Haunted is a
strong word, but
something did feel
strange even in
broad daylight as we approached the
odd granite bunker carved high into
the riverbluff on the eastern end of the
Harahan and Frisco Bridges.
Why should this area be
There are dozens of reasons!
The whole bluff occupies
considered sacred by the Chickasaw
Indians and has been witness to more
than its share of the dark side, ranging
from wholesale slave trading to river
The riverbluff at the bridges'
approach is where Fort Pickering once
stood, a strategic fortification and trading
post built in the mid-1700s and still in
active use over 100 years later during
the Civil War.
One slave dealer located
the mid-1800s advertised a "clean jail
capable of containing 300 likely young
slaves." That slave dealer's name was
Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was to
become the bloodiest general of the
Confederacy and founder of the KKK.
In this same area of Memphis,
years after the civil war, a racial
incident turned into a riot that
lasted 3 days, and caused
of more than 60 people by some
In the late 1800s this
was ground zero
for the dreaded Yellow Fever epidemic
that bankrupted the city and claimed
over 200 Memphians a day at its worst.
In more modern times, 23
erecting the Harahan, including 9 men
smothered in the wet cement of one of
the support piers.
Even the man for whom the
named died an ironic and untimely
death. James T. Harahan's car was
hit by a train!
During the decade surrounding
Great Depression over 70 desperate
souls used the bridges to jump to a
watery death. Many were never found.
The Strange Room was sealed
incident in 1972 when 14 old sticks of
deteriorating dynamite and blasting
caps were found by railroad agents. No
explanation was ever found for how the
ancient explosives got there or why.
No doubt about it, this
place seems to
be charged with... with... Something.
And it may very well have shown itself
in the pictures I took below...