.





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