Ghosthunting Kentucky [NOOK Book]


The hills and hollows — and cities — of the Bluegrass State offer excellent opportunities for the ghost hunter. Guide Patti Starr leads readers on a tour of 30 legendary haunted spaces in Kentucky. She snoops around creepy farmhouses and grim garrets, eerie rooms and dark corners, exposing the ghosts and recording first-hand accounts of terrifying encounters. Clear maps and photographs help readers locate each dire destination, while more sensitive souls can enjoy experiencing these visits from the other side ...
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Ghosthunting Kentucky

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The hills and hollows — and cities — of the Bluegrass State offer excellent opportunities for the ghost hunter. Guide Patti Starr leads readers on a tour of 30 legendary haunted spaces in Kentucky. She snoops around creepy farmhouses and grim garrets, eerie rooms and dark corners, exposing the ghosts and recording first-hand accounts of terrifying encounters. Clear maps and photographs help readers locate each dire destination, while more sensitive souls can enjoy experiencing these visits from the other side from the safety of their armchair.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578604135
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2010
  • Series: America's Haunted Road Trip
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Patti Starr is a world renowned paranormal investigator who owns the Ghost Chasers International organization founded in 1996 based in Lexington, Kentucky. She is also owner of the Ghost Hunter Shop located at 835 Porter Place, Lexington, Kentucky. Patti is the tour guide for the immensely popular Bardstown Ghost Trek which she started in 1997 in Bardstown, KY.

With over 30 years of paranormal research and ghost investigations Patti has captured many anomalies in photos, videos and audios while investigating haunted locations. Her goal as an experienced and accomplished paranormal investigator is to collect evidence to support the premise that life goes on even after death. She is very active as a ghost researcher, author, lecturer, consultant, dowser, and teacher. Her book, Ghost Hunting in Kentucky and Beyond, is widely hailed as a must-have resource for all serious ghost hunters.

Patti has been teaching ghost hunting courses at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky since 2001. Her Ghost Hunter Certification Home Study Course is in great demand and she has students from all over the world enrolled. She is currently lecturing at numerous universities, colleges, and libraries throughout the United States. Colleges and universities Student Activity Directors can book Patti by contacting Wolfman Productions.

Patti’s work has been documented in numerous newspapers and magazines including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Oracle 20/20, Ghost Magazine and Southern Distinction.

Patti writes for the Lexington Herald-Leader online newspaper under the heading “Ask the Expert”. It is a forum for posing questions to certain professionals. Questions and answers are published for information and discussion purposes only.

In 2006 Patti Starr was voted as one of the Top Ten Ghost Hunter Paranormal Investigators in America for 2007, 2008 and again for 2009.

Patti is a frequent guest on television and radio programs. She has been featured on national TV such as A&E “Paranormal State” filmed at a haunted residence, A&E “Airline” filmed in Birmingham, AL, at the haunted Sloss Furnaces and a film clip of that investigation was featured on the Montel Williams Show. She was also featured on the Food Network “The Best of Fright Food” filmed at the haunted Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Look for her next book to come out in the fall of 2009. She recently signed a contract with a publisher who has started a series of books called “America’s Haunted Road Trip”. The publisher has chosen one author from each state to write about the ghosts in public places so people can take a road trip to visit these haunted locations. Patti was chosen to write Ghost Hunting in Kentucky.

Patti is currently working on an event, ScareFest, which will be held at the Lexington Center on September 11, 12, 13, 2009. It is herald as is one of the biggest "Horror and Paranormal" conventions to be held in the Southeast. It will feature many stars and celebrities from the horror and paranormal communities.
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Read an Excerpt

Bobby Mackey’s Music World
Campbell County, Kentucky

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about ghost hunting in Kentucky is, “Have you ever investigated Bobby Mackey’s place in Wilder, Kentucky?” Of all the sites that I have investigated, none can compare to the history of death, murder, and human sacrifice that is recorded at this locale. Over the years Bobby Mackey’s Music World has become known as one of the most sinister and haunted spots in America. Its reputation for being inhabited by tormented entities derives from the bizarre history of the place and the surrounding area. For about one hundred and twenty years this building has gone from owner to owner while building a legacy that includes murders, suicides, demonic rituals, and slaughtered animals.

I called one of my ghost hunter graduates, Susan Rushing, who lives within a few miles of Wilder, to ask her if she could help me get into Bobby Mackey’s place for a ghost investigation and to interview some of the employees. Susan, a devoted ghost hunter herself, graciously offered to make arrangements but held me to my promise that she would be able to join the ghost investigation. She has a knack for accomplishing anything once she sets her mind to it. Susan, with her wit and charm, had no problems securing an appointment for our team to investigate this haunted Mecca.

We also invited Cynthia Spicer, another one of my graduates, to join us. Even though Cynthia is a single mom raising two little girls she still found time to work a ghost hunt. Cynthia, Chuck and I headed out early in the day to meet Susan in Wilder before heading out for Bobby’s by 3:00 pm.

We came close to canceling our trip to Wilder. A few days before we were scheduled to leave, Kentucky had been hit by one of the most destructive ice storms since 2003. The roads were cleared, but the walkways and parking lots were still heavily covered in ice and snow. When we arrived in Wilder and got out of the car, we held on to each other as we started on the icy path to the front door of Bobby Mackey's. Before we had gotten too far, Bobby Mackey's PR/Marketing Manager, RJ joined us. He was bundled in his thick, red coat, black hat, and plaid scarf in an attempt to ward off the bitter cold. He was uneasy that one of us might fall so after a quick picture-taking session in front of our car we headed inside. RJ loved our vanity car license plate that sports the word, Ghosts, and made sure to get a picture of it for their website.

As I entered the main doors of the famous honky-tonk I felt the energy crawl up my back and shoulders as if I was being greeted by invisible creatures of the unknown. I later explained that eerie feeling to another one of my graduates, JC Harris, and he told me about his own investigation at Mackey's a few months before mine. He felt the same creepy feeling, which prompted him to raise his camera for quick snapshots of the entrance straight ahead. He captured an interesting mist accompanied by a faint purple spirit orb as he walked down the foyer.

Before continuing on into the building I looked to the right and saw a warning sign on the wall that stated the place was haunted and by entering at your own risk the club would not be responsible if you were attacked by unseen forces. I thought it was a great marketing gimmick, but JR told me that someone tried to sue Bobby because they claimed they were attacked by a ghost. The case was dismissed, but the management thought it best to warn others about the possible dangers.

RJ shared with us some of the history of Mackey's as we proceeded into the belly of this haunted icon. Since the 1800s the building has sheltered many personalities, and some of them were not so good. RJ said that for over forty years the building served as an animal slaughterhouse where the blood of the animals would drain into a well under the basement that flowed out to the nearby Licking River. Some people believed that satanic worshippers performed sacrificial rites on the property because it was located near the Licking River. This river has been noted, with a few other rivers of the world, as flowing north instead of in the more common southerly direction. This may have been why the occultists were attracted to the site.

Several different clubs and lounges have occupied the space. After the slaughterhouse closed it was not until the 1930s that another company opened for business. During the years that clubs and bars were in operation there were numerous fights, attacks, and killings that surrounded the Primrose Country Club, the Latin Quarters, the Blue Grass Inn, and the Hard Rock Café. It was Bobby’s intention to change all of that by bringing in a better type of entertainment when he opened Bobby Mackey’s Music World in 1978.

RJ told us that Bobby gave up the chance to record songs in Nashville to put all his time and money into his new country music bar. Bobby was already a well-known country singer in Kentucky with several popular albums to his credit and was looking forward to having his own place to perform.

As I was standing near the dimly lit bar listening to RJ recount the past I noticed a rather husky fellow, wearing a dark hoody. He walked over to join us. He was Matt Coates, the building supervisor, but he sure looked more like a bouncer to me. I thought to myself, if there were any ghosts or demons haunting this place surely they would think twice before taking him on.

I turned back to RJ to ask him more questions and he assured me that I would probably get a better account of the hauntings by talking to Matt. He had been with Bobby Mackey for five years and was there during most of the ghost investigations that had been performed at the club. I figured now was the best time to grab my digital audio recorder to chronicle his accounts of suspicious ghostly activity. “So Matt”, I asked, “tell me about what you have seen or witnessed here at Bobby Mackey's.”

Without hesitating Matt said, “One night while I was standing over by the mechanical bull I saw a man sitting at one of the tables across the other side of the room. I started to walk over to see who he was and noticed that he was dressed like someone from the 1800s. As I approached him he stood up and even though it was dark I could see that he had a mustache. He then turned and walked to the back door where he vanished.”
“What did you do next?” I said.
“I packed up my tools and went home.”
“Did you ever see him again?”
“Yes”, Matt admitted, “but I guess I’ve gotten use to him and I don’t pay him any mind anymore.”

I asked him if he had any idea of who the man might be, and he said that it might be Scott Jackson or Alonzo Walling. He told me the story of these two dental students from Cincinnati who were part of an occult group called the Seven Hooded Ghost Men in the late 1800s. They would secretly meet in the abandoned slaughterhouse and perform rituals where they would sacrifice animals and mentally retarded children. They also killed Scott’s girlfriend, Pearl Bryan, who was five months pregnant at the time, and after severing her head they threw it down the well during a satanic ritual. They were both tried and found guilty of her murder and were hanged for this heinous crime. I gestured to my team, who were checking out the mechanical bull area for possible evidence, to go into the basement. We would proceed with the interview there.

The basement was huge with many rooms to choose from but our interest was in the room that contained the foreboding well. This supposed portal led into the depths of hell where so many body parts had been banished during satanic rituals. Susan and Cynthia stopped immediately as we entered the room. I was already in the room when I heard Susan remark, “Wow!” I spun around to see what was the matter. Both women said they saw a thick mist, almost like a veil, before them, surrounding the room. Matt said that he, too, had seen this same phenomena many times, although at this particular time neither he nor I saw it. After Susan and Cynthia stepped into the room to join Matt and me the mist vanished.

Matt pointed out a small room off to the side that he called the jail room. He said it was the room where the occultists put the children before they sacrificed them and threw them down the well. I went into the room and the others claimed that they saw a spirit orb fly around my head. Could this be a spirit from one of the children that had been thrown into the jail room?

Then Matt guided us over to an open doorway on the other side of the room where stairs proceeded up to nowhere. I thought how bizarre that the stairs just led up to a plastered wall. It's possible that during Prohibition bootleggers may have used the stairs to bring liquor up to the bar. They probably brought it up from the river so no one would catch them smuggling the illegal booze. There could have been a door leading to the outside that had been closed off in later years.

I saw that in one corner of the room the floor had been ripped up and the gruesome well opening was exposed. There was a barricade of wooden slats built in front of the well so no one would accidentally fall in. I asked Matt who ripped up the floor and as he lifted his leg to brace himself on the barricade he answered, “Carl had a dream that Johanna came to him and pointed at the floor. She told him that if he would rip up the floor in the basement he would find the well and her diary there.”
“Who are Carl and Johanna?” I asked.

Matt said that Carl Lawson was a longtime employee at Bobby’s and that he was the maintenance man. He lived in an apartment above the club. He started seeing shadows and hearing disembodied voices shortly after he came to work there. It wasn’t long until he started seeing a full apparition of a woman. Later, he claimed that he had conversations with her and that he thought the ghost's name was Johanna. She was a young woman who committed suicide after her boyfriend was murdered. She found out that her father, owner of the Latin Quarters, arranged to have her boyfriend, Robert Randall, killed so that they couldn’t be together. She had met him while he was a singer at the club and had fallen in love with him. Her father begged her to forget him but she was bound and determined to marry him. Her father took things into his own hands and with his mafia connection had one of his gangsters kill him. After Johanna took her own life they found her body in the basement in the same room that housed the well. She was five months pregnant.

I was struck by the coincidences; two women whose deaths were connected to Mackey's and both were five months pregnant at the time of their deaths. Later on, during my interview with Bobby I found another interesting coincidence. Johanna’s boyfriend’s name was Robert Randall and Bobby Mackey’s full name is Robert Randall Mackey. Bobby has even written a song titled, Johanna, as a tribute to her life there.

I asked Matt if Bobby and his wife, Janet, had ever experienced any of the paranormal commotion and he shared another story with me about Janet. Shortly, after they purchased the place, Janet, who was pregnant at the time, went upstairs to clean the apartment. She stopped in the middle of her work because she thought she heard voices in the apartment. At first, she couldn’t make out what they were saying. When she resumed her work they started talking again. Again, Janet stopped what she was doing. The voices grew louder and spoke more clearly and as she listened she understood them saying, “Get out of here.” She became very upset and started to leave the apartment. All of a sudden she felt invisible hands take a hold of her, preventing her from leaving. She struggled and pulled away from the controlling force and ran for the stairs. Reaching for the railing, Janet started down the stairs, but the enraged ghost pushed her. She lost her footing and fell down the stairs. As she lay on her back at the bottom of the stairs she looked up to see a figure looking down at her and then it walked away. The fall pushed Janet into premature labor. The doctor was able to stop the labor and her healthy baby was born closer to the delivery date. Even though Janet had experienced other strange happenings, such as doors opening on their own, lights flickering with static sounds and a ladder that walked toward her, being pushed down the stairs was enough for her. She vowed never to return to the place.

We wrapped up our investigation and two days later I called Bobby Mackey on the phone to get his take on all the ghosts at his place. He was every bit a gentleman and so kind to answer my questions. He told me right up front that he did not believe in ghosts. He assured me that nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened to him, even though Janet did have some incredible experiences. I asked him how he felt about having the same name as Johanna’s boyfriend. He said that it was a strange coincidence but nothing more than that.

Unlike Bobby, Janet felt that Johanna was the one who pushed her since Janet was also pregnant—here again, another coincidence. Janet also married a man with the name, Robert Randall, the same name as Johanna’s boyfriend. The ghost might have believed that Janet’s husband, Bobby, was her boyfriend reincarnated. Janet admitted to Bobby that she thought that Johanna attacked her because of jealousy.

A couple of days after talking to Bobby, I called RJ to get a few more details for my story. He told me that Janet had passed away only the day before. I was truly shocked and asked if she had been sick. He explained that Janet had suffered with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) for some time but had it under control with medication. She had gone to her daughter’s house to baby-sit her grandchildren while her daughter and son-in-law went out on a Valentine’s Day date. When they returned they asked their mom if she was going to bed and she replied that she wanted to stay up and watch TV for a while. The following morning they found Janet slumped over on the couch as if she had fallen asleep while watching TV. When they tried to wake her they realized that she had passed away sometime during the night. “At least Janet was able to spend her last hours with her grandchildren, who she loved and adored with all her heart,” RJ said.

I dedicate this chapter to this loving and devoted woman, Janet Mackey, loved by all who knew her.

Janet Mackey had been married to Bobby for forty-two years and was only a couple of days short of her sixty-first birthday.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Greta weeps in the Mansion at Griffin Gate
Chapter 2: Historic Kentucky Theater spotlight ghosts
Chapter 3: Loudoun House has art and ghosts hanging around
Chapter 4: Maple Hill Manors reveals true ghostly activity
Chapter 5: Mysterious cries heard at Perryville Battlefield State Park
Chapter 6: The show of spirits at the Thoroughbred Theater
Chapter 7: The Harrodsburg Mansion unlocks the tales of ghosts
Chapter 8: Paramount Joe haunting Paramount Theater
Chapter 9: Boone Tavern haunted throughout the ages
Chapter 10: Buffalo Trace Distillery has more than one kind of spirit
Chapter 11: George Clark B&B is hosted by the ghost of Ms. Julia
Chapter 12: Lock and Key Coffee Shop serves a spirited menu
Chapter 13: She waits for her love at Natural Bridge State Park
Chapter 14: Ghostly voices of children heard playing at White Hall
Chapter 15: Springhill Winery has many spirit combinations
Chapter 16: Rosemark Haven B&B has spirits for each room
Chapter 17: The Colville Covered Bridge reveals ghostly lights
Chapter 18: Jesse James didn’t check out of the Talbott Tavern
Chapter 19: Strange prisoners are still incarcerated at the Jailer’s Inn
Chapter 20: Waverly Hills is mostly haunted by spirited TB patients
Chapter 21: Gratz Park Inn doesn’t want you to know
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2011

    If you are looking for haunted places to go this is for you

    This book is wonderful, it is well organized in the book they section off different parts of the state so places are easier to find. All the places in the book are places you can go to and they are unconventional places, like museums, hotels, restaurants. In the book there is a story for each place. I like it because it is different than the other Kentucky haunting books out there where most just rehash the same stories. This book gives you the physical places.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Do you like to sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories? Ha

    Do you like to sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories? Have you ever wondered if there was any truth to the stories that you heard? This book is full of such stories, interviews and investigations to back up what the author is putting out there. You will find some, well, cute, and others will have you wanting to leave the lights on when you go to bed.

    As far back as I can remember, I loved anything to do with ghosts. There was Casper, whose comic books I devoured and who I dressed up once for Halloween as. There were books with pictures of apparitions that had me so intrigued that I read the same book over and over. There was an episode in my childhood, which I truly believe was me being visited by my brother, who died before I was born. It was so vivid and in ways is still that way today, that I can't see how it was a dream, because surely I would have forgotten about it by now. Present day, we have the TV shows Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventurers and Paranormal State which have brought credibility to the idea of ghosts aka spirits of the dead. Now I will be following the trail of Patti Starr to see what she's experiencing.

    The book itself is story after story of different places in Kentucky that either she or numerous people close to her have experience ghostly occurrences at. Now with that, I don't mean that they always saw a ghost, but they either came away with EVP's, pictures or events that really made them feel that what they were experiencing was the paranormal. I was really hyped when she talked about a haunting near a college where my oldest daughter had seriously considered attending before deciding to join the military instead. When she gets home off of leave, I'm going to make sure she reads that part.

    Now, my biggest disappointment was the investigation at Bobby Mackey's Music World. This place is like the rock star of the USA hauntings. Some scary, crazy things have happened at this place throughout the history of the place. Unfortunately, the author barely touches on it and for what she calls an investigation, I consider just an interview. If you aren't going to put out a full fledged investigation on this site, I wouldn't start off the book with it. Other issues I had with the book were what I considered fluff filling and writing from what she could remember and than going back and filling in the blanks, without rereading what she had put down to begin with. Fluff filling is pretty self-explanatory, putting things in to make the story longer but nobody really giving a hoot about it to begin with.

    Ms. Starr has some great stories she shares with the reader, and they all caught my attention. Who doesn't like to read about a haunted hospital? They are some of the best hauntings out there! Haunted theatres...even Billy Ray Cyrus knew how to please one of these ghosts. Covered Bridges...hangings, car accidents, etc., throughout the history of the structure. She just pounds them out, one after another and good luck keeping up.

    This is a book for all ghost lovers out there, no matter how young or old you are. There's something for everyone. You will not put this book down without at least one story sticking to you and repeating in your thoughts. I'm going to check out more on Patti Starr and further books on ghost hunting stories from other states, and with warmer weather on its way, I'm thinking of checking out some more ghost tours. I do recommend the Asbury Park, NJ ghost tours, we went as a family and were blown away.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 6, 2012

    Patti Starr is a very good at whats she does. She nevers says th

    Patti Starr is a very good at whats she does. She nevers says that she can prove ghosts to exists but only she has found compelling evidence that they do. Its a good read expecially because she lists the town and location of each haunt. Most books are just storys and legends but these you can actualy trace and look up the history your self. I highly recomened this book to any one interested in the field of paranormal.

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