WATE-TV Studios in Greystone Mansion
1306 North Broadway Street, Northeast
N.B. This article was revised and expanded 31 January 2019 and 13 June 2021.
Throughout the South, hauntings can be found in unlikely places: Walmart stores, fast food restaurants (I’ve covered the haunted McDonald’s in Hermitage, Tennessee), and amusement parks among them. Some years ago, WATE-TV 6, the Knoxville ABC affiliate, revealed that their own studios may be haunted.
The studios occupy a rambling Victorian mansion that resembles a classic haunted house. The Richardsonian Romanesque mansion was constructed for Major Eldad Cicero Camp, Jr., the wealthiest man in East Tennessee at the time. He initially arrived in the area towards the end of the Civil War while he was serving Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Impressed at the region’s untapped mineral resources, he decided to make Knoxville his permanent home
Camp settled here when the city was still reeling from the divisions brought about by the war, and Camp had his own lingering dispute to settle. During the war, a number of men under his command had been held as prisoners of war under Colonel Henry Ashby in atrocious conditions. Camp held Ashby personally responsible for their mistreatment and, after the war, pressed charges of war crimes and treason against him. Ashby fled Knoxville but returned when the charges were eventually dropped.
On the afternoon of July 9, 1868, Ashby ran into Camp on the street. The gentlemen struggled as Ashby struck Camp with his cane while Camp fought back with his umbrella. The following day, Ashby appeared at Camp’s law office near the corner of Walnut and Main Streets. The two took their quarrel outside where Camp drew his revolver and fired. Henry Ashby was struck in the chest and killed. Camp was arrested and charged with murder, but the charges were dropped.
The following year, President Grant appointed him as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Taking advantage of the region’s natural resources, he organized the Coal Creek Coal Company and served as president of two other companies, building a name for himself as a businessman.
With his wealth, Camp began building Greystone Mansion in 1885. The home took five years to construct and featured elaborate woodwork, jeweled stained glass windows, and imported marble mantelpieces. He lived in the house for some 30 years until his death in 1920. He was buried in Old Gray Cemetery not far from where Henry Ashby was also laid to rest. The house remained in the family until 1935 when it was sold and divided into apartments. WATE-TV purchased the house in the 1965, restoring it and adding studio space at the back.
Since moving in, station employees have had experiences throughout the old house. Footsteps and other odd noises have been heard, and a door on the second floor closes by itself. Several years ago, a custodian filmed something moving on the second floor with her phone.
The building has been investigated by Appalachian Paranormal Investigations several times with the group capturing video and audio evidence. According to a WATE, that evidence points to the presence of four possible spirits on the premises.
- Booker, Robert J. “Greystone Mansion builder shot, killed man downtown.” Knoxville News-Sentinel. 26 February 2018.
- Greystone (Knoxville). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 30 January 2019.
- Eldad Cicero Camp. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 30 January 2019
- History of Greystone and WATE-TV 6: Greystone. WATE-TV 6. Accessed 30 September 2012.
- Price, Charles Edwin, Haunted Tennessee. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1995.
- Williams, Bo. “Paranormal investigators check 6 News home Greystone.” WATE-TV 6. 24 September 2012.