The Angels of Engel—Chattanooga, Tennessee

Engel Stadium
1130 East Third Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Despite its name—“engel” is German for “angel,” though this location takes its name from Joe Engel—Engel Stadium was not likely built with the spiritual in mind. Though, according to a recent article from the Chattanooga-area news blog,, there may be spiritual activity within the old stadium.

Following a career as a pitcher with the Washington Senators, Joe Engel worked as a promoter for the
Chattanooga Lookouts. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

In the context of baseball stadiums throughout the country, Engel Stadium really could be considered hallowed ground. This stadium has heard the crack from the holy bats of baseball saints such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Satchel Paige and Willie Mays. It bears the name of Washington Senators pitcher, Joe Engel. Engel served as a recruiter and promoter following his Senators career and took over the Chattanooga Lookouts after it was purchased by the Senators’ owner, Clark Griffith.

Engel immediately embarked on a plan to build one of the finest minor league ballparks in the country. Ground was broken for Engel Stadium in 1929 and the 12,000-seat park opened the next year. Engel’s zealous and raucous promotion of the park led to his being nicknamed “the Barnum of Baseball.” Engel would stay with the Lookouts for 34 years.

The stadium remained in use as a minor league stadium until 1999. The stadium has been turned over to the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and in 2009 the Engel Foundation was formed to help preserve and restore the old park.

Recently, the park was investigated by Stones River Paranormal (SRP) out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a location known for a plethora of spiritual activity, mostly centered on the Stones River Battlefield. The team, in an effort to explore places in Chattanooga that may be haunted, approached the executive director of the Engel Foundation and was granted permission to explore the stadium for paranormal activity.

Engel Stadium, 2010. Photo by Andrew Jameson, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The group split up into various teams and they explored different sections of the park with a variety of investigative techniques. John McKinney, leader of the newly form Chattanooga branch of SRP, stated that the group found possible activity in a number of places throughout the park. “Definitely, the home locker was more active than I thought it would be at first,” he said. He continued by saying that “the entire right side was active” as well as the baseball diamond. While in the press box, the group believes it may have made contact with the spirit of the stadium’s creator, Joe Engel.

The final results of the investigation will be revealed in a few weeks.

Perhaps the Engel has angels after all.



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