Paranormal hot spots in Kentucky can be exciting and enticing places to visit. We have an abundance of different areas where ghostly experiences have been reported all across the state. This should come as no surprise considering the number or battles that have taken place on the Bluegrass soil. Kentucky is also home to the most haunted Victorian neighborhood in the U.S. …so that puts the ghost count up pretty high by itself.
If you are interested in paranormal hot spots in Kentucky, believers are most likely to see a wandering spirit in one of these places:
14. Miner's Cemetery, Dawson Springs
This was a mining town in Dawson’s Springs early years, but they misjudged their tunneling depth and stability. The entire town collapsed into a mining tunnel. There is no record of the amount of deaths, but those who live in the new town say orbs, strange lights and voices occur along the stretch the mining section once stood.
13. Train tragedy, East Bierstadt
Though there is no record of where the bodies were buried, a train carrying a traveling circus derailed in the early 1800s. The spirit of some of the performers and animals are said to appear at times, most often, the spirit of a young man named Calab. Paranormal investigators say there is a demonic presence in the tunnel area nearby as well. Unfortunately, no images of this train wreck are available since it is over a century old. The one shown was in 1918, and is likely very similar to the other tragedy.
12. Gates of Hell (AKA, Grandview Cemetery), Elizabethtow.
This is not the actual name of the cemetery located where St. John Road dead ends… but many residents consider it appropriate. There are some graves from the 1700s and 1800s that have not been identified. They are somewhat overgrown. The gates are bent and the sounds of screams, along with shadow people and electrical problems have been reported. Mind you, some young townies come here to party on occasion.
11. Kentucky State Penitentiary, Eddyville
This is likely the most lovely architecture… and possibly the most ominous of any correctional facility in the state. It is located at 266 Water Street, and is our oldest prison, built in 1886. With that being said, you can imagine the inhumane conditions and executions this facility has seen over the century. Both inmates and guards have reported footsteps, voices, orbs and other strange occurrences.
10. Mammoth Cave, Mammoth Cave
Mammoth Cave is both famous, and infamous. It is home to spirits we know and have no idea about. Several slaves passed in these caves farming salt peter and exploring. Natives steeped onto the spirit path as well. Their mummies were found during exploration. Most images taken during tours will have at least a few orbs dancing in front of the lens. In most cases, paranormal investigators deem these ghosts.
9. Sherman’s Tavern, Cooperstown
This preserved building at 50 Pioneer Street was built in 1812. It served several different purposes, as a store, stagecoach stop, and finally a tavern and inn. It was a big draw for visitors, as anyone who stayed at the end was treated to free bourbon. Some of those visitors liked it so much they decided not to leave.
8. Old Talbott Tavern, Bardstown
This tavern and inn at 107 W Stephen Foster Avenue was built in 1779, long before Bardstown was an actual town. It is the oldest western stagecoach stop that is still in operation today. Jesse James was a frequent visitor of the Talbott, as his cousin worked in the jail nearby. He was the first person to spot a ghost at the Old Talbott, and the bullet holes where he shot at it still exist today.
7. Cavehill Cemetery, Louisville
Located at 701 Baxter Avenue, Cave Hill is the resting place of many famous Kentuckians, including the Frito Lay magician, Colonel Sanders of KFC and Muhammad Ali. I has been around since the 1800s, and is also the resting place of many Victorian era citizens. It is not unusual to see orbs, hear sounds or feel like you are being watched during visits to this beautiful cemetery, especially at night.
6. Lexington Cemetery, Lexington
This cemetery is located at 833 W Main Street and was built in 1849. Like Cave Hill, it was built as a park style cemetery to create a place of beauty for the living and the dead. The dead don’t always rest when buried or put in a mausoleum though. Lights, laughter, voices, orbs and misty figures have been seen here over the decades.
5. Camp Taylor, Louisville
This neighborhood began life as a military camp. All the streets are named after Generals, like Sherman, Taylor, Lee, and the neighborhood is actually named for Zachery Taylor. Residents and visitors have been known to see both Union and Confederate soldiers walking through the neighborhood. A woman in a blue Victorian era dress is also seen in several homes. Some of the old military barracks have been converted into residents, and other homes were set or built atop military building foundations once the buildings were demolished. It is documented that Tuberculosis and Malaria, along with other diseases were the primary reasons the camp shut down.
4. Boone Tavern Hotel, Berea
This historic venue built in 1909, is located at 100 Main Street North. Its original purpose was to house guests of students and faculty at the college. As the years passed it was also utilized for travelers and became quite well known. Several people passed through and just never actually left, according to staff and some guests. Footsteps can be heard when no one is there, and doors will open and close on their own.
3. Perryville Battlefield, Perryville
This battle took place on October 8, 1862 west of Perryville. It was a fight between the Confederate Heartland Offensive and the Union Army of the Ohio. There were 4,276 Union casualties, which included 894 killed, 471 captured or mia, and 2,911 wounded, some of which passed later. The Confederate casualties were a total of 3,401, including 2,641 wounded, 532 killed and 228 missing or wounded. Re-enactments are held annually, but some of the original soldiers are said to walk the fields, still performing their military duties.
2. Old Louisville, Louisville
This was the premier neighborhood in Louisville during the 1800s and early 1900s, featuring state of the art Victorian architecture. Every home was built to outdo the next with beautiful French features, stained glass windows and unique structures. Tuberculosis, aka the White Plague, did a lot of damage in Louisville, and the rest of the US. Entire families were wiped out, there were quarantines, and people left for sanatoriums and the death train. There was also some madness that took place during prohibition, as Louisville was a port town. Illegal gambling and bootlegging took its toll. Unexplained fires, deaths and suicides took place, and a LOT of the spirits never left. There are an abundance of tales relating to paranormal experiences in Louisville, including a ghost tour. The book, Ghosts of Old Louisville, along with its sequel covers some of the haunting.
1. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville
Waverly Hills is located at 4400 Paralee Drive and was opened in 1910 to house a max of 50 Tuburculosis patients. As the need increased so did the number, utilizing state of the art, yet highly experimental techniques to heal the sickness. The mentally challenged were also housed here, along with geriatrics patients' years later. There were multiple suicides, accidental deaths, deaths from illness and deaths by questionable means that occurred here. It is a paranormal hot spot and has been featured on multiple television series and several movies.
These paranormal hot spots in Kentucky have their infamy for a reason. Believe or disbelieve, there are places where unexplained things just happen sometimes. Spirits might appear as orbs, mists, shadows or unexplainable movement… or maybe it is all just coincidental. Either way, here are some more unique tales of unexplained
ghost stories in Kentucky.