The Hidden Cemetery in the Middle of Gatlinburg

Millions of people walk through Gatlinburg, Tennessee every year, yet few of them know there’s a cemetery just behind all the hustle and bustle of the shops. You can find White Oak Flats Cemetery by walking through the brick paved streets of ‘The Village’ towards the restrooms, and continue on the road that leads behind them.

Many of the early settlers of the area (which was called White Oak Flats before being incorporated in 1945 and changed to Gatlinburg) are buried in this cemetery, including Martha Jane Huskey Ogle and Timothy Reagan.

The most famous burial in this cemetery, however, isn’t someone who we know of today, but someone who was well know in the 1930s and 1940s.

That man is Wiley Manson Oakley, otherwise known as “The Roamin’ Man of the Mountains”. He spent his life promoting the Smoky Mountains; he was a guide to many of the early visitors to the area, traveled around the country visiting radio shows telling stories about the mountains and Gatlinburg, and even published two books of these stories. You could say he’s the reason that the Smoky Mountains is now one of the most visited parks in the United States.

I remember visiting Gatlinburg with my parents back in my high school days and attending a “ghost walk” in Gatlinburg, that I believe included this cemetery. It’s been too long now and I don’t remember why it was considered haunted. At the time of writing this I’m not finding much online about any spooky things happening in this cemetery, but considering Gatlinburg’s history you can’t say it’s not possible.