Memphis and the Mid-South are home to an abundance of ghost stories. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, such stories can be entertaining reading. These stories are not presented as fact, but rather as the legends that they are. Enjoy these tales of Memphis hauntings.
Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery:
Located in Atoka, the Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery is infamous for its paranormal activity. Visitors to the old cemetery (which was established in the 1850's) report encountering unfriendly spirits such as long-dead criminals, ferocious beasts, and even the ghosts of malicious children. Even folks who do not believe in ghosts claim to have encounter wild animals in the cemetery late at night.
The Blackwell House is a Victorian home located on Sycamore View Road in Bartlett. Legend has it that the wife of the original owner, Nicholas Blackwell, died just two nights after moving into the house. According to the story, subsequent residents have not been able to stay in the home for any length of time because the home is now haunted by the ghosts of both Blackwells -- two spirits who are frequently roaming through the house, wearing their Sunday best.
The Brister Library is the former library building at The University of Memphis. Legend has it that many years ago, a student was attacked and murdered inside the library. The murderer was never caught. The spirit of the student is said to still roam around the building, screaming for help.
Ernestine and Hazel's:
It is unclear just who haunts Ernestine and Hazel's, the dilapidated bar in downtown Memphis. But with it's history (it once housed a brothel upstairs!), it comes as no surprise that the bar is haunted. The jukebox reportedly plays on its own and ghostly figures have been spotted in the bar.
Ornamental Metal Museum:
The Ornamental Metal Museum is located in and on the grounds of Memphis' old Marine Hospital. The basement of the museum's main building, in fact, was originally the hospital's morgue. The morgue saw thousands of yellow fever victims during the city's epidemic and the ghosts of some of those victims reportedly haunt the area today.
Probably Memphis' most famous ghost, Mary is the ghost of a little girl that was killed when she was hit by a vehicle outside the Orpheum. Though she is known to play childish pranks in the theater (opening doors, laughing out loud, etc.), she is most frequently spotted in her favorite seat, C-5. In addition to Mary, paranormal investigators believe that there are as many as six other spirits residing in the Orpheum Theatre.
Legend says that in the 1960's the body of a young woman who had been stabbed to death was found floating in the lake at Overton Park. The woman was said to have been wearing a blue dress. Since then, numerous people have reported seeing an apparition in a blue dress rising up out of the lake.
Salem Presbyterian Church Cemetery:
Another cemetery in Atoka, this one is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of Native Americans and slaves who were literally dumped into a mass grave in one section of the property. Today, a lone marker designates the grave area. In addition, there are many others buried in the cemetery, each in his own plot and with his own marker. Those who claim to have encountered ghosts in this cemetery describe the spirits as angry and even malicious.
Voodoo Village is located on Mary Angela Road in southwest Memphis. According to residents, the area is home to St. Paul's Spiritual Temple and is enclosed in a huge iron fence. But the legend suggests that something other than church services are taking place there. Reports of sacrificial offerings, black magic, and the walking dead suggest that Voodoo Village is ripe with supernatural activity.
Woodruff Fontaine House:
There is one room in this historic home that is purported to be haunted. Molly Woodruff Henning is said to inhabit The Rose Room, though she occasionally wanders throughout the rest of the house. A seemingly friendly spirit, Molly reportedly once instructed museum staff on the correct placement of the furniture in her former bedroom.
More Memphis Ghosts:
These are just a few of the many spirits that reportedly dwell among us in the Mid-South. If you would like to go in search of these or other ghosts, be sure to check out these ghost hunting tips
from the Memphis - Mid South Ghost Hunters.
If you manage to encounter any local spirits, we would love to hear about it! Send ghostly stories and pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org.