|Bobby Mackey's Music World - Wilder, Ky.|
In recent years, there has been an uptick in interest in all things "paranormal." This increase in interest has been beneficial for quite a few businesses and landmarks all over the country, as haunted places have become popular tourist destinations. Perhaps as a result of its "dark and bloody" history, Kentucky has more than its fair share of paranormal destinations, including Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville (which will be the subject of its own post no doubt) and Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, the self proclaimed "Most Haunted Nightclub in America." Bobby Mackey's has been visited by a number of now-popular ghost hunter TV shows (Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, etc.), and has been able to capitalize on its dark and disturbing legendary history.
The community of Wilder sits along the Licking River, just south of Newport. When you enter the club, the sign above greets you, to let you know that your experience in this club might be a little bit different. Inside the club, you're greeted with the sights and sounds of any country/western bar. There's a nice size stage, and even a mechanical bull. Off to the side of the bar is a gift shop that contains the normal stuff you might see at a destination bar - t-shirts, shot glasses ... and ghost hunting materials.
The history of Bobby Mackey's is mostly culled from legend, and further reading can be found at both Bobby Mackey's website and in Jeffrey Scott Holland's excellent book, Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets.
|Gateway to Hell|
|Stairway to No Where|
Another alleged spirit in the club is Johanna, a dancer who committed suicide by poisoning herself backstage after her father murdered her lover, who was a singer at the club. Johanna's rose-scented perfume can allegedly be detected in different spots all over the site.
My experiences at Bobby Mackey's were relatively uneventful, but it was still a really amazing place to visit - if just for its vivid representations of the recent shady past of this area of northern Kentucky. If you're a paranormal junky, it's a must see.