Supernatural CLT: The Haunting of Tryon House Apartments

A massive fire took 5 lives and destroyed the apartment building in 1940, but some say the spirits of the deceased residents have yet to move out.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You awake in the night to the sound of someone crying and slamming their body into the wall next to you… but the adjoining apartment is empty.

Out of all of the supernatural occurrences in the Queen City, there is none more shrouded in secrecy than the Tryon House Apartments.  Formerly known as Guthery House Apartments when it was built in 1918, the site is home to a deadly, violent fire.

On March 13, 1940, The Charlotte Observer reports that a boiler explosion engulfed the entire building in flames, leaving five dead and nine injured.  And some claim, the spirits of those who perished remain tenants to this day.

There have been many reports of eerie supernatural rumblings in the building over the years.  Former resident, Patrick Moran of Queen City Nerve, recounts the tale of his neighbor, longtime tenant, Albert.  Albert collected paintings he said had been created by fire victim, Rowena Dickinson.  “He put up one of those paintings in his bedroom.  Then every night like clockwork, he was sure it was Rowena.”  Albert claimed that the hazy figure of a woman would come stand at the foot of his bed to look at the painting.  He believed that Rowena was just checking that her art was taken care of.

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Current resident, Taylor Anne Wade, has experienced her service dog barking at the walls for no apparent reason.  And she’s also heard mysterious knocking on her door.  Explains Wade, “There’s a double door entrance to each apartment.  The first door is like a porch door like with shutters…then you have the normal door.  So when you knock, you’d have to open the first door to get the normal sounding knock.”  Wade says it’s happened about three times that she’s heard the knock, gotten to the door and realized “no one’s there because no one has opened the first door and I don’t hear anyone close it either.”

Charlotte photographer, Ryan Sumner, lived in the Tryon House Apartments around 2010 and recalls the creepy feeling the building gave him.  “It definitely has some energies, in my experience.  It was palpable when you’d cross into certain parts of the building.  In my own place, I always felt like I was being watched.”    His neighbors reported seeing hanging figures and noises that seemed to defy explanation.  At one point, Ryan held a photoshoot at the apartments, unrelated to the history of the building.  He says the photos came out much more violent than his typical work and wonders if perhaps they were influenced by the dark energy of the building.

“I do think the place has it’s own energy so if you don’t mesh with it I don’t think it will work very well,” says Wade.  Fortunately, she says the negative energy she initially felt has faded and she plans to stay for a long time.  “It’s an over 100-year-old building so there are characteristics that you won’t find anywhere else.”  Plus, she says, the rent is very affordable for the Uptown Charlotte location.

The current staff remains tight lipped when asked about any supernatural energies or hauntings. WCCB Charlotte has reached out multiple times and the staff says they have seen the past reports but are working hard to change the narrative and sell apartments.

And understandably so — after all they are moderately-priced well staged apartments.

But if you’re looking for a room in Tyron House Apartments, just keep in mind, the fire is cemented as part of the building’s history, and the rest, we’ll chalk up to being one of the greatest Urban Legends of the city.