Cocke County Memorial Building

It has been said that more mason jars have been sold in Newport, TN, than in any other city in the country. Located in Cocke County, on the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Newport was once the self-proclaimed "moonshine capital of the world." Getting lost on the back roads of Newport was not a good idea, as you may stumble upon someone's still. And we all know what could happen to you if that happened.

Today, Newport is (mostly) a quiet town, the last major city along Interstate 40 in Tennessee. Perhaps the aforementioned spirits have had some influence on the other spirits of Newport: the ones said to reside in the Cocke County Memorial Building.

The story goes that around 1971, there was a plane crash in Parrotsville, which is a few miles north of Newport. All passengers and crew aboard the small plane were killed. Tragically, among the dead were several young children. Rescue crews sifted through the rubble, but were unable to find any survivors, and the bodies were gathered and taken to the Cocke County Memorial Building in Newport, where they were temporarily housed until their families could be located. How long they stayed there is unclear, though it probably was only a few days at the longest. But those few days were long enough to leave their mark on the Memorial Building forever.

Today, the Memorial Building is said to be haunted. Visitors to the building have claimed to have felt presences, and heard voices, as well as the screams of a woman, and the cries of babies. Feelings of being watched are said to be almost unbearable at the building.

Could it be that the ghosts of the plane crash victims still reside in the Memorial Building? Who can say. I can only say this: I wouldn't want to be there after dark.

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©2002-2005 John Norris Brown. Part of John Norris