If you have to be haunted, the ghost of Johnny Cash isn’t the worst possible option. Is the Man in Black haunting his old home? And is that why the property has failed to sell since 2017?
Johnny and June Carter Cash lived at a lakeside home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, for their entire lives together. For 35 years, they recorded music and raised their son, John Carter Cash, in their beloved house.
However, both Johnny and June Carter Cash passed away in 2003, just four months apart. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees bought the property in 2006. Tragically, while renovating the home a fire broke out and burned it down to the foundation. The only part of the property still standing is a small apartment in a converted garage.
Now the property is owned by a Texas developer named James Gresham. Originally, he planned to build a rehab clinic for people with eating disorders on the property, but that plan fizzled. Then he wanted to sell it to someone who would keep Cash’s legend alive and potentially even rebuild the home.
In 2017, listing agent Stan Peacock announced that Gresham was not accepting offers from developers. “We don’t want Johnny Cash condos. That would be pitiful,” he said.
After three years, however, Gresham is reportedly open to selling the property to anyone who’ll pay up–including developers.
Visitors to the home site will find eerie reminders of the Cash family. John Carter Cash’s footprints appear in the cement sidewalk. A carving of Johnny’s face appears in the knot of a tree, silently watching over the property.
The music video for “Hurt,” one of Cash’s late-era hits and a truly great cover, was shot there. And to be honest, it already looked haunted.
Weirdly enough, the Tennessee home isn’t the only property linked to Johnny Cash with a haunted history.
The Cashes also owned a vacation plantation in Jamaica. That’s right, not a home–an entire plantation. They bought the place in the 1970s, roughly 150 years after the slave revolt that led to many of the sugar plantations being destroyed.
Cash once wrote of the slaves who were imprisoned and tortured in the basement of his home:
“All that remains of those people now, the metal hinges from their doors and nails from their walls, lies hidden in the undergrowth on the hillsides or in the soil…”
That’s not exactly cheerful, but we are talking about the Man in Black. Johnny Cash even claimed to have seen a spirit in his autobiography. He and his dinner guests saw a woman in a long white dress moving through the dining room before exiting through a locked door. She proceeded to tap on the other side, Cash claims, but he wasn’t frightened.
“We’ve never had any trouble with these souls. They mean us no harm, I believe, and we’re certainly not scared of them; they just don’t produce that kind of emotion.”
That echoes what he later said about his wife, two months after she passed away, during the last concert he ever performed:
The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and Heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from Heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has. She’s never been one for me except courage and inspiration. I thank God for June Carter. I love her with all my heart.
Johnny Cash died on September 12, 2003, at the age of 71. He is buried in Hendersonville, Tennessee, near the home he shared with June Carter Cash. Is he still walking the line there?
Let’s let his son, John Carter, have the last word: “I believe that my father is still hanging around. And he’s most certainly hanging around in these words, forever.”