Is Land Under Cash House Cursed?

This appeared in The Tennessean - April 23, 2007

My recent column describing the destruction by fire or storm of three of the four houses on and near the former Johnny Cash land in Hendersonville has prompted author William Henry Schmidt to write.

In 1968, Roy Orbison's house next door to Johnny's burned, killing two of his sons. Construction was never completed on a 108-foot-tall house (where Johnny's tennis court is now) that Bob Dylan wanted because a tornado blew it into the lake. And we all know about this month's fire that destroyed the former Cash house that is now owned by Barry Gibb. The only house in that area that remains belongs to Marty Stuart and Connie Smith. Marty bought it from William Henry's father, Robert. Roy also owned it but never lived in it.

"When my father bought the property from Roy Orbison in 1981, we were told it was part of a sacred burial ground," says William Henry, the author of City of Peace about secrets of sacred Nashville, and books on ancient history. "While living there we learned the house is built on caves. You could hear strange noises underneath the house.

"Practically from the time we moved in, we started hearing stories about Roy's life and how it went downhill (after moving there)," he tells me. "The home on the other side of Orbison's was owned by a family that had tremendous troubles.

"The area definitely has a strange vibe. We sometimes thought of the place, and those who live there, as cursed. Our lives, and those of our neighbors, were challenging. Was it because these homes are built on violated ground? I am not so sure. Spiritual energy is neutral.

"I'm proud of what Marty Stuart and his wife did to restore my parents' home and of his effort to revive Cash's land. I'm thrilled that Barry will be there to help.

By Beverly Keel

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