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Appalachian Tales

I grew up here in the Pigeon Forge area, near the Smoky Mountains. My ancestors are from here and lived in these rolling mountains before it became a National Park. Stories and tales have been passed down to generation after generation. I recall hiking with my grandmother as she took me to the school that she used to attend as a little girl, which is the Little Greenbrier School near the Metcalf Bottoms area. The Little Greenbrier School was actually much more than just a school. It was also a place of worship from the Primitive Baptist Church. The school was open from 1882 to 1936 and employed around 50 teachers total throughout the years. Little Greenbrier, like we mentioned earlier is located near the Metcalf Bottoms area. If you hike to the school, you can continue on up the trail to The Walker Sisters cabin. The Walker Sisters were some of the last remaining residents of the Smokies and I am happy to say I can call them my ancestors as well.

I was told so many stories about my ancestors and now that I am older I wish to goodness I had paid even more attention to all the ‘old sayings’ that were told. Along with the stories that were passed down, there are many mountain tales and superstitious sayings that have been passed down and I thought I would share some of those with you all.

  • A baby born at midnight will have the power to see and talk to ghosts.
  • Death always travels in three’s
  • When two people of the same name live in a house, ghosts will stay away.
  • If a rooster crows after dark, it is a sure sign that death is in the neighborhood.
  • Never carry an axe or hoe into a house, it means death.
  • A ghost will beat on the wall of a house if someone is about to die.
  • If a bird flies into your house, someone is about to fall ill and possibly pass away.
  • If a dog howls while looking at the ground, he senses death.
  • Ghosts enjoy hearing people sing and gather to listen.
  • Wind chimes will call up the dead.
  • Horses and pigs can see ghosts.
  • Never let a swing stop on its own. Stop it yourself or someone you care about will die.
  • Pictures of loved ones begin to fade after they pass away.
  • Ghosts do not like new things. If you have a ghost, hang something new over your door.
  • Never let a rocking chair stop on its own or you are inviting ghosts in.
  • Don’t walk on someone’s grave or else you will be haunted by their ghost.
  • Do not pick up a broom that is laid over a doorway. If you do, it is a sign that you are a witch or that you have been witched.
  • A star quilt on your bed will protect you from evil spirits.
  • Do not walk over a grave.
  • Moving on a Sunday is good luck.
  • If it rains at a funeral, the rain is said to be the tears of angels and that the person was welcomed into heaven.
  • Put salt around your house to keep away evil spirits.
  • Throw salt over your shoulder for good luck.
  • Break a mirror and you get seven years of bad luck.
  • Put an X on your windshield if a black cat crosses in front of your car.
  • If you feel a sudden shiver, a ghost is walking through you.
  • If you hand itches, you are about to come into some money.
  • If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you.

These are sayings I would hear around my house growing up and and still do for that matter. I am sure many of you have heard different ones while growing up and many of you have probably heard variations of the above ones as well. Either way, it is fun to sit back and think about all the superstitions and sayings that our families have kept going. What are some superstitions that you have been told?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is truly a sacred place and is within a day’s drive of two thirds of the country. If you have never had the opportunity to vacation here in the Smokies, I advise you to try and make that happen in 2017. Spending time outdoors and in this beautiful area will change you. I often hear people say that they have friends that would love to visit the area, but are not able to get out and about on the trails. The good news about the Smoky Mountains is that you do not have to be an avid hiker or even a hiker at all to enjoy these rolling hills. There are a couple of driving tours you can do that will still show you the amazing views of the mountains. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Cades Cove are the most popular. On these driving tours, you will still see the old homesteads, grist mills, scenic views and even some waterfalls. Newfound Gap is an excellent drive if you want to truly enjoy some scenic and breathtaking views as this route has many overlooks for you to  pull over at and enjoy the scenery. 

There are many lodging choices when visiting the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountain area. We offer three properties in Pigeon Forge that have one to four bedroom condominiums that sit along the Little Pigeon River, offer views of the Smokies or overlook the city. We have 4 pools, a lazy river, 3 hot tubs, grills and give our guests free attraction tickets that choose to stay with us. No matter where you choose to vacation, come on down to the Great Smoky Mountains and spend some time in America’s most visited National Park!

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