The Gold-Brick Hotel was the hub of Sweetwater, Tennessee during its heyday--a heyday now one hundred years dead. From accounts of the town’s inhabitants, all of Sweetwater’s shops, which were passed through the generations as a family inheritance, worked with the Gold-Brick so that the whole town benefited from its prosperity. Essentially, the whole of the town held hands: the hotel owners, the local business holders, and their children. But when the hotel chained its doors shut for the last time, all of the buggy doors of the citizens of Sweetwater shut as well, fleeing the town in droves--never to return to their hometown again.
All accounts of Sweetwater’s plummet to the abyss of forgotten legends have variation, as such tales do, but every story began with the death of a little girl. Her name was Lavender Downs, or it might have been Lilian Sowns; whatever her name, she was found by all to be of a sweet nature and of rosy-dimpled countenance. Her family was staying in the hotel from the big city, and had tucked the little girl into her bed before going out for the night. According to Mrs. Downs, “Upon my return, I pushed the door open with a screeching creak, but the door had previously made no sound when opened. I entered the room and saw that it was brightly lit, as though the moon itself was the candle in my room! However, the bedside candle was burned out and smoking; truly, it looked to me as though some sort of spirit had entered under the cracks of the balcony entrance. I hurried to Lillian’s chamber, where I saw that same white light seeping from under her door. Immediately when I opened the door the light vanished, and oh what a sight I found! My little girl’s face glowed with that same white light. When I rushed to pick her up, I nearly dropped her, for she was like a piece of ice--frozen in her nightgown.”
The coroner’s examinations found nothing on her body; there was no bullet hole, stab wound, or rope burn. In fact, the coroner was never able to find anything suspicious on the bodies of the victims that followed, either. The “moonlight spirit” seemed to make no distinction between anyone, for business men, children, and housewives all fell as its victims. The spirit also looked to have no preference as to which hotel room it would enter, either, but merely chose on its own arbitrary whims. Soon enough, the big city newspapers caught hold of the story, and drove the Gold-Brick Hotel and the town of Sweetwater to the ground with the headline “KILLER MOONLIGHT SPIRIT RESIDING IN BRICKS OF HOTEL.” To this day, the descendants of the town take shelter in their houses when the moon peeks its face from behind it's cloudy curtains, for the mystery has remained an unsolved case--who knows when the moonlight spirit will strike again?