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Ghosts of Belmont Mansion

Having a lot of money doesn’t always mean that your life is carefree and devoid of heartache and personal tragedies. In this article, you will learn more about the former owner of the haunted Belmont Mansion (Adelicia) and the supposed ghosts of the property.

About Adelicia Hayes

The owner of the Belmont Mansion was Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham, who lived on the property as a summer dwelling with her second husband and children.

In 1817, Adelicia Hayes was born into a wealthy family in Nashville, Tennessee. When she was just a young woman, she would learn the pains of loss. She lost her teen-aged fiancée before they had a chance to marry. The first man to become her husband was Issac Franklin, who was an older yet well-to-do man. Together, they had four children , all of which never got a chance to see their 12th birthday. Adelicia and Issac were only married for seven years before he died.

Adelicia was a strong woman and braved on without her husband and children. Over the years, she had also acquired a savvy business sense. She had an 8,400-acre Louisiana cotton plantation to take care of. Adelicia’s loneliness fell to the wayside when she fell in love with a young lawyer named Joseph Acklen. They married and together, they built, furnished and landscaped Belmont , the villa of their dreams. When they finally settled down, they had six children. Sadly, twin daughters lost their lives to scarlet fever. When the Civil War came to Louisiana, Adelicia’s husband was a casualty.

The mansion grounds saw many different changes, including the college for women that Adelicia had built. Time passed and Adelicia took another husband. Later on, she agreed to sell the Belmont villa under the promise that the school would continue to prosper on the property. She then moved to Washington D.C. and passed away later the same year. Her body was brought back to Nashville, where she was buried.

When Adelicia died, an endowment to support the college had been one of her last wishes. The college continued to grow and in 1951, the Tennessee Baptist Convention established a second version of Belmont college that accepted both men and women. In 1991, the college became a university with 2,800 students attending the institution.

In 1887, she sold her beloved Belmont and moved to Washington D.C. to live. She died later that same year. She is buried in Nashville.

The Ghosts of Belmont

It is no wonder that the Adelicia’s ghost has been reported to haunt the Belmont grounds. Some say that she has set off motion detectors in Belmont and its buildings in the middle of the night. It is believed that she has the urge to watch over the happenings of Belmont. Security guards have reported to come in contact with the ghost.

For example, more than one person claims to have spotted a full apparition dressed in an 1800’s style, ante-bellum gown. Museum staff and students have all been witnesses to the presence of Adelicia. The apparition seems to float about different parts of the villa. Some believe they have come face to face with Adelicia’s ghost. One eventing, a woman walking down a hallway reported to have seen the ghost dressed in a elegant evening gown. One museum guide believes Adelicia told him that the furniture in one of the bedrooms was not properly arranged.

A psychic investigated the paranormal activity at Belmont and believes that the ghost lingers because she is still hurting from the loss of her children. They feel that the ghost is in search for her missing children.