Tag Archives: T.C. Farnham

Is the Old Roane County Courthouse Haunted?

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

We may never know if the building is indeed haunted, but several people employed in the Old Roane County Courthouse have reported unusual activities. The first part of the courthouse was built between 1853 and 1855, and the East side of the building was added in 1938. Apparently, the 2nd floor of the addition is the most popular place for our ghosts. The ground floor vault of the addition was used for the Register of Deeds to store valuable Roane County documents, photographs, and other historical artifacts. The vault contains documents which date back to the year our county was created in 1801, and thousands of photographs of Roane County, including the T.C. Farnham collection. When in the vault (usually by yourself), there is a noise that comes from the second floor that sounds like a marble dropping and rolling on the floor. Though Jere Hall, Darleen Trent, Jamey McLoughlin, and I have likely spent the most time in the building, several others besides us have also heard the noise. Each time the marble drops the second floor is empty. If the ghosts are playing marbles on the second floor, they have not invited humans to play. One report of a banging noise coming from the second floor could be heard from the back of the hallway of the first floor. The banging would migrate to the third floor when witnesses said the banging moved to the third floor. Another report of loud noises coming from the second floor and the ceiling of the first floor could be heard while sitting in the library at the desk on the other side of the building. The noises would come and go, though the addition’s concrete, steel, and tiles, though there was nothing corporeal on that side of the building, nothing that could make that noise. The sounds started about the time Darleen Trent’s brother, Butch, died. Darleen and her sister Mary believed that it was Butch making those noises, probably letting Darleen know he was o.k. since they were very close. Then as sudden as the noises started, they quit and haven’t been heard since. While most report hearing noises, there have been a couple of visual sightings in our building. One involved seeing a lady walking down the hall in a long white dress. Another involved seeing an older man who appeared to check the doors to make sure they were locked. If there are ghosts in the Old Roane County Courthouse, they are friendly and have never caused harm. Ghost-Hunters have been allowed once in the building. See their video at YouTube.com.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, October 2018.