Haunted Spaces and Spooky Places: Roper Mansion

This is the third entry in the Haunted Spaces and Spooky Places series.

Staff Photo by Elizabeth Lane

Staff Photo by Elizabeth Lane

Histories of towns bridge and connect to make the historical area of Eastern Tennessee all that we have come to know and love. This featured haunt is a continuation of the progress made by the Branner family, the ones who helped build and maintain Glenmore. They would go on to contribute to the work and lifestyle of another famous house in the area: the Roper Mansion.

Roper Mansion was built by former colonel John Roper in 1820 as a present for his daughter and soon to be son-in-law. The house was meant to cater to the needs of travelers along the French Broad River, as well as those traveling the road between Tennessee and Virginia. The house has seen its share of hardships and heartfelt moments throughout its lifetime. Owners of the house had overseen the use of slaves to help with the construction of the house, along with personal needs. The house has seen elopements and scandals. Needless to say a colorful history follows the house. After falling into some disrepair, the house went through two huge renovations: one in 1949, and the other in 1999. Passing through the hands of several owners and serving even more guests, it’s no wonder that the house continues to be a part of the community almost 200 years later.

Many people attest that when one visits the house there is an immediate feeling of stepping into the past, and some older presence begins to creep upon you. It is common to hear people talk about how the building feels alive, like it is capable of watching its guests. Could it be the spirit and atmosphere created by those travelers all those years ago? It is certain that this house has been touched by countless lives, and many stories live within its walls. Perhaps some of those stories are not quite as finished as one would like to think. Some of the weary travelers might have stories to tell, but may never find someone to truly listen. The Roper Mansion has one of the more varied histories of our entries in Haunted Places and Spooky Spaces, so it is fitting that the building has been the subject of ghost spotting endeavors.

As Halloween aproaches, be sure to add Roper Mansion to your list of places to check out. Whether you leave with a sense of encroaching eerieness, spot a spectral guest, or recieve a warm introduction to one of the area’s historical landmarks, there’s much to be found within the building’s old walls.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer