Spooky Specters!

Haunted Houses and Terror Trails have been Halloween staples for years. During the tween years, my friends and I went to as many as possible over the spooky season, shrieking in exaggerated horror. Safely at home, we’d tease each other for having been truly afraid. But ghosts don’t really exist, do they?

Bobby Mackey’s Music World, Wilder, KY

Visitors to Bobby Mackey’s Music World, in Wilder, Kentucky might disagree. In 1896 the abandoned slaughterhouse was rumored to have been the meeting place for a group of Satanists, who murdered a young woman and disposed of her head in the abattoir’s well. The structure first became a nightclub in the 1920s. Whispers of mob hits and the suicide of an exotic dancer added to the number of deaths associated with the location. The stories didn’t stop after Bobby Mackey took over in 1978. People tell of a jukebox that plays the Anniversary Waltz even when unplugged, apparitions, unexplained noises, and moving objects. One employee alleged to have been attacked by evil spirits. A customer sued Bobby Mackey for a ghostly attack in the restroom. Another claimed to have become possessed after spending time at the club.

Visit at your own risk!

The Old Talbot Tavern, Bardstown, is one of the oldest continuously operating taverns in the US. A popular stagecoach stopover the inn played host to the famous – the exiled King of France Louis Phillipe, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Foster, and the infamous – Jesse James. James had relatives in the area and was known to frequent the tavern. He was perhaps the first guest to report seeing a ghost on the premises. Waking from his sleep he saw a figure in his room and fired several shots at it before the phantom vanished into thin air. The bullet holes remain in the wall. Some employees and patrons of the Talbot maintain that Jesse James does as well, roaming the halls and laughing. The outlaw isn’t the only shade to haunt the Talbot. Six of George Talbot’s children died at the inn, one falling down a set of stairs, another by hanging. Guests have recounted seeing the ghost of a small girl in the dining room, as well as a woman in white, and have complained of cold spots, footsteps, and doors slamming in empty corridors. Why not see for yourself? Book a room at the Talbot, if you dare.

Old Talbot Tavern, Bardstown, KY

I want to hear the stories of supernatural happenings near you.

Happy Halloween!



  1. My cousin’s friend lived in a house he claims was haunted.  They would hear the piano playing randomly in the middle of the night.  There was a fire in the house, and only one room was spared from any smoke or fire damage.
    It also happened to be the house where my mother lived with my grandmother while mom was a teenager.  My grandmother played piano.  And the undamaged room was my grandmother’s bedroom.

  2. I posted this on Jezebel a couple of Halloween’s ago under a different account. It’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me. 

    This is a totally true story. It’s odd so make of it, what you will.
    My sophomore year in college, I moved into a two bedroom apartment with a girl I knew from my freshman dorm – Carol and another girl she knew, Kimberly. Our original fourth roommate backed out at the last minute so Carol let a senior girl, Kathy, move in so we wouldn’t have to cover the rent. Carol didn’t really know Kathy but she was nice enough and had a rock n roller boyfriend so we thought she was cool.
    Carol and I shared the front bedroom that had a bathroom and Kimberly and Kathy shared the back one that had the bathroom off of the living room. We were on the first floor with an apartment full of frat dudes above us. The first day Kathy moved in – she nailed all of the windows shut including ours. She was afraid someone would break in and rape us. We thought it was a little melodramatic but we just quietly took the nails out of our window and went on with life. I didn’t want to be trapped if there was a fire. 
    Everything went along fine, Kathy was a little odd, but we just chalked it up to her being a senior and she would sometimes spend a week or two with her boyfriend so, she wasn’t really there that much. 
    One night Carol and I came home from studying. We walked in the door and Kathy was sitting on the couch with a brown haired girl we had never seen before. The girl turned around and looked directly at us. She said “Hi” We said “Hi”, but I got the biggest chill up my spine. She looked me in the eye when Kathy introduced us, but I was having such fight or flight response, that I don’t remember what her name was. I chose flight and headed directly into our bedroom. Carol followed and shut the door. “Who is that girl?”I asked Carol. She said, “I have no idea, but I just got the chills when she looked at us.” Holy shit! Me too!. We were both freaked out by the girl and decided that we couldn’t stay in the apartment. We left and went to dinner trying to figure out what had just happened. Did we just have a paranormal experience? Could she be a serial killer? Who was the girl? Why did we both get chills? This lead to other creepy subjects – the grisly Gainesville Ripper murders had happened recently at the University of Florida and everyone was on edge about that(We were in Georgia). Supposedly, years earlier Ted Bundy had been living under my friend’s aunt’s house when he killed the Chi Omega girls. Needless to say say we had talked ourselves into a frenzy.
    Anyway, time passed. We ate and had a beer or two. We calmed down and decided we were being silly and finally went back to the apartment. When we walked in, Kathy and the girl were gone, but Kimberly, our other roommate, was home. The first words out of our mouths were “ Did you meet that friend of Kathy’s?” Kimberly said “Yeah, when I got home, they were coming out of your room.” Of course we freaked at that. Why were they in our room? Kimberly tells us that Kathy said she was showing the girl around the apartment and she liked our closets. Our closets? WTF does that even mean? We were starting to freak out again.
    So, we looked in the closets, under the beds and all around the room. Nothing seemed to be amiss. After awhile, we calmed down enough to go to bed. I had my full day of classes and had to start early in the morning and all of this hysteria was starting to be tiring. And, the girl was gone. So, no harm done. 
    Around 1 am, I woke up. I rolled over and saw that Carole was already awake. I could see that her eyes were wide open. She was looking at me. She whispered “ Are you awake?” “Yes.” I said. She whispered in complete terror, “I think something’s under my bed.” I want to go back to sleep and I’m starting to get annoyed by the hysteria of the whole thing, so I say “WTF, there’s nothing under your bed. You’re a neat freak.” Almost crying, she says, “I felt something move under it. I can’t look. Oh God, it just moved again!”
    Being the skeptic, but still a little creeped out, I got out of my bed and got down on the floor to look under her bed.
    At that moment, I felt this little pulse of energy/waft of wind shoot out from under the bed towards the bathroom.
    Then, all of a sudden – the bathroom sink faucet shot on full force. 
    We both just started screaming. We were so loud – the frat bros from upstairs came running down to see what was wrong. It was so bonkers, we didn’t even know what to say to them.
    To this day, I can’t explain it. The faucet had never done that and never did it again while we were in that apartment. I don’t know if the faucet had anything to do with the creepy girl going through our room or not. Kathy had not come home that night. When she finally did come home, we asked her who the girl was. “Oh, just some girl in my psych class. I had told her about you guys and she wanted to come by to meet you.” Carole said “Can you ask her why?” Kathy responded, “I haven’t seen her in awhile, I think she dropped the class.” Although I don’t know what help it would’ve been, we did put the nail back in the window.

  3. My Aunt worked at the Harrisburg State Mental Hospital in the 1950s as a dietician. It was active from 1851 until 2006. She told many stories, including ones about the criminally insane working in the kitchens…with knives…even though they had committed knife murders, and certain wings of the old building that no staff would enter alone.

    From PennLive: “Reports have emerged of mysterious noises, shadowy figures and moving objects. Two areas in particular are said to be especially haunted: The morgue and the network of tunnels that lies underneath the hospital complex. When the Harrisburg Area Paranormal Society investigated the complex, they caught a photo of a shadowy figure.

    When the old Discovery Channel show “Ghost Lab” investigated the hospital in May 2010, they came out with several electronic voice phenomena, including a voice that appeared to say the names “Peter” and “Annie.” The crew also captured a voice saying the full name of a woman who had worked at the hospital. For those curious about investigating the hospital, be warned that permission is required to enter the grounds and explore the buildings.

    I went there as a child with a Brownie troop to sing carols and give small gifts to the residents. It definitely had an antiquated, spooky atmosphere even in the 1960’s.

    Unrelated note: I was a Chi Omega with long brown hair during the Bundy era. Yup, we were all a little bit freaked out.

    • I never heard about the Harrisburg State Mental Hospital despite growing up in PA.  I love a good haunted hospital. 

      I’m glad you weren’t a Chi Omega at Florida Tallahassee!


    • I had an old friend who was the lead social worker at the NM State Hospital.  He never mentioned if the joint was haunted, but there were some crazy stories about shit that went on.  Eventually, one of the outpatients crashed my first wedding.  Guess which point during the ceremony when he decided to make his presence known.

    • …and we have a winner!  My friend was also an Episcopal Priest (Northern NM had a special program which allowed for the ordination of approved people for their local churches, even if they hadn’t gone through seminary) and he was presiding.  He had an agreement with the mental hospital outpatients that they could attend Sunday services as long as they were on their meds–but if they caused any trouble, he’d boot them out himself. 
      Well, for reasons I don’t care to get into, we had the wedding on a Sunday, rather than a Saturday.  It was early afternoon, but Sunday is Sunday–and I’m guessing this guy didn’t keep the church’s schedule top of mind–so when he saw people going into the church he went inside as well and took a seat.  It seems he said something wildly inappropriate to one of the bride’s maids when she was walking down the aisle, but he didn’t make himself known to everyone until the Big Moment.
      HOMELESS OUTPATIENT:  “Uh, Rodney, I have something I’d like to say.”
      RODNEY:  (Visibly seething) “We’re trying to have a wedding here.”
      HOMELESS OUTPATIENT:  “Well, I know, but I just wanted to say…well…um…never mind”  (exits the church).
      Years later, I saw the film “Always” with Richard Dreyfus.  There’s a scene in the film where a dead Dreyfus is able to communicate with a living person through a crazy homeless man, but that the message keeps getting mixed up.  I still hold that God Himself was trying to tell me that getting married to that woman was a terrible, terrible, terrible idea and that I needed to get the hell out of there.  Unfortunately, I didn’t listen.

    • Eventful is one word for it.
      Maybe I’ll write a book in the style of David Sedaris–lots of anecdotes, rather than an actual autobiography that literally nobody wants to read.  Unfortunately, I can’t do nearly as good a Billie Holiday impression as him so if NPR wants me to do any readings the entertainment value wouldn’t be as high.

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