A couple days ago, while Googling who knows what, my wife came across a story about The Fortress of Faith in Greenback Tennessee. I had never heard about it so I gave the article a read. There was one thing that really stood out to me. The owner stated that there had been many ghost hunters on the property but none of them had lasted a night there. I don’t know what normal people would do if they found out that there was a possibly haunted castle less than a half hour away from their home but I know what we did. We loaded up the whole famn damily and took a short road trip!
Now, unfortunately when we found the Fortress no one was there. Usually Junior Banks, the owner, is there to give tours and talk about the construction of the castle. For all this info, I’m using secondhand sources but here’s what I can tell you. Junior built the whole castle by hand with no blueprints or plans. In one piece I read, he claims to have used a measuring tape only a handful of times. In the beginning, Junior just wanted to build himself a castle but then in 2003 something changed.
Junior literally saw the writing on the wall. In the texture of the concrete Mr. Banks and other visitors were able to see dozens of images. They ranged from Banks and his family to one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and an image of Satan whispering into Junior’s ear. Though the images were varied, Banks felt that the message was clear: continue building this castle but build it in the name of and in preparation for Jesus Christ. So he did.
Though it is obvious to any who would explore the grounds that the Fortress is a place of God, there is something else there as well. The aforementioned image of Satan, Banks believes, is a warning from the dark forces that inhabit the grounds. They want him to know that they are there and are unhappy with what he is doing. Mayhap these unhappy dark forces are the reason that no paranormal investigator has lasted a night on the grounds.
Now, let’s talk about the haunted aspect of this place. I am what I think you’d call a hopeful skeptic. I want to be a believer in the paranormal but I’m gonna need some hard evidence for that or at least a completely unexplainable experience. I’m pretty sure I’m the closest to a believer in my family that is over the age of eight. However, there were a couple rooms that gave us all skin crawly feelings as soon as we went in that stopped upon exiting them. To be clear, we went into these rooms separately and only discussed it afterward. Our friend felt something pulling her hair in a couple of times and we caught what could be an orb in one of our photos. I don’t know if it’s haunted with angry evil spirits but this place can be pretty creepy, even in the bright July sun. It varies from room to room. There were some places inside that felt almost welcoming but there was also a doorway than none of us wanted to look at for too long let alone walk through. It was worth the drive, to say the very least.
If you’re in the area, you should definitely drop by. Admission is free but be sure to bring cash for the donation box. After the awesomeness that is The Fortress of Faith, you won’t mind parting with a few dollars.
I am currently working on contacting Mr. Banks in hopes of a tour and interview. If we’re lucky, maybe we can put together a team and investigate the grounds. Keep your fingers crossed on that, I know I will be.
I mentioned that I was using some second hand sources. If you want to learn more about the Fortress of Faith, check out the articles here and here. They’re both really good and give a little more backstory on the Fortress.
(Pictures were taken by myself and my wife Ami)