The ‘Bluegrass State’ with its diverse environment, abundant resources, numerous well-maintained parks and a constant touch of country music houses lots of haunted places with paranormal activities. Farms, asylums, battlefields and music bars have their own shares of spookiness entwined with ghastly tales of murder, suicides, Satan worships and slavery. Here we’ll take a tour of the top ten haunted places in Kentucky that are bound to give you an experience filled with trepidation and terror. Our comprehensive list includes the notorious Octagon hall, white hall, Waverly hill Sanitarium and many other creepy places.
Waverly Hill Sanatarium, Louisville, Kentucky:
In 1910 Waverly Hill Sanatarium was built as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40-50 tuberculosis patients but kept on expanding till 1924 and turned into the present massive structure. Doctors at this hospital carried out devastating experiments that included insertion of balloons in lungs and removal of ribs. Almost 64,000 patients who were admitted in here died over the years due to inhuman treatments by fellow sufferers, caregivers or doctors. In 1930s, a nurse suffering from tuberculosis found out her illegitimate pregnancy by the owner of the sanatorium and hung herself with a light bulb wire in room no.502. A 500ft long tunnel ran from the first floor to the bottom of the hill and was used to remove corpses surreptitiously. The building and the tunnel still remain intact.
Bobby Mackey’s Music Bar, Wilder, Kentucky:
Bobby Mackey’s music world is one the most haunted places in America and is believed to be the gateway to hell. Bobby Mackey purchased this seat of paranormal activities in 1978, which was formerly a slaughter house. Legend says in 1950 "Johanna", a pregnant dancer consumed poison and committed suicide there after her father killed her lover Robert Randall, a performer at the club, by asphyxiating him. Rumor has it in 1897 Satan worshippers Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling killed Pearl Bryan, whose headless body was discovered days after, within 2.5 miles of the club. The Satanists cursed the area and vowed to haunt everyone before they were hanged for their crime. A former caretaker Carl is also believed to be taken over by spirits.
Paramount Arts Centre, Ashland, Kentucky:
Paramount Arts Centre also known as Paramount Theatre, opened on 5th September 1931. It is said during the early renovation work of 1940, four work men from Boyd Theatre Company, Cincinnati, Ohio were working inside the auditorium. All of them, except for one man named Joe, went to lunch and when the other three returned they founded Joe dead hanging from a curtain rigging. From then on stories of apparitions, missing objects, cold drafts and moving shadows are prevalent in that area. Billy Ray while making his video ‘Achy Break Heart’ claims to have chatted with Joe. After the completion of his video he gave autographs to all the female staff and also left one for Joe with a small inscription in it. According to the custom, the autograph posters were hung on the wall but with time few of them were removed including that of Joe’s. The very next day the employees found all the posters scattered on the floor, many with scattered frames, as if someone wiped them of the wall. There are also other tales about Paramount Joe most of which establishes him as a good, helpful ghost.
Octagon Hall, Franklin, Kentucky:
In 1859, Andrew Caldwell built the Octagon Hall to accommodate his growing family and also as headquarter of his plantation. In the 1860, a young girl burned to death in the basement kitchen, and folklores tell that during a 2003 Halloween ghost tour, the fireplace kettle, which hangs from a moveable arm but is too heavy to move easily, swung out into the room on its own. Hearing footsteps and opening and closing of doors are considered to be a normal phenomenon in that house. It is also said that two actors who once spent a night there found a body-shaped imprint on a bed, in one of the bedrooms of the house, where none had slept. A woman, who was cleaning the house alone, claims to have seen another body-shaped imprint on the bed twice in a day. Other incidents include unexplained scents of flower and decayed meat especially on Andrew Caldwell’s death anniversary.
White Hall, Richmond, Kentucky:
The mansion located in Richmond, Kentucky was built by Green Clay around 1788 and was named Clemont. The seven roomed mansion was remodeled by Cassius Clay and his wife Mary Jane in 1861into a 44 roomed house. After Clay died in 1903 reports of the house being haunted were published. Tourist guides and other maintenance staff say hushed conversations are often heard along with appearances of mysterious lights, rose perfumes, delicious food smells, pipe smoke and tinkle of glasses are still heard in the house. Apparitions of three spirits have also been observed and they are assumed to be Cassius Clay, Mary Jane and their son. This state historic site is open for ghost hunters and paranormal activity researchers.
Liberty Hall, Frankfurt, Kentucky:
In 1796, American Senator John Brown built the great Liberty Hall and it got its historical site status in 1971. The most famous resident of Liberty hall was Gray Lady, the apparition of an old lady. In 1880s, Mary Mason Scott, the great grand daughter of John and Margareta Brown claimed to have seen the Gray lady for the first time. Grady lady is assumed to be a kind ghost of Mrs. Brown’s aunt Mrs. Margaret Maverick, who died in 1817 due to heart attack in that house. A dark haired running apparition is also seen and is believed to be of a Spanish opera star, which disappeared while taking a walk in the gardens of Liberty hall. Speculations say she was abducted and her apparition’s mouth is always open in a silent shriek. The ghost of 1812 war soldier in British uniform is often seen peeking from the living rooms.
Louisville Palace Theatre, Louisville, Kentucky:
This historical landmark designed by John Eberson opened on 1st September 1928 and was originally known as the Lowe’s and United Artists State theatre. As the tale goes this place is believed to be haunted by several ghosts. In the mezzanine lobby a faceless woman made her appearance dressed in 1940s British clothes. In the floor containing the Ladies’ parlor, continuous giggles of a child has been heard. Apparition of a man in 1930s clothes have also been witnessed, who disappears when approached. A projectionist who had died there while on his job due to a heart attack, still haunts on the projection booth causing cold drafts, moving shadows and unexplained hushes. In 1965, Ferdinand Frisch, an employee died in the building and from then on he has been seen at many places throughout the building.
Narrows Road, Erlanger, Kentucky:
A phantom police officer supposedly likes to hang out at Narrows Road, Erlanger. While constructing a police stop in 1950s a hit and run accident occurred, casualty being a police officer. Reports say if a car passes by Narrows Road after midnight or exactly at midnight a police van of 1950s appear and the car is pulled over. A police officer emerges out of the car and speaks to the passengers and while walking away he disappears. Few accounts say he disappears even before reaching the passengers. The ghost officer is said to be a friendly one and silent guardian of the fellow police officers in that area.
Perryville Battlefield, Perryville, Kentucky:
During the Civil War, on 8th October 1862, more than 7600 soldiers lost their lives, went missing or were severely wounded on the Perryville battlefield of Kentucky. Most of them were unceremoniously buried disorderedly in mass graves or in unmarked plots of the battlefield. Visitors claim have seen apparitions of soldiers’ marching and sounds of heavy artillery and cannon fire still echoes through the place. The Dye house which is the field hospital adjacent to the battlefield is also said to be the playground of phantom civil war soldiers. The medical facility with its gory histories of surgery, amputations and deaths still houses ghosts of civil war doctors. It is said that voices like ‘I am the doctor!’, ‘Why are you here?’, ‘Hide! They are here.’ are often heard reverberating in the empty hospital.
Phillip’s Folly, Maysville, Kentucky:
Phillip’s folly was constructed under the supervision of William B. Phillips, second mayor of Maysville during 1825-1831. The house comprises of segmental dormers, two-tiered portico and a jail in the basement were slaves and drunks were imprisoned. Phillips sold his property to John Armstrong who later died there in 1851 but still considers the property as his own and often visits the place as an apparition along with the apparition of his the then Newfoundland pet dog. Ghostly sounds of duel have been also heard in the back of the house and one of the victims John Pearce, who died in that house either during a duel match or committed suicide, still haunts the place. The phantoms of slaves and prisoners who were tortured and murdered in the basement jail have also appeared in various accounts.
If you are a ghost hunter or paranormal activity monger you should definitely visit this top ten haunted places in Kentucky. Carrie some extra donuts, in case you get to meet Mrs. Maverick, or have a chat with Joe or get pulled over by the police officer at the Narrows !