A home as old as the Abner T. Shaw house is naturally the source of legends. Several of these have been relayed by locals with sufficient overlap that they are repeated here, without specific authentication.
Spared by the Union Army
The Abner T. Shaw house was barely complete or still in progress when the Union Army was camped out at nearby Union Hill. Union soldiers, under orders to burn and loot Southern homes of any value, arrived at the Abner T. Shaw house to sack the home and burn it. Legend has it that Union soldiers were removing food and other stores from the root cellar (under the current room used as a library) when a Union general saw the Mason's symbol displayed in the eaves over the portico. Because the Union general was also a Mason the home was spared looting and burning. Union soldiers continued to water their horses at the spring house across the driveway (current Brick Church Pike). The Mason's symbol has survived and remains in its original location.
Hit by a cannonball
The Abner T. Shaw house is not known to be in close proximity to major Civil War battles. However, there was definitely a great deal of fierce fighting in Nashville (the Battle of Nashville in 1864 took place mostly south and west of the current downtown area; http://www.bonps.org/index.htm) and in Franklin, TN. Legend has it that the northeast end of the home was struck by a Civil War cannonball near the upstairs bedroom. The cannonball reportedly damaged the chimney, where there remains faint evidence of an approximately two foot by three foot area of repair.
Ghosts in the house
The current proprietor has had no experience with ghosts. However, several locals have stopped by to relay stories of haunting in the home. Given the young age of several of the people buried in Shaw Cemetery, it seems likely that family members may have died in the home. N. Evelyn Shaw, who is buried in Shaw Cemetery, reportedly fell to her death from the second floor front balcony. A former neighbor reported that her ghost inhabits the cemetery. Workers involved in the preservation and restoration of the home have reported that the sound of people walking overhead can be heard at times.