Country music has been around for as long as most of us can remember…and with a history that long, there’s bound to be some spirits lingering, hanging onto the past…not ready to let go.
Throughout the lengthy history of country music, there have been thousands of ghost sightings and claims that certain landmarks, venues, places are haunted – but how are you able to separate the truly haunted places from some meager ghost stories meant to scare unwitting children?
Well, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and have compiled a list of 7 of the most haunted places in the history of country music. These aren’t just places where someone, at some time, claimed they maybe had seen a ghost. Nope, these are places that have had a large number of ghost sightings and paranormal experiences over the course of many years.
Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium
Built in 1929, this venue became one of the hottest spots in country music and hosted some of the greatest performers in the industry on it’s long-running radio show, Louisiana Hayride.
Throughout the more than 80-year history of this iconic building, many have claimed to see the ghosts of legends pass through the halls and experienced bizarre phenomenon.
Ghosts of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and more are said to have been seen in the building, and even more people have claimed to have heard strange whispering, the opening/closing of doors, and applause when nobody was there.
Still in use today, this landmark continues to attract thousands for performances, but not many seem to mind it’s less-than-alive patrons.
RCA Studio B – Nashville, TN
Known as the “House of 1,000 Hits” the RCA Victor Recording Studio ‘B’ has long been known as the place haunted by Elvis.
Over the years, many workers have claimed that when The King’s name is mentioned within the premises, strange things start happening…like equipment falling down, or lights going on/off.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch – Hurricane Mills, TN
More than 100 years ago, a tragedy happened on this farm that has become an unforgettable landmark of country music.
Buela M. Anderson (whose husband owned the ranch) quite literally cried herself to death following the loss of her baby. Loretta began to hear footsteps on the porch where Buela died immediately after moving in, and then Buela began to appear in front of her and make moaning sounds throughout the house.
Loretta’s son, Jack Lynn, passed away in 1984 but before he left us, he had his own strange experience. During the Civil War, a deadly battle had been fought right there on the property and nearly twenty Confederate soldiers were buried somewhere on the grounds. One night, her son was sleeping in the “Brown Room” of the home and awoke to find a Confederate soldier standing at the foot of his bed trying to take off his boots!
Another bizarre piece of the farm’s history is the dungeon-type cellar called a “slave pit”. A damp, dark, and cramped cellar that has bars covering it used to hold slaves who were disobedient as a form of punishment. Loretta and her family have often heard the sounds of rattling chains with no other explanation. One evening, while watching tv with a friend, the sounds became so unbearable that they were forced to investigate where they were coming from….which turned out to be the “slave pit”.
Johnny Cash’s Haunted Plantation – Jamaica
A fact that most people don’t know is that Johnny and June spent a large part of their time in a large plantation home in Jamaica.
One of the few structures to survive the 1831 Slave Revolt, these country icons bought the home in the mid-70s. More interesting, is what has occurred to Johnny and his family while at the home.
Johnny himself even recalled an encounter with one of the souls he wrote about in his autobiography. He describes a time when he and several guests observed a figure of a woman in the dining room appearing to be in her early 30s, wearing a full-length white dress. She moved through the dining room door headed to the kitchen an crossed the room toward a pair of closed double doors. He and his guests watched in amazement as she moved through the locked doors without opening them. Immediately following, the group heard a “rat-tat-tat, rat-tat” from the other side.
The Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
Just a few steps from Tootsie’s is the Ryman Auditoriam, the Opry’s former home. Things can get a little spooky at the building once called, “Mother Church of Country Music“.
In 1892, Capt. Thomas G. Ryman opened the Union Gospel Tabernacle, which was intended for religious purposes. After his passing in 1904, the building was renamed the Ryman Auditorium and was used as an entertainment venue.
A few ghosts have been known to haunt the Ryman, including Capt. Ryman himself. He has been known to voice his opinion when he isn’t impressed with a performance. Once he cared so little for a performance in the early 1900s that he thrashed so loud no one could hear anything.
Another reported ghost is a figure called “The Gray Man“. Many performers and employees have reported seeing a man in gray sitting on the balcony during rehearsals, but when they look for him, nothing is there except an empty seat.
Lisa Marie Presley once reported that she came in contact with her father’s ghost while performing at the Ryman. She said after her performance she headed back to her dressing room only to find the door stuck closed. Anyone who tried to open the door was unable to enter, and just when they were ready to give up, Elvis’ laugh was heard from the other side of the door and it opened easily.
Ernest Tubb Record Shop – Nashville, TN
In 1960, country singer Ernest Tubb released the album, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, named after his actual record shop in Nashville which opened in 1947.
But before the building was Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop, it was used as a military hospital during the Civil War, with (of course) a morgue was located in the basement.
Although you may think the souls of passed soldiers are the ones haunting this building, it’s actually the mysterious CD player. It has been said that during conversations with customers, if an employee mentions a country artist, the next song on the CD player’s queue will be that of the artist. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland – Memphis, TN
The 2nd most-visited residential home in the United States, this worldwide landmark certainly has had its fair share of history attached to it, but nothing more so than the legacy Elvis Presley left behind when he passed in 1977.
It has been said by countless visitors that the ghost of Elvis haunts the grounds of this magnificent estate. Elvis passed away on the property and is laid to rest in the backyard next to his mother after their graves were robbed at a Memphis cemetery.
Elvis’ other family members also have graves in the ‘meditation garden’ area behind the main house. Both his parents, his grandmother, and his twin who passed away during birth are memorialized there.