Haunted Journeys

5 of the Most Haunted in Kentucky USA: Phantoms of the Bluegrass State!
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The phantoms of five of the most haunted places in Kentucky are eager to tell their spooky stories. Here are our spine-chilling picks from the Bluegrass State!

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Louisville, Kentucky

Haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Waverly Hills Sanatorium has a history like no other. The land was originally purchased by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883 to be used as a school. The land on the top of the hill was then bought to establish a hospital to take care of the growing needs of patients with tuberculosis. Opening on July 26, 1910, the original two-story frame building was designed to accommodate 40-50 TB patients. However, TB spread like wildfire, they needed to replace the simple building with a massive, collegiate, gothic style Sanatorium. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened on October 17, 1926, and was designed to accommodate at least 400 plus patients. At the end of this epidemic era, Waverly Hills handled thousands with a horrific disease, resulting in over 6,000 deaths during its years in operation. The volume of deaths was so high that doctors worried about patients’ morale and mental health and repurposed a tunnel that had been used to move supplies up the hill in winter into a discrete way to move the dead out of the hospital and to the bottom of the hill where they were out of sight and able to be cremated or collected by their families.  The “body chute” or “death tunnel”. It continuing operating until 1961, when the discovery of an antibiotic was found to successfully treat and cure TB.

This dark and disturbing past brings no surprise that Waverly Hills Sanatorium has a reputation of being one of the most haunted locations in America. Hundreds of paranormal experiences have been recorded at this property. To read about many other hauntings, go to our feature article on Waverly Hills Sanatorium.  But here we will center in on the Fifth Floor, considered to be the epicenter of activity. The fifth floor, which is home to the nurses ‘stations, is home to the most paranormal activity. Visitors have reported seeing children playing in rooms, while others have seen apparitions of patients roaming the halls.  Others have experienced a run-in with shadowy figures passing by doorways and light coming from the windows as if they were still being occupied. The hotbed on this floor is Room 502, where rumors tell us of several suicides/murders that have taken place. Here visitors have seen shapes moving in front of the window, seen lights on in the room from outside, and have heard disembodied voices around them.  There is no doubt that when one mentions Waverly Sanitarium, chills go down the spine of many that have experienced the spectral intensities of this supernatural dynasty. Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing


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Bobby Mackey’s Music World

Wilder, Kentucky

Haunted Bobby MackeysMusic World

Bobby Mackey's Music World opened in 1978 before that the site was thought to be used as a slaughterhouse that closed in 1890. In 1896, two men were convicted for murdering and dismembering a young woman after a sensational murder trial. Legends claim Bryan's murderers were Satanists who cursed the location and vowed to haunt everyone involved in prosecuting the case. The two men were hanged and the head of the victim, Pearl Bryan, was never found. It took on other ownerships within the entertainment space. Many included events surrounding the mob and prohibition. In September of 1978, famed country music singer, Bobby Mackey bought the establishment to play his music for an audience.

Various legends and modern folklore claim that the site features a "gateway to hell" and is haunted by spirits, including Pearl Bryant. One legend claims that a pregnant dancer named "Johanna" committed suicide in the 1940s after her father murdered her lover Robert Randall, a singer at the Club. There are claims that people have been attacked by unseen forces that threw them across the room. Employees and visitors have reported experiences with shadow people, mists, disembodied voices, balls of light, intense feelings of other beings present. There is a dark entity said to be present that is particularly dangerous to women.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.  

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Brown Hotel

Louisville, Kentucky

Haunted Brown Hotel

The Brown Hotel opened in 1923 only ten months after construction began and was built by wealthy Louisville businessman J. Graham Brown. The hotel became the city's business and social center. Mr. Brown's influence on this hotel is seeping in from his afterlife. Many say that the hauntings did not really start until after renovations at the hotel. Some suspect that the top floors are so active, that they are not available for the use of guests. The 15th floor, used only for storage now, is said to be haunted by him. Mr. Brown had a suite on this floor, and the elevator often stops at it with no explanation. Footprints have been seen in the plaster dust on the floor, and one guest staying on the 14th floor complained that someone was moving furniture and heavy walking around in the room above. Others have heard sounds of groans, whispers, and even unexplained noises throughout the hotel.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE

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Octagon Hall

Franklin, Kentucky

Haunted Octagon Hall

Construction started in 1847 and continued until it was finished in 1859. It is one of only four brick eight-sided homes remaining in this country. Initially, built as the residence of Andrew Jackson Caldwell and his family. Caldwell was a slaveholder and Confederate sympathizer. It was known that Confederate soldiers could receive shelter, medical care and be hidden from the Union forces at Octagon Hall. During the Civil War, the famous "Orphan Brigade" took temporary shelter here, with an estimated 12,000 rebel troops encamped and an estimated force of eighteen thousand Union troops in pursuit also camped on the Caldwell farm for several days. The traces of the haunted that were inherited with such a rich history starting escalating with renovations of the building. There is a story of a wounded soldier dying from his wounds while hiding in the attic. It is known that there are at least two soldiers buried on the property. Many have claimed to see apparitions of an adult male in the window, ghostly children, playing in the driveway and ghostly presence in the basement are all common activity on the property.  A ghost of a man riding a wagon in the back yard has also been seen. Many years ago, in the 1860s, there was a little girl who burned near the fireplace. Today she is known as Mary and is a frequent visitor at the museum from her afterlife.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.  

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ROHS Opera House

Cynthiana, Kentucky

Haunted ROHS Opera House

From Cynthiana Kentucky's land of the "Walking Dead", The ROHS Opera House is a historical landmark in this sweet southern town. It was built in 1871 as Aeolian Hall. The "Lady in White" is most often seen throughout the opera house. She has actually been captured on photo images and videography, standing up in the balcony gallery. She appears to be in her forties, wearing along, flowing white garment.  Unexplained aromas, seeing shadow figures, objects move and things getting misplaced are common here. There is also an angry man that prowls the theatre, and two children who are said to run around and play.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.  

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More Reads...

Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky Paperback – July 7, 2014 by William Lynwood Montell  (Author)     Ghosthunting Kentucky (America's Haunted Road Trip) by [Patti Starr, John B. Kachuba]     Haunted Kentucky: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bluegrass State


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