Haunted Tri-Cities: The Old Deery Inn in Blountville | WJHL
BLOUNTVILLE, Tennessee (WJHL) – The Old Deery Inn is a staple in the Blountville community. In an area rich in history, this property contains tales of the Civil War, presidential tours, and even a few ghosts along the way.
According to Ed Bush, president of the Sullivan County Historical Preservation Association, the property has only passed through a few hands in the past 220 years. He said they estimated there were around six to eight owners before the association obtained the building in 2003 and restored it to what looks like its 1830 glory. However, the most memorable owner was the first, William Deery.
“They think the Old Deery Inn was originally built in 1795 as a three-story log cabin,” Bush said. “It was purchased in 1801 by William Deery who was an Irish peddler who roamed the area selling pins and needles and thread etc.”
About nine years after purchasing the property, Deery enlarged the building, then in 1820 he completed another expansion adding a large dining room, second kitchen, and upstairs sleeping quarters for his family. The Deerys lived in the house until 1835 when the Patriarch passed away, which later led to the building being handed over. After the change of ownership and in the first years of the Civil War, the building served as an inn, opening its doors to passers-by.
“Who knows how many people are left here,” said Bush. “From presidents to virtually any type of traveler. Thousands and thousands of people have traveled here.
However, some of those passing through may have returned for a second stay, but this time in the afterlife. The property is said to be haunted and a local paranormal group strongly supports these claims.
Southern Research Society Paranormal, commonly referred to as SRS Paranormal, was founded by Matthew Sorge who described himself as a skeptic of paranormal events until he had his own experience in 2005. From then on, this sparked an interest, then a passion. , and fueled the fire for the creation of a paranormal team.
Sorge said the 11 members who make up his team have come from all walks of life and have been traveling the country to investigate haunted places since the team was officially formed in 2007. He said they had conducted more than 300 surveys, but their favorites are here in the area they call home.
He said they had been coming to the Old Deery Inn since 2017 and had conducted more than 20 inquiries in this building. Sorge has said more than once that there is an abundance of paranormal activity.
“We immediately had disembodied voices, ghost figures are seen regularly, and not just by the team, but when we bring groups of people here, we’ve probably done over 20 surveys here with the public and every time. , the people who come, experience these things for themselves without us telling them any of these stories or this story, ”Sorge said.
The motto of SRS Paranormal is to “seek the truth about who or what still haunts our world” while investigating the allegations and validating them with history. While they don’t necessarily know who the spirits are in the Old Deery Inn, they do know the spirits are there. Can we even be William Deery himself?
“It was his life, it was his life’s work. In our experience of traveling around the country and doing these types of investigations, people often linger because there’s something holding them back, ”Sorge said.
With thousands of people passing by, paranormal investigators said they collected a number of readings. One of the strongest signals comes from a woman’s mind, wandering the upstairs hall. However, when they open the investigations to the public, people have accounts of their own encounters with the paranormal.
The property has a rich history and also has a number of rear lawn cabins which were all relocated to the grounds in the 1940s, all with their own stories. However, the scariest stories can be found in the halls and walls of the inn and it’s a mystery still waiting to be solved with stories still waiting to be told.
The hostel is generally open to the public during parades and events, but can also be visited by appointment. If you would like to visit the Old Deery Inn, click here.