Hales Bar Dam and Marina


Location:Hales Bar Dam

1265 Hales Bar Road

Guild, Tennessee, 37340


Hales Bar Dam was built on land that was originally Cherokee territory.  When the white man came though, they started to take their holdings and their lands dwindled down to almost nothing.  During the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals on March 17, 1775 Cherokee leaders Attakullakulla, Oconastota, Willanawaw, Doublehead and Dragging Canoe cursed the land, vowing to turn the land “dark and bloody” if anyone attempted to settle there.  Construction of the Dam began in 1905 when the Chattanooga and Tennessee River Power Company began to build this hydroelectric dam which was completed in 1913.  The dam was to be one of first multipurpose dams built in the U.S..  When the dam was built it flooded everything which once stood below the dam.  Although the extent of the structures which were flooded is unclear, there is a known graveyard standing under the water from which none of the graves were relocated before the flood.    Ironically if you consider the curse, leaks began to show up almost immediately after the dam was built and it was in constant repair status.  Tennessee Valley Authority took over the dam in 1939, but after spending 20 years repairing leaks and damages they decided it was just too expensive to continue to repair the failing dam.  They decided to replace the dam and built Nickajack Dam 6 miles downstream in 1968.  Today, the Dam sits empty and abandoned but is available for tours and used as a marina.

The Haunting:

hales bar dam haunting

G.H.O.S.T. paranormal's investigation reveals a mist.

The Hales Bar Dam has 4 locations available for investigations, the powerhouse, the tunnel, the control building, and the old hale family cemetery. There have been reports of hauntings around the property ever since the it was first constructed.  People have seen everything from random lights and orbs to full body apparitions.  There are reports of EVP’s and some people have actually felt manifestations walk right through them.  In the power house there is a natural whirlpool where people say that the Native Americans of the past live in the whirlpool.  It’s believed that they reach out and grab people, and multiple people have drowned in the whirlpool.  If you are out seeking a thrill you may want to check this place out.  The buildings are available to rent for tours or even over night investigations.

If you are interested in learning more about the place visit their website by clicking here

Watch the Ghost Adventures episode at the dam below:





G.H.O.S.T. Paranormal

Treaty of Sycamore Shoals wiki

Cherokee wiki

Hales Bar Dam wiki

Hales Bar Home

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10 comments for “Hales Bar Dam and Marina

  1. June 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Great job on the history and resource work! Great styory line.

    Richard Ruland – Founder
    G.H.O.S.T. Paranormal

  2. June 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks the story was interesting.

  3. Jack
    August 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I loved this episode of “Ghost Adventures” although I have two issues with the content. First of all, the Maintenance Supervisor stated that TVA flooded the area around the Hales Bar Dam. Actually, TVA didn’t assume control over the Dam until the 1930s, so TVA did not make the original call to flood the Dam. Also, dead bodies were NEVER left inside of a Dam. This is an urban (or in this case rural) legend that is known throughout the Southeast. A corpse inside of a structure would severely compromise the integrity of said structure … this simply did not happen. When this did occur, the body was recovered. Other than those two errors, this was a fantastic episode.

    • August 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks for clearing that up for us! Glad you liked the article!

  4. katrina
    February 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    great show. i seen this on ghost hunters, but your show was more suspenceful. and just between you and me when the evp recorded the voice saying “yer $#*!ed” i would have hauled my ass out of there.

  5. Rosilan Hale
    May 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Hale’s Bar got its name from The Hale family that owned the land that Hale’s Bar sits on.
    The powerhouse is no longer standing. It was torn down in 1968, when the smokestacks were also torn down.
    What everyone is calling the powerhouse is the turbin building. That is where the turbins were at and are still in use today at Nick-a-Jack Dam. The whirlpool everybody is talking about is from where the turbins were at generating power.
    The actual whirlpool is at SUCK CREEK.
    Hales Bar was built on dry land. I wish people would do better research and talk to the right people not people wanting it to be about them. My husband is a Hale and is from Haletown his grandfather John Thomas Hale worked there and there was other Hale’s or family members also worked there. John Thomas also had taken toll on the Bridge. And John Thomas was the last one to be buried at Hales Cemetry.
    If you want to know what Hale’s Bar looked like being built or after it was built contact us John or Rosilan Hale @ halesbaitandtackle@att.net or if you are in the area stop in @ Hale’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Jasper, TN
    John & Rosilan Hale

    • May 7, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Thanks for the comment! We would love to have some pictures of what it really looked like so we can publish them here and set the story straight! We’ll be in touch via email if we don’t hear back from you here.

      Thanks again!
      Haunting America

  6. Sherrill
    July 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

    We (my group and another group) where at Hales Bar this past weekend to investigate, we made the arrangments and paid our deposit in March of this year 2012 (800.00) down the drain or whirlpool if that what sounds better. The new owner which we met wants nothing to do with the paranormal, we had proof of our payments thru paypal as per the webpage and we now have proof that the money was transfered to the marinas account but we were not allowed to do our investigation after driving all that way plus gas, food and hotel, the parking lot was as close as I got to one of my dream investigations. I contacted the local police which were a big help (not) when they got there you could very easy see they new one another so I new we where done then. after showing our proof the owner give us two options pay them another 800 to let us in or we had 10 min. to leave the property. the web page has been removed and the face book page is telling everyone that it has been shut down so please dont believe anyone you call as we did that all is OK as it will not be when you get there. the new owner and new manager are very rude and the local law are just useless, kinda like Boss Hogg, Rosco and Enice. you would think when you call the police you might get justice but there you just get treated like you are in the wrong. Save your money and go some place else. if I had proof the ownership has changed I would go back but I would have to have proof.

  7. douglas broesamle
    July 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    My cherokee ancestors have wonderfull things to tell the living they came from a big sinking island in there canoes and stopped when the rain turned white , and they watched the little people, they will not return because they are all ready here , ga qa ta

    • Jessica
      March 12, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Thx for the warning abt new ownership n lost funds. Its a real shame cuz u wld think they wld like the attention as it wld bring more money to the property n the local economy from tourists. Oh well.

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