Featured events: Ghost Hunting at the Historic Athenaeum in Columbia, Tennessee

Would you like to be a ghost hunter? ​​​​​​​​​​​Watch for the next opportunity to ghost hunt  at the beautiful, historic Athenaeum Rectory in Columbia, Tennessee.  

Innovative Paranormal Research (IPR) - what we offer:

We provide confidential services to those who feel they may be having paranormal experiences, ghosts or a haunting in their home or business.  We provide these services at no charge to you.  Our Mission is to help those who may be living with a phenomena that can be disruptive and/or traumatic.  Our team uses a scientific approach to determine the extent of a haunting. Supporting evidence may be in the form of video, audio and/or photographs.  We respect your privacy and ALL information is kept confidential. Our team does not rid a home of activity; we don't do house blessings  or attempt to help an entity "cross over" - what our team does is strive to give you techniques to empower you to take control of your particular situation. We want to help you alleviate the stress of dealing with possible paranormal activity.

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The information provided on the Innovative Paranormal Research (IPR) Web site is for informational purposes only.  Links to external Web sites are provided as a courtesy. Content provided in external Web site links should not be construed as an endorsement by IPR.  IPR is not responsible or liable (either directly or indirectly) for any damage or loss alleged to be caused by or in connection with reliance on any content contained at this site or any site or resource.


The Athenaeum Rectory was originally intended to be the residence of Samuel Polk Walker, nephew of President James K. Polk. Construction commenced in 1835. Samuel Polk Walker never used this as his home. By the time construction was completed in 1837, the resident became Reverend Franklin Gillette Smith. Reverend Smith was the president of the Columbia Female Institute, an Episcopal school for female students. Reverend Smith resigned from the Columbia Female Institute in 1851 due to alleged improprieties with a student. Still committed to his educational mission, Reverend Smith soon founded the Columbia Athenaeum School on property adjacent to the Columbia Female Institute. The Athenaeum Rectory continued to serve as the residence for the Smith family and housed reception areas for the newly founded school, which continued to operate until 1903. During its 52 years of operation, the school developed a national reputation for the breadth and quality of its curriculum. Reverend Smith belived that the intelligence level of women was equivalent to that of men. The school offered classes that were traditionally available only to men, such as calculus, physics, and marine biology. The main school complex consisted of twelve buildings. Sadly, the Athenaeum Rectory and another building now used as the Athenaeum's office is all that is left of this remarkable historic site. 

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