I love history and the paranormal so what better way to experience both then staying in a (supposedly) haunted hotel? In Part One I talked about how my family and I had traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee to go to Rock City and Ruby Falls. This part of Tennessee is about two and a half hours away from where we live in Alabama so we decided to make it an overnight trip, therefore we needed a hotel. My mom researched different ones in the area and settled on the Read House Hotel. Before I post the pictures I took during our stay, I would like to tell you about some of the history surrounding the hotel.
Before the building known as the Read House even existed there was another hotel, or should I say inn, on the property called the Old Crutchfield House. The Crutchfield family built the inn in the mid-1800s across from the new railroad. Business was good and the family prospered, that is until the Civil War. The two Crutchfield brothers had different opinions about which side was right, the Union or the Confederacy. This led to a lot of increasing tension within the house and right before the Civil War began the Old Crutchfield House was sold. There’s a lot more to that so check out the link above.
The new owners did not prosper there and the hotel was turned into a hospital for the Union in 1863. However, in 1867 the building burned to the ground and was passed into new hands. That is, the hands of the Read family. Dr. John Read with his son, Samuel, wanted to build the finest hotel in Chattanooga. It opened with great excitement on New Year’s Day in 1872, but sadly, the majority of it was flooded in 1875.
By 1926 the hotel was in desperate need of a complete renovation. This led to it being demolished and completely rebuilt into a ten story, Georgian-style hotel. This is the hotel you can stay in today, with of course some modern updates and safety features.
Now for the ghosts. Any piece of property with this much history is bound to have a few good ghost stories associated with it, and this one is no different. There is the typical paranormal experiences, such as: cold breezes, shadows and strange noises. Perhaps though, the most famous is the story of room 311 and the unfortunate Annalisa Netherly. Not much is known about Annalisa except for the fact that she ended up dead, most likely murdered, in room 311 some time in the 1920s. Some accounts claim she was a prostitute killed by a customer, others claim she was killed by her jealous lover/husband when she had an affair and others claim she simply committed suicide. Nobody knows for sure how she died but many claim her spirit is still in that room with an intense hatred of men, especially those who smoke. We actually got to walk through the room, but unfortunately, did not see Annalisa. We also got to see the bathtub that she died in that is now boarded up and can only be viewed through a hole in the wall. Besides Annalisa, there is supposedly a mother and child and quite a few soldiers roaming the halls of the Read House Hotel, but again, we didn’t see anything.
This hotel was simply stunning and none of the pictures I took do it justice but I hope you enjoy the few I got.
Before we left to return home we wanted to ride the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. The railway is around one mile long, is straight up the mountain and is the world’s steepest. I’m glad I got to experience the ride but it made me pretty nauseous and I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again, haha. I didn’t take many pictures while we were there but here is a few.
We had a wonderful time, but as always, it was nice to come home. I hope you enjoyed this and maybe learned about some new places. If you’ve visited any of these places, or would like to, let me know about it! As always, thanks for reading and have a great day!