Explored: October 2009 by Shawn Dunnaway
"Vampire Hotel" (moniker) is an abandoned structure near Kentucky Lake in the Land Between The Lakes. The stone and concrete structure was partially torn down in the 1960s with the creation of LBL but part of it remained. It was one of just a handful of remaining structures in LBL not completely removed. Throughout the 1990s, it had become a popular hangout spot with locals - some of whom were less than reputable.
The structure itself was a single-story home that belonged to Dorothy B. Keith, et al. The stone and frame home was built sometime after the creation of Kentucky Lake (post 1945) and was used as a vacation home.
The home was fairly luxurious for its time. It featured a walk-out basement into a stone arch-shaped patio. In the middle of the patio was a cistern, which is still visible today. Bathrooms and staircases flanked the building going to the first level which contained a large chimney. The chimney also went down into the basement and had fireplaces on each side. Inside the basement was a large room with several large windows (see old photo above) which would have provided a grand view of Kentucky Lake.
The walk-out basement was symmetrical, suggesting it was some type of commercial business, such as a hotel. The one exception to the symmetry was a room in the back of the basement toward the right. It is unclear what this room was used for. But what we do know is that it was a residence and not a hotel.
Other features of the property include a sandbox to the north of the home which is completely intact today. Also marked on the property sketch at right is the location of the pathway, roads leading to the home, and a spot marked "grill". The stone pathway and paved road leading to the home are all intact.
The walk-out basement was not torn down initially in the 1960s and remained until sometime around 1997, thus creating one of a few remaining covered structures in LBL. Due to its close proximity to US 68 and its overall mysterious allure, it became a popular place to hang out.
Despite numerous rumors and websites with inaccurate information, nothing substantial has ever occurred at the site. Some of the rumors include animal sacrifices or blood-drinking rituals, but no evidence of this was ever found. No vampires, murders, or anything of that nature happened at the site.
With "Vampire Hotel" spray-painted across the front of the building, the site received national media attention in late 1996 and into 1997 after an infamous incident that did not occur at the site. We're not going into details of the incident, but this site clearly had nothing to do with it, despite rumors. Certain individuals involved in the incident would hang out up there but that was the extent of it.
National media attention included "Unsolved Mysteries" which carried some footage from the site. After all the negative publicity, the remaining portion of the "hotel", seen at the top of this page, was torn down. All that remains today is a semi-circle wall that acted as the foundation for the patio.
AAt right is the only photograph we can find of the structure before it was torn down by TVA in 1997. If you have any photos you'd like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll give you credit.
Photos from our trip in October are below. As a side note, this location has become hard to access with the reconstruction of US 68. It is located about half mile north of US 68 right on Kentucky Lake. The GPS coordinates are approximately N36.777 W88.111. If also should be noted that this location, as with all historical sites in LBL, is an archeological site and should be treated with respect.
Special thanks to Jamie Bennett, Heritage Program Manager at LBL for providing invaluable information.